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The Writing Process

Stages of the Writing Process

As early as first grade, our school introduces the writing process. By second grade, many curriculums provide the foundation for the five basic steps of writing which are as follows: prewriting, first draft, revising, editing and publishing.

Prewriting

Prewriting encompasses the initial planning stage. Before writing a child should ask some questions to determine the purpose and audience for his writing as well as organization and content of information.

  • Why am I writing?
  • Who am I writing for?
  • What am I writing about?
  • How should I organize my thoughts?
  • What do I know about this topic?
  • What additional information should I obtain about this topic?
  • Where can I get more information about my topic?
  • How will I communicate my findings?

First Draft

Once a child has completed the initial planning stage, she writes her first draft. She should write down her thoughts and ideas as quickly as possible. At this stage emphasis should not be placed on spelling, punctuation, organization or handwriting. The focus at this stage is getting your thoughts on a piece of paper. Both of my children prefer using both paper and sticky notes. They use paper for their initial ideas. As they read and gather additional information, they jot down their ideas on sticky notes, which come in handy when they begin to organize their thoughts; they can be easily moved around when determining how to present ideas.

Revising

In this stage, a child reads the first draft aloud and asks more questions.

  • Did I say what I meant?
  • Does it make sense?
  • What changes should I make, e.g., moving words or sentences?
  • How can I make it better?
  • Should I add more information?

Editing

In this stage, a child needs to edit her draft and proofread her writing for the following items:

  • Capitalization,
  • Spelling,
  • Punctuation, and
  • Grammar.

Using the above criteria, a child should edit her work using appropriate grade-level conventions. Every child progresses differently. Below please find feedback re: grade-level conventions.

  • Capitalization – A kindergartener should capitalize the first word of each sentence and the pronoun I. However, if a child is in third grade, she should capitalize dates, names and titles. By fourth grade she should use correct capitalization for all relevant words.
  • Spelling – A first-grader should spell sight words correctly and some “phonetically correct” words. However, if a child is in third grade, he should correctly spell commonly used words and by fourth grade use resources, e.g., dictionary, to correctly spell all words.
  • Punctuation – A first grader should end each sentence with a punctuation mark. Whereas a fifth-grader should use punctuation to separate items in a series.
  • Grammar – A first grader should use verbs to convey past, present and future, e.g., correctly uses both run and ran. Whereas, a fifth grader should use verb tense to convey various times, sequences and conditions.

Publishing

The final stage is where your child presents his writing to another person. Sharing a story, mailing a letter, giving a speech, turning in a report or posting an article are various ways that your child can present his writing.

Source: Rachel Carson Elementary School Student Planner Grade 2

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