Scribbles, lines, drawings, crooked circles, “zig-zags”, organic symbols, invented spellings, reversed and upside down letters are all forms of emergent writing for young readers and writers. Children explore pre-writing skills long before they are able to write legibly. Adults must honor these efforts and support children with modeled reading, interactive writing and oral-language experiences. Studies show, that as they progress into elementary school, children are becoming detached from forms and functions of writing associated with pen-to paper methods.
Although children enjoy the writing process, they are now increasingly using buttons with capital letters on keyboard/pad with which to write to convey message and conduct research. This makes it even more critical for children to learn about the sound and structure of words, develop oral language, vocabulary, knowledge of print, letters, words, proper grammar, usage, as well as have exposure to quality literature, books, and the forms, functions and the mechanics of writing long before the “key board years” or writing begin. Teachers must keep the Writing Center area well stocked with materials to encourage and develop these skills.