Kindergarten writing starts off as letters and moves towards full simple 5 sentence paragraphs at the end of the year.
Here is one child’s progression on kindergarten writing throughout the year, a glimpse into the kindergarten writing standards, and resources for teaching writing to kindergarten.
What Kindergarten Writing Looks Like
My daughter is 5 years old. As a former kindergarten teacher, writing at this stage is my absolute favorite. I find great joy in “seeing” progress through writing and I have tried to take pictures of her writing samples to create an online portfolio of her work, meaning, a post here on the blog that I can look back at and see how far her writing has come.
Although my daughter struggles with some vision and fine motor issues, her desire to write and creative imagination helps her to be a successful writer. She is an average kindergartner with an amazing passion and zest for life.
Since she was 3, she has spent almost every day of her life writing something; a letter to Grandma, a grocery list, recipes for food and more recently, stories.
I am Snow White. I am raccoon. I am deer.
Resources for Teaching Kindergarten Writing:
Writing Standards of a Kindergarten Student
Here is a sampling of her writing for parents who may be interested in knowing what a kindergartner can and should write like. Our current standards require kindergartners to
- Draft writing by drawing, telling, or writing about a familiar experience, topic or text; that is appropriate to the topic, audience, and purpose.
- Edit for correct use of end punctuation, including periods, question marks, and exclamation points.
- Edit for correct use of knowledge of letter/sound relationships to spell simple words.
- Produce, illustrate and share a finished piece of writing.
Their end of the year portfolio states that they must write a paragraph about a given subject with a topic sentence and three supporting sentences. Gone are the early stages of writing continuum that I was taught to use with early writers.
Kindergartners now have higher expectations in writing. Although I feel that not all children may be developmentally ready for these tasks, I would like to believe that with strong parent support, our children can meet (or come close to meeting) these expectations.
Can my daughter meet and exceed all these new standards and assessments – I hope so, but realistically, I know that she is not currently quite at the stage of writing that these standards require.
Although her thoughts and ideas are expressed with creativity, she writes with energy and uniqueness, and she uses “lively” word choices, her conventions and spelling need some more attention!
Writing Samples of a Kindergarten Student
We use mostly primary writing paper that has a space for drawing pictures too. Look for the following terms when purchasing writing paper for kindergarten students: (Click the words to view the product in Amazon)
Hot chocolate is hot. Salad is green. But my favorite thing is …
Ravioli, ravioli and soup, soup, vanilla, water, milk, juice
Christmas was great. I liked what Nicholas gave me. It was a dog.
The book is Hannah and the Seven Dresses. She does not know what dress to wear. The fourth dress has ruffles. She put black pants on her birthday.<
I do not like to get a shot. It hurts a lot. Oweee.
This is the first time that we start to see speech bubbles. In my kindergarten classroom, I would encourage reluctant readers to use speech bubbles. Many kids find them interesting and motivation to write in.
She is using longer sentences in her writing now – 8 words in this one – with no adult prompting. She is capitalizing and spacing on her own! You can’t see it, but after the Owee is an exclamation point!
This bee is a special bee. It pollinates roses. It has wings like a butterfly.
We try to change up our writing so it does not get boring. Writing can and should be fun and interesting. After a visit to an art festival where we talked with a local artist, I did a directed draw activity with her to make the bee and she wrote her sentences afterwards.
I really need to explore mediums other than markers, crayons, and colored pencils when creating a picture or illustration for our writing. Research has shown using art before writing, especially with water colors help improve creative writing, as the colors flow and change, creating new thoughts and writing directions. It is something for me to work on doing more!
Once upon a time, there was an old woman. Her name was Emilesa. She was poor. (My Thing)
We have found that as the year of kindergarten progresses, the teacher asked for more specific writing tasks such as book summaries or using 3 specific words of the week. The more specifications included, the less my little one wants to write and the more she craves creative writing.
This was a little story that she wrote a few days ago after writing a book summary for her school homework, a letter to her Grandma, and 2 other stories. She sat for hours (her choice) just writing. Those are the days when I am so very thankful that we do not have a television!
So what are your thoughts on Kindergarten writing?
Are you a teacher?
- Are the expectations in your school and ours just about right?
- Do you think we are on the right track?
- How can parents better support their children’s writing development?
Are you a parent?
- Are you kids enjoying writing?
- Do you think they are getting enough “time” writing?
- How can you help to facilitate an improvement the quality and quantity in their writing?
Additional Writing Resources for Kids
- Story Writing with Stickers
- Ways to Keep Writing Fun
- Reading and Writing Connection with Ways to Support Your Child’s Writing
- Writing and the 6+1 traits of Writing with Links to Printable Rubrics
- Why You Should Be Using Beginner Pencils for Writing Practice with Kids