Preschool Writing

Dr. Deborah Rowe

Associate Professor, Dept. of Teaching & Learning

  • Editor of Journal of Early Childhood Literacy
  • Previous co-editor of Yearbook of National Reading Conference
  • Previous secretary of the National Conference on Language and Literacy


  • There is a difference between children's writing and drawing.
  • Around the age of 3 children use different actions for writing and drawing.


  • Give young children access to writing utensils. (monitored)
  • Integrate writing into playtime. (ex. Phone Number)


  • Ask "what did you write?" rather than "what did you draw?"
  • Look at long term curriculum and focus on integrating writing in subjects.
  • Make children write their name on everything. Don't write it for them!
  • When shown a piece of paper ask them to read the "scribbles".

Policy Makers

  • Nationally we focus on reading but not writing.
  • Writing gives students the opportunity to slow down the decoding process.
  • More assessments for early writing.