The Stages of Writing

Learning to read and write

As children learn to write, their writing goes through different phases. When children are allowed to draw and make creations without direction, they are learning the early skills that enable them to write in later life. Things like fine motor skills and recognition of letters are learned through drawing. Let’s take a closer look at the stages of writing.


When a child draws they are learning the skills that are required to write. Their images do not represent print, but they do represent ideas. They are learning to communicate in different ways than just speaking.


Scribbling is an early way of a child learning to write. Letter-like symbols may emerge, but mainly children are exploring mock writing by attempting to mimic the general form in which writing appears. They are trying to imitate the writing they have seen around them.

Strings of Letters

Strings of letters will emerge out of scribbling. Children will learn to write letters before they learn how to apply them and make a word. They may write them in strings to resemble writing, but those strings of letters do not represent words. Invented spelling will emerge out of using strings of letters where children begin to cluster letters together in the form of words. These invented words may not resemble the look or sound of the actual word they wish to represent, but they are learning the early constructs of language this way.

This eventually leads to conventional spelling, where children learn to write their name or other simple words. Sometimes they may copy a word incorrectly, but with practice and patience, they will learn to expand their writing abilities.

Take a look at some of the work from Childventures students!

Children's writing

children's writing

Children writing

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