Component 6: Emergent Writing

Learning Goal 6.a: Children learn writing skills and show knowledge of writing conventions; they demonstrate an understanding of writing as a means of communication.

By 9 months, most children:

  • Focus on people and express particular interest in facial contours and expressions

By 18 months, most children:

  • Scribble spontaneously
  • Focus on easy-to-hold books, such as board books, when not able to be active (e.g., sitting in a car seat)

By 24 months, most children:

  • Use things the way they are intended to be used (e.g. scribbling on paper rather than on table surfaces)

By 36 months, most children:

  • Explore a variety of writing tools
  • Describe drawings and paintings simply (e.g., “that’s Mama”)
  • Watch when adults write
  • Imitate the act of writing during play

By 48 months, most children:

  • Understand that writing carries a message and use scribbles, shapes, letter-like symbols, letters, and numerals to write or represent words or ideas
  • With modeling and support, write some letters
  • With modeling and support, write numerals one through nine

By 60 months, most children:

  • With modeling and support, print some letters of meaningful words, sometimes using letters and sometimes using letter-like forms
  • Write their first name nearly correctly (may switch the order of letters or write some letters backwards)
  • Use invented spelling
  • With modeling and support, write numerals one through twenty