Writing tips....

Welcome to part 4-Writing Tips...

These ideas are just suggestions and I’ve included resource links at the bottom


-Grade 1 Fundations paper is available to print on my FUNDATIONS page




For the younger writer-Fun & playful ideas...See bottom of the page for handwriting


Create a space that is conducive to writing-a caddy with paper, crayons, fancy paper, markers,stickers, etc. will do just fine.  Make the writing fun...

    *Create your own cards, postcards or mini post office.  Use old cards, magazine, and stationary.  Use stickers as stamps.

    *Create a recipe book or restaurant menu.  Write recipes.  Don’t forget the waiter needs to take orders!  Create a restaurant play area!

    *Write out directions for simple tasks, this is great for building responsibility in young children!

    *Create shopping lists.  Ask your child to help find those items, share responsibility in shopping.

    *Listen to a story, draw and/or write about your favorite part of the story.  Create a new ending or setting for the story.

    *Make an ABC book-choose a theme then create pages for each letter from A-Z!

    *Take old boxes (cereal boxes, etc) cover with paper (don’t have it-use the back of wrapping paper) and create new cereal, or snacks on the sides.  Make a front, back and sides. Don’t forget to list your nutrition facts.

    *Create a word bank-cards with sight words, ask your child to orally say a sentence using the word-an adult writes the sentence.  Use a highlighter to highlight words your child knows how to read.  Cut the sentence apart.  Ask your child to put it back together.  Re-read it.  See my word work page for other ways to practice words!



For the more developed writer-


Getting Your Ideas Organized...

*Write about what you know-sounds simple because when children write about their experiences and the things they know about their ideas flow more freely.

*Write about things that are happening in your own life.  Ideas can come from family experiences, relationships with peers, animals (pets), a topic studied in school, or through discussions about books, tv shows, and hobbies.

*Think and talk about favorite stories-you can create a new story from a similar idea.  Using familiar stories also helps children understand and use more details, provides a good model for characterization, and fosters a sense of creating and solving story conflicts. 

*Keep  WRITING IDEAS CHART OR LIST-jot down all the things you know well or might like to write about, add details-before you know it you’ve got an idea!

*Keep a writer's notebook or diary-write about your day.


Pre-Writing...Beginning the framework for a story..organize your ideas!

*Use a graphic organizer to help categorize story elements:  Story maps, sequence charts, problem-solution charts are a great way to start.  Create your own organizer by brainstorming the basic ideas for your story: Setting(s), Character (s), beginning, middle portions, ending.  include a problem or conflict for the character and a solution to the problem.  Include some ideas to add details. 


Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.

Rhys Alexander


Details, Details, Details...

*Before you even begin your draft-consider details.

Characters:  What kind of character will you include?  A typical boy or girl like you? Someone funny?  A hero? An animal or other object that can talk?  Think of this character in your mind ask yourself:  How would this character behave?  How would they speak and what kind of words might they say?  Are they moody, grumpy, funny, helpful, mean, smart, happy, silly, or confused?  All these ideas make your character more vivid to the reader.  Create a scenario, or scene in your mind.  Tell it to someone or out loud so it becomes more clear to you.  Think about how the voices might even sound: loud, whispery, scary, etc.


Setting: Again follow the above procedure but include weather descriptions.  Is it cold, windy, hot & sticky, snowing or raining?  Are there any smells in the air?  What does the sky look like?  How is the building/house/etc. furnished?   Make the setting as detailed as a photograph.  You may even want to draw a picture of the setting so that you remember what you are writing about.


Problem/Solution:  The most interesting stories often have a problem to solve.  Consider what kind of problem your character might have, find interesting ways to solve it.  Use brainstorming to help plans these ideas.  You can always edit your writing.


Editing:  Once you have a story, go back and edit-look for spelling errors and proper punctuation and capitalization.  

??Did you use a capital for the first letter and for any proper nouns?

???Did you start each sentence the same way? 

Try changing these sentences to make for a more interesting story.Have someone else read the story and give you advice.

???Does your story make sense? 

??? Is it in the proper order?  Consider using First, Next, Then, Last




There is no great writing, only great rewriting.

Justice Brandeis 

Handwriting tips:

*Make it fun-begin each practice session with finger flashes (open and close fingers quickly & tightly), press hands and flex wrists onto a flat surface, play thumb tag-have each finger touch the thumb saying “tag-you’re it!”

    warming-up the fingers is good practice.

*Go beyond pencil and paper-use playdoh, sticks and strings, or trace letters in sand, salt, oatmeal-be creative!

*Use a proper pencil grip-ask a teacher for advice or a handout on this.  Follow letter formation rules-letters start at the midline or top-not the bottom.


Click Here for Printables for letter formation from Handwriting Without Tears@ 


Young Writers and Reversals: Keep in mind that the younger the child, the more likely he/s he may reverse letters.

*Rule out any vision problems

*Place a green dot on the left side of the paper, with a red dot on the right and an arrow indicating proper direction from left to right.  This could be taped to the bottom of one’s work area. (photo coming soon)


*provide the student with an alphabet strip.

*Correct in-correctly formed letter immediately

*trace over a highlighter, dots, or in sand the proper way to form letters from the top down.

*Use chalk, magnetic letters, air writing, or a whiteboard to practice letter formation

*Use a hole punch to mark where to begin writing

Specific letters:  d/b reversals

I like to teach my students to remember this rule:  as you read left to right with your finger, your finger is touching parts of the letters.  If your fingers touches the round part first-it’s like a doorknob-so it’s a /Dd/.

“First the doorknob, next the door.”  

If it touches the bat first, then it’s a /Bb/-”First the bat, next the ball”

Photo of this coming soon!