Developmental Writing Stages

Different experts portray Developmental Writing Stages in different ways. Many stages are labeled different but have the same general concept. There seems to be a discrepancy between the Scribble stage and the Picture stage as to which actually comes first. The amount of stages is also debatable.  The overall premise of each of these rubrics is that children work through natural stages to reach adult language. Just as we did when we were learning to verbally communicate. A common theme through out is that children may display different parts of stages at different times/ages and that children should be allowed to progress in their own time and ways. Check out some of these websites that display the Writing Stages in a Variety of ways.

This site gives you ages that each stage appears (roughly), some indicators and also activities in each stage

This site offers some helpful hints on working with kids through out the stages and shows an example of 5 stages with some common indicators.

On these pages you will notice that pictures come before scribbling.

This link proves helpful as it links the stages of writing with the stages of reading!

My favorite.  This is from kid Writing: A Systematic Approach to Phonics, Journals, and Writing Workshop.  I like the way that this page is written in a parent perspective. Also these authors see random scribbles as a child’s first attempt to communicate with pictures being the second step and strings of letter like symbols being the starts of letter formation. I generally refer to this as my guideline for where kids are on the continum

For more information on Writing Stages, access this link, this will take you to pages and pages of sources!

No matter which Stages of Developmental writing- rubric you relate to the best remember:

“Children learn to read and write best through gradual approximation to adult conventions.”

~ E. Feldgus and I. Cardonick


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