How do children learn to write the natural learning way?
We see that writing arises naturally from children’s intrinsic human desire to communicate. We make sure that the supplies are always available, and the purpose of writing is highlighted in the moment when children show initiative to communicate information that would be most efficiently accomplished through writing.
We know that early literacy and writing begins with the understanding that symbols can represent ideas. Drawing pictures, making marks on a page, and identifying common symbols in their world are the first steps in using this conceptual understanding to translate and communicate information.
The key defining factor in our process of supporting early learners’ experiments with writing is that the writing be purposeful for the child. They are not communicating information that we’ve asked them to write. They are not writing and identifying letters or symbols to prove to us their knowledge. They are not writing to learn how to write.
At Elements, children use many levels of early literacy and writing.
The difference is that they do it naturally, simply because they want to.
They draw maps to show where they would like to play today.
They write rules for the bunny because they want her to come out of her cage, but don’t want her to eat any electrical cords.
They write notes to remind us of materials that they want us bring outside to complete plans for play and draw pictures to remind us that we need to remember materials for tomorrow.
Children draw pictures to remember and communicate what they have already accomplished,
to make architectural plans and take ownership of their creations.
In the end, when children are learning naturally, they draw and write because communicating and being understood feels good!