Kindergarten Writing Curriculum

Lucy Calkins

Units of Study:

1. Narrative Writing

2. Information Writing

3. Opinion Writing

Generic Content

Dear parents,

Kindergarten is such an exciting year for students (and their teachers!) because they learn and grow so much. One of the areas in which we see tremendous growth is writing, where students find their voice and learn to put their ideas on paper. Many kindergartners start the year knowing a few letter sounds and how to write their names; by the end of the year they produce picture books telling true stories from their lives or explaining how to do something, and write opinion letters to create change. The most exciting moment is the first time the writer can read back her own marks on the page, discovering the power of the written word!

Many of you have asked how you can support your child’s progress in writing. Here are some of the most important things you can do.

  • Let your child see you writing: shopping lists, notes, thank-you letters, e-mails, work-related writing, even poetry. “Think aloud” while writing to help your child see how you put your ideas on paper.  
  • Give your child lots of opportunities and encouragement to write. Have your child make lists, draw pictures and label them, write stories to go with their pictures, or write “expert” books teaching how to do something or all about something.
  • Remember that getting ideas on paper is more important than spelling words conventionally. Overemphasizing spelling at this age will inhibit your child’s growth as a writer and will take the joy and satisfaction out of writing. We want our students to boldly use any word they know, rather than limiting themselves to the few words they can spell conventionally.  
  • Have your student stretch out words (say them slowly) to listen for sounds. Students will initially be able to hear only the first sound in a word. Next, they will start hearing the last sound, and finally the sounds in the middle. They will be able to identify consonants before vowels.
  • Celebrate your child’s efforts! You will treasure them for years to come.

For more information about how to help your child, refer to the chart showing how writing skills and expectations develop from pre-K to first grade. Look at where your child is now, and then look at where he might go next. For example, if your child is making only drawings, have him start adding labels as a step toward writing sentences.

Learning Progression for Writing





First   Grade


The page includes drawings and attempts to write words.

Ideas and events are written in order.

There is a recognizable beginning and end.

There are separate pages for the beginning, middle, and end.

Ideas and events are in order, connected by words such as and, then, so, and because.

The writer makes a beginning and end with the reader in mind.


The writer puts more and then more on the page.

Stories tell who was there, what they did and how they felt.

Information books include important ideas about the topic.

Opinion letters tell all about what the writer thinks. (This will be   taught in the spring.)

Labels and words are used to give details.

The writer uses facts to teach the reader.


The writer can “read” his pictures.

The writer can label his pictures and write his name.

There are spaces between words.

Each sentence begins with a capital letter.

The writer puts letters for sounds she heard, and can read back her   writing.

Each sentence ends with punctuation.

Names begin with capital letters.

The writer uses word chunks (at,   op, it, etc.) to help spell.


If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s writing development, please contact me at any time. Working together, we can help your child learn to express ideas skillfully while discovering the joy and power of writing.

Writing Rubrics

Narrative Writing Rubric

Informational Writing Rubric

Opinion Writing Rubric


Der parints,

Az ur child brings hom riting this year ples do not be surprized at the speling. The inglish langwij is confuzing for studints. We uz "smarty spelling" or "best guess spelling" in r wrk. Thiz meens we rite the sownds we hear. It iz a grat assezment to see wat yor child nos.

Az parents u can hlp ur child bi encuraging them to rite the sounds thay hear. Let ur child read thair riting to u. Displa thair riting around ur hom. No that as ur child becomz familyer with riting, he or she will mak the trazishun to standard speling.

Ms Osotio

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