Stages of Writing Development

  • Stages of Writing Development

    The development of early writing skills is another aspect of your child's emergent literacy development. Regardless of which stage your child is at, writing development can be enhanced through being encouraged to write on a regular basis.  Children should never be discouraged from exploring writing by the means they are able to do, whether it be scribbling, letter strings, invented spelling, or conventional spelling.  By recognizing the stage your child has achieved and allowing them to use the skills in that stage, you are helping their writing grow!


    -       Drawings represent the story and the child reads the drawing as a story

    -       Drawings serve as communication


    -       Scribbles are intended as writing and resemble writing

    -       Appear as waves or letter-like forms as it advances

    Letter-like Forms

    -       Resemble the shapes of letters but are not actually letters

    -       Written as separate forms

    -       Should not be confused with poorly written letters; they are unique creations

    Random letters or letter strings

    -       Real letters are used in long strings of meaningless patterns

    -       May include letter sequences learned in his/her name

    -       Letters do not represent sounds but are written correctly

    Invented spelling

    -       Child creates his/her own spelling using knowledge of letters and matching sounds

    -       One or a few letters may represent a whole syllable or word

    -       Proper spacing between words has not been mastered

    -       Gradual movement towards conventional spelling - for example, the word whale may progress through the stages of spelling this way:

    1.    Early letter name: wl

    2.  Letter name: wal

    3.  Within word pattern: whale

    Conventional Spelling

    • Words are spelled correctly and resemble adult writing



    Throughout the year, we will be assessing your child’s progress through these stages.  According to kindergarten standards, your child should be in the invented spelling stage by the end of the year.  Remember this stage is gradual and involves going through various stages of spelling.  Please refer to this list as you assist your child with writing!


    The Kindergarten Teachers

    Download the file below for the visual examples.

Related Files