Thursday, March 31, 2022

Draw and Write - A New Unit for beginning Writers


Draw and Write: Teach Your Beginning Writers to Organize Their Thoughts and Write Their Stories

Have you ever listened to your students or kids tell you a made-up story? Their imagination can run wild! But when it comes to writing down their stories, having them put words to paper can be a big challenge.

Why? Let's think about what we're asking kids to do when they're in grades pre-k through 1. First, we're asking them to think about something - a story, a memory, a place. Next, we're asking them to use their newly developed motor skills to write those thoughts down. That's a big deal! Putting pencil to paper is one skill they have to focus on - while actually using that plus their phonics skills is another. AND they have to remember their ideas!

That is why I made prompts like these for my own kids when they were younger. 
Here is how these draw and write prompts work:

How to use draw and write prompts

1 - One day, have students complete the drawing prompt. There are simple prompts such as the ones shown in the pictures on this page. Instead of students having to come up with their own ideas completely, we're taking off the pressure by giving them something to start with. 

2 - The next step depends on the age and skills of your students. If they're already writing on their own, then let them write about the drawing they made the previous day. If they're still very young, you may want to focus on some words they could use first. Take a day to go over some useful sight words or some phonics skills. You can model for them how to sound out words, or use their own spelling.

3 - If you wish, you could spend the third day going over what they wrote. They could share it in small groups, or in a small-group conference with you. You can go over sounding out words or using word walls or folders as help.

These prompts are also great for intervention or sped classes with older students.
My own homeschooled kids are a bit older now (8 and 10) but they still had a blast filling these prompts out with all kinds of silly responses.

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