Writing the Way to Reading
This capstone examines the possibilities of writing instruction to support the reading development of young children in late preschool through early first grade who are just beginning to understand the alphabetic principle. The NELP Report (2008) and prominent theories of reading development are analyzed to identify the instructional needs of beginning readers. Writing is then examined as a tool to deliver meaningful reading instruction in the elements of self-identity as a “doer” of literacy, decoding, and concepts about print. Recommendations are made for writing instruction that supports reading development in late preschool, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms. Common questions of type of writing task, the use of copying and tracing, independent vs. shared writing, and invented vs. conventional spelling are discussed. Finally, writing is examined as an assessment tool for planning meaningful early literacy instruction. In closing, recommendations are made for next steps toward effectively implementing writing instruction as a tool to meet the instructional needs of young literacy learners just beginning to understand the alphabetic principle.