As Chaislyn writes the names of her teachers and peers, we discover how a young child’s writing reveals her understanding of text conventions and what she believes is the function and purpose of writing. Observe the symbols she invents to represent writing. Notice that Chaislyn understands that each sound is represented by one symbol (invented letter). Learn about the meanings Chaislyn assigns to her symbols. Listen as she pronounces the name of each letter that she writes. See how she emphasizes when a word is complete by underlining. Observe the formal characteristics of the conventional letters that she includes. Chaislyn writes from left to right on the page. She also turns the paper around for the teacher to see. Note that Chaislyn’s writing is supported by her social context. The teacher frames the activity by asking, “Are you writing a letter to somebody?”

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