There’s something magical that happens in my kindergarten classroom each and every Spring. They start growing, by leaps and bounds, as writers and then they start choosing to write during our free choice/center time. I love it when kids write just for fun, rather than as an assignment.
I try to show kids in my class that writers have many different reasons to write. Sometimes, adults need to write something as simple as a grocery list.
I found some printable lists on the Nellie Edge Pinterest page. There is a list for birthday gift ideas, favorite colors, favorite animals, groceries, and several others. My students are able to write on their own, but sometimes they just love to copy. I have grocery word cards with pictures and text available for them to copy if they choose.
One of my students went to his grandma’s house for Spring Break. He took our stuffed Pete the Cat and a few Pete the Cat books with him and wrote about all of their adventures together. You can tell from the proper spelling that his mom helped him out on some tough words. If you know this guy in person, you can totally hear his voice coming through in his book. He read the book to his classmates today and they were very impressed. There were rumblings of, “Of going to write a book like that when I get home today.” This type of thing makes my heart sing. I love it when parents are our partners in education!
During Center Time, we had several different rock collections out for the kids to check out. One of my little guys, who is passionate about science, looked at me with a look of panic on his face. I thought there was something wrong but then he said, “OH MY GOSH. I need to go get a book and write about these before I forget everything I’m thinking.” He ran over to the bins where I keep pre-made blank books and started writing. His story was about the shapes of the different rocks and how they reminded him of certain animals by their shape. I was kind of amazed at the ideas he came up with for his story.
I always have a basket of blank books and colored pencils out for kids during our Center Time. Many of the girls in my class just love to draw. We have practiced telling stories and then breaking the stories down into sections of first, next, then, and finally. We also use the terms beginning, middle, and end. These terms help kids decide how much text to put on each page.
It’s amazing when writing comes naturally to young children. I can’t say this happened over night, but it’s finally happening! How did we do this? We read and write every single day. We do these things multiple times each day with JOY. We point out the things that authors do and begin to think like authors. What do you do to help the young authors in your life?