Understanding and Supporting Young Writers from Birth to 8  book cover
1st Edition

Understanding and Supporting Young Writers from Birth to 8

ISBN 9781138674448
Published December 19, 2017 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

As the world comes to grips with what it means to be literate in the twenty-first century, Understanding and Supporting Young Writers from Birth to 8 provides practitioners with the skills and knowledge they need to support young children effectively as they learn to write. Interweaving theory and research with everyday practice, the book offers guidance on all aspects of writing, from creating multimodal texts and building children’s vocabulary, to providing support for children who find writing particularly challenging.

With appropriate strategies to develop young children’s writing from an early age included throughout, the book discusses the role of oral language in early writing in detail and explores the key relationships between ‘drawing and talking’, ‘drawing and writing’ and ‘drawing, talking and writing’. Each chapter also features samples of writing and drawing to illustrate key points, as well as reflective questions to help the reader apply ideas in their own settings. Further topics covered include:

  • progressions in children’s writing
  • writing in the pre-school years
  • developing authorial skills
  • developing editorial skills
  • teaching writing to EAL learners.

Understanding and Supporting Young Writers from Birth to 8 is a unique resource that will help early childhood educators, early years school teachers, specialist practitioners working with very young children, and students enrolled in Early Childhood or Primary Studies courses to boost their confidence in teaching young learners as they become writers.

Table of Contents


Adria F. Klein

1 Introduction to Understanding and Supporting Young Writers from Birth to 8

Noella M. Mackenzie and Janet Scull

2 The drawing and writing journey: progressions in children’s learning

Noella M. Mackenzie

3 Preparing children for writing: birth to 2

Laura McFarland

4 Writing in the preschool years

Bridie Raban

5 Transitions and learning to write

Noella M. Mackenzie

6 Developing authorial skills: child language leading to text construction, sentence construction and vocabulary development

Janet Scull and Noella M. Mackenzie

7 Developing editorial skills: spelling

Tessa Daffern

8 Handwriting, keyboarding or both?

Noella M. Mackenzie and Rebecca Spokes

9 Assessing writing: practices to support young writers

Janet Scull

10 Teaching writing strategies

Marian Nicolazzo and Noella M. Mackenzie

11 Young children creating multimodal stories in their home, school and digital spaces

Lisa Kervin and Jessica Mantei

12 Teaching writing to EAL learners

Paul Molyneux

13 When learning to write isn’t easy

Natalie Thompson


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Noella M. Mackenzie is an experienced literacy educator and researcher. Noella’s research, which is largely focused on the learning and teaching of writing, is informed by her ongoing work with classroom teachers and early childhood educators.

Janet Scull is an experienced literacy educator. Janet’s research explores language and literacy acquisition processes and practices that support the continuity of children’s learning across early childhood settings and the early years of schooling.


"This is definitely going to be a book that I keep in my professional bookshelf for many years, and one that I will no doubt keep referring back to."

Dr Brooke Scriven, classroom teacher and university academic, Australia