Have you ever found yourself googling, ‘how do you teach kindergarten writing?’ or tearing your hair out wondering the best way to teach kindergarten writing? Teaching writing is SO tricky, am I right?! Well don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! In this post, I’m going to share the steps that you need to take so that you feel confident in how to teach kindergarten writing!
Teaching writing to kindergarten students involves introducing them to the basic concepts of writing and providing them with opportunities to practice and develop their skills. Here are 10 steps to take!
1.) Develop fine motor skills
Before diving into writing, focus on developing your student’s fine motor skills, which are crucial for writing. What does this look like? Engage students in activities like coloring, cutting, tracing, and using playdough to strengthen their hand muscles.
2. Introduce letter formation
Start by teaching students how to form letters correctly, both uppercase letters and lowercase letters. Use visual aids, tracing activities, and multisensory approaches to help them learn letter shapes.
3. Provide writing materials
Ensure that students have access to a variety of writing materials, such as pencils, markers, crayons, and different types of paper. Experiment with writing tools and surfaces like whiteboards, chalkboards, or sand trays to make writing engaging and fun.
4. Use guided writing
Allow students to participate in shared writing experiences. Write together as a class, focusing on forming letters, spelling simple words, and composing sentences. Model writing while thinking aloud, emphasizing letter sounds, and basic spelling patterns.
5. Engage in interactive writing
Collaboratively write sentences or short stories with the students. Have them contribute ideas, choose words, and participate in shared composition. This promotes their understanding of sentence structure and storytelling.
6. Incorporate drawing and labeling
Encourage students to draw pictures related to a topic or a personal experience. Support them in labeling their drawings by writing simple words or initial sounds. This helps them connect their drawings to written language.
There’s a lot of pressure to get students writing at a young age, but it’s important to take it slow. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but drawing and labeling are key components in the writing process. Telling your students to ‘go off and write’ just isn’t developmentally appropriate at the start of a student’s writing journey.
7. Focus on phonics and sight words
Integrate phonics instruction and sight word recognition into writing activities. Teach students letter sounds, sight words, and basic spelling patterns to support their ability to write and read simple words.
8. Encourage journaling or free writing
Once your students are ready, they can begin independent writing! FYI – This does not happen in the first few weeks/months of Kindergarten, so be patient!
Introduce the concept of journaling or free writing where students have the opportunity to write or draw about their thoughts, experiences, or interests. Provide prompts or topics to inspire their writing and let them express themselves freely.
It’s okay if your students are mostly drawing and using inventive spelling to write only a few words.
9. Celebrate and display their work
Create a writing display area in the classroom to showcase students’ written pieces. Celebrate their efforts and progress by praising their work, sharing their writing with peers or parents, and acknowledging their achievements. A WOW work bulletin board is perfect for this!
10. Provide regular practice
Practice, practice, practice! Both in structured activities and during playtime. Encourage students to write their names, label objects, or write simple sentences throughout the day.
Remember to make writing experiences interactive, hands-on, and enjoyable for kindergartners. Foster a supportive and encouraging environment that values their attempts and growth as emerging writers! You’ve got this!
Here are some kindergarten resources that will help you to teach writing.
If you’d love to try free versions of these activities (to see if you like them first), click here!