Sunday, February 16, 2014

Make Writing Meaningful – Part 1

Your child watches you write everyday.  You make a grocery list, sign a credit card bill in a restaurant, or sign for a package delivery. Families and teachers can take advantage of these experiences to help children understand that the marks we make on a page have meaning. For example, when signing your name on a credit card bill at a restaurant, talk to your child. Tell your child that these marks are the way to write your name.  

This child mimics his parent by writing on a receipt.
Extend the idea that writing is meaningful whether at home or in school. Have children play restaurant. Set up stuffed animals around a table. Have your child decide what food he or she would like to serve in their restaurant. Invite your child to create a menu. Remember, it doesn’t matter if the markings on the “menu” resemble words or even the alphabet. (See our post from July 16, 2013: Encourage Writing). The important concept is for children to connect writing and meaning.

This preschooler is making "random marks" on his menus. This is a developmentally-appropriate way of writing.
Encourage your child to hand the newly created menus to their restaurant guests.

Children learn that the marks on a paper have meaning.
By taking the “orders” from the animal customers, children further their understanding that writing is talk written down!

The literacy "play time" is complete. The child takes food orders!
We love when imaginative play and literacy combine in a developmentally-appropriate way!

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