A place to share ideas about play in a Prep classroom

Children focussed and engaged in writing!




Yesterday I posted about celebrating being a child and taking our classroom outside, but what I didn’t share was how all of this fun was a great provocation for drawing and “have a go” writing. After lunch we were a bit tired from all that playing and so after some relaxation meditation and a review of the photos and lots of shared discussion, we decided to draw our favourite memories of our play and “have a go” write.

Before we “have a go write” we discuss the process we use. I have visual clues for these up on the wall in pictorial form with talking and thinking bubbles.

These are –

1. Think of an idea and draw a picture of this idea. (Usually the children are free to draw whatever idea they might have but yesterday I thought we would use our play experiences outside as a stimulus.)




2. Share your drawing with some one. (This creates discussion about their drawing/idea. Sometimes this is with another child or an adult.)




3. Write down any sounds and/or words you can hear in your story about your drawing. (We have a very print rich environment and the children have access to lots of words in a variety of forms.)

4. Don’t forget punctuation!! (We love exclamation marks and question marks and are fantastic punctuation detectives when we read together. A full stop tells us when we have finished writing and a capital letter tell us when the sentence starts.)


5. Read/share your story with someone.


As I said this is a very simplistic version of our discussion and yesterday’s “have a go writing” was amazing. The children were engaged and very enthusiastic about writing and drawing their play memories and used words such as spectacular and ginormous in their stories but, regrettable for this post, they took their stories home to share with their families before I could take some photos. Sorry!

Writing and Shaping is one of the Learning Areas of our early years curriculum. In the national curriculum the suggested outcome for this area is – for the children to write 2 sentences by the end of prep with punctuation.Philosophically this is a tricky and worrying area for me because some of my children are only 4 and a half when they come to school and yet they are expected to write 2 sentences by the end of the year. But……….. the national curriculum is coming and so my challenge is – How do I assist my children to achieve this outcome as best they can considering their developmental age and maturity?

The answer for me is naturally, through play, especially with text, words, letters, sounds etc  but how I do this is complex, constantly evolving and not a post suitable for writing at the end of the last day of term! I’ll post how I set the children up to “have a go write” over the next few weeks.


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