ERIC Number: ED263589
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Beginning Writing: Characteristics of Development.
Osburn, E. Bess; McDonell, Gloria M.
A study was conducted to identify characteristics of young children's written compositions that might be used to indicate growth patterns. Written compositions of 482 children of all ability levels, grades 1-3, were examined by two teams of teacher-researchers and placed on a continuum of sophistication. Four growth strands were identified: (1) readiness, in which the children learned that language can convey a message; (2) sentence, in which children began to string words together to form sentences; (3) description, in which children learned to use a series of sentences to describe something; and (4) beginning discourse, in which five elements showing growth developed. These elements were the increase in sentence length and variety, the increase in concern for logical relationships, the increase in descriptive language, the use of story structure, and the recognition of audience awareness. While a sequence of patterns and growth strands appeared, these patterns did not occur in smooth transitions. Awareness of the importance of errors to growth in writing should help teachers to create a classroom atmosphere that encourages experimentation. The growth strands can be used as guidelines for teachers as they examine compositions over a period of time and and communicate with parents and administrators about written language growth. (EL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (33rd, Austin, TX, November 29-December 3, 1983).