Writing as an Entrance to Reading

By Laura Robb on June 2, 2013
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

Donald Graves’s research indicated that when primary grade children draw a picture and write about it, they develop their ability to spell and match sounds and letters. In fact, the writing children do and then read back is far more complex and contains the rhythm of language lacking in beginning guided reading books. Children read and reread their stories to themselves and to classmates, exposing one another to diverse topics and language. We’ve abandoned that drive to communicate through writing among young children and replaced it with drilling them on high frequency words and phonemic awareness exercises. My question is this: Why do children have to complete one set of tasks over another? Please share your experiences and opinions with me and other educators.


I agree 100% with you about the benefits of letting students draw and write to help improve their reading skills! I see it with my kindergarten and first graders who love to draw and at first used pictures and verbally told their story, but now they are including written words and sentences.

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