As they learn to write and practise writing in the early years, children will draw on their oral language skills and their reading skills and knowledge.

At school children learn to write by:

  • looking closely at the writing of others including the teacher and published authors
  • brainstorming ideas with their teacher and classmates
  • planning for writing as a class, in small groups, pairs and individually
  • writing together as a class, with the guidance of the teacher
  • writing with a partner and independently
  • sharing their writing and talking to the teacher and classmates about their own writing
  • writing for different purposes.

During early literacy learning young children will develop some important writing skills and knowledge. They will learn that writers:

  • write for different purposes and audiences
  • can be creative and imaginative
  • choose their words, sentence structure and the layout of their writing to help meet their purpose for writing
  • use consistent letter size, formation and direction when they write
  • use spelling knowledge to spell consistently. (Spelling knowledge includes the connection between the sounds in a word and the letters used to represent that sound, letter patterns in words, and spelling conventions.)

Try some of these ideas for writing with your child at home:

  • Make a list before shopping for groceries.
  • Write letters, invitations, greeting cards, postcards and emails to family and friends.
  • Copy out your favourite family recipes.
  • Write lists as you plan various family activities, such as packing for a holiday or planning a party.
  • Label children’s drawings. Let children talk and write about their drawings.
  • Try some role-playing situations that involve writing, for example, play restaurants and write down customer orders; play doctors and take down patient details; play police and ask witnesses for the details of a car crash.