I have been teaching for about 12 years, but I have always taught third and fourth grades. This year I moved, and I am now teaching kindergarten! The year has been both challenging and rewarding.

The struggle I am having right now is with writing. My students have been working on letters, letter sounds, and sight words. We have a writing assessment at the end of May. The students should be able to write three sentences on a subject, know three or more sight words, and use periods and capital letters.

I am looking for ideas to help my struggling writers who don’t know where to begin and who, in some cases, are still struggling with their letter sounds.


—submitted by Kelly, Kindergarten

I, too, have made that move from third grade to kindergarten, so I understand the challenge of helping kindergartners become writers. Here are two easy-to-implement ideas that will help your kindergartners love writing and prepare them for their assessments.

Writing a sentence: I begin teaching sentence writing by using prompts. The prompts I use are sentences that contain high-frequency, or sight, words; the prompts are never longer than four words. They help teach students to begin sentences with capital letters and end sentences with periods. I use prompts in conjunction with the book Look-Alikes by Joan Steiner or with any of the I Spy books. Following are some prompts I use: I see a ____. Look at the ___. Here is a ____. There is a ___. Students can open the book and use the prompt for that day to complete the sentence with something they see.

Writing multiple sentences on a subject: I have found that if students have a picture to look at, they have an easier time writing about it. I give each student a handout that has three simple boxes in a column. Before writing any sentences, students draw a picture in each box (story box) to tell a story. I start by having them draw a character (could be an animal) in the first box, what happens to the character (a problem) in the second box, and a solution to the problem in the last box. Have students tape their drawings on the left side of a large sheet of construction paper. Beside each box, students write a short sentence about the picture. Remind students to start sentences with capital letters and to end them with periods. If students have a hard time writing sentences, I have them at least label their pictures. They can do this by writing the first letter sound, the first and last letter sound, or the whole word. For some students, I give a prompt to get them started. Following are examples: First, my fish ____. Next, my fish ____. Lastly, my fish ____. My students love doing the story boxes. They started making them at home and bringing them in to share with the class. I even make extra handouts and put them at a center. It really is a great way to get beginning writers motivated and to help them be successful!

—Solution provided
by Heather Graley

Do you have a solution to the question above? We’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below.

One response to “How Do I Help Kindergartners Become Writers?”

  1. on 13 Aug 2012 at 11:16 am Katie Fabian

    I have found with kindergarten groups with little home print experiences, introducing sentences(reading and writing)in the following way to be highly effective. In September, the kiddos copy simple sentences about our day that I have pre-written on the board.Begin with only one sentence. Each word is a different color and the words are spaced a little further than normal.The children are given unlined newsprint and fat pencils. I accept all attempts and really praise those who have put forth a good effort. Then we read the sentence together. Next we count the words and clap the words. Then we count and clap the letters. We talk about the Mommy letters and Baby letters (Capital and Small). Soon the children are writing 5 sentences correctly and many begin reading the board on their own. This is done separate from the class Writing time where student work is scaffolded,dictation,kid spelling,etc.Enjoy!

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