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Mrs. Hawkins' Class Site   Fuguitt Elementary

First Grade Writing Stages
First Grade Writing Stages

Stage 1
The writing in this stage progresses through three developmental phases:

In a stage 1A, the writing consists of pictures, scribbling, and/or mock letters . If mock letters are present, some concepts of print may be evident (e.g., left to right directional pattern, return sweep, spaces between mock words). Students in this stage are relying on oral language and their drawings to convey a sense of story, if there is any story at all.

In a stage 1B, the writing consists of drawings, random strings of letters and possibly some phonetically-related approximations. Students in this stage may demonstrate some concepts of print (e.g. , left to right, return sweep). In this stage, students are relying on oral language and their drawings to convey a sense of story.

In a stage 1C, the student labels parts of the story (sketch) using 2-3 correct phonemes for unfamiliar words(e.g. ,bike, park, slide). Students in this stage may also spell some familiar words correctly. In this stage, children are still relying on oral language to convey most of their story. However, through the pictures and labels, they are able to help the reader get a sense of what is happening. Sketches should now include setting, characters, and action to convey the meaning of the story. Students in this stage may also tell their story across pages.

Stage 2
Students at this stage are able to tell and draw their story across at least three pages. The sketches convey meaning and include setting, characters, and action. Print work matches the story conveyed in the sketches and serves as a meaning cue. In this stage students can reread their own stories. They are beginning to approximate a story by telling "what happened." However, listing of sentences is typical at this stage.

The writing demonstrates print concepts including left to right and top to bottom directional pattern, correct return sweep, and spaces between words. Phonetically related approximations, correct first letters, and approximations using some phonemes are evident. Some sight words are spelled correctly. A complete thought is expressed on each page and can be read with only minimal need for translation. Students attempt to use ending punctuation at this stage.

Stage 3
In this stage, students will tell and draw a focused small moment narrative or event across at least three pages. Although the sketches continue to play a role, there is a shift with more of the story being revealed in the student's writing through the use of details.

Students in this stage will write sentences that describe on event or moment stretched across three pages. The writing consists of simple, logical (structurally correct) sentences that make sense. The story may sound like a summary rather than a story focused on a short period of time, although a sense of the story is becoming evident. Some specific details may be included.

Simple sight words are spelled correctly and approximations represent enough phonemes to be easily understood. Ending punctuation is more consistently correct than in a stage 2, although a few errors may occur. Capital letters are used at the beginning of sentences, for names of people and "I". Errors in mechanics do not detract the reader from the content.

Stage 4
The writing is a generally focused small moment narrative or event that, although it may contain some loosely related information, sounds like a simple story. Sketches are used to convey meaning. The story may be longer and more developed than stories in a stage 3, sounding less like a summary.

A sense of story is evident with the first page or passage setting up the story by using the setting or beginning situation. The story includes a simple ending, the middle of the story conveys a sense off something happening "in the moment" and is evident by that part being stretched out with generally complete sentence structure and at least one phrase elaborating another. Evidence of elaboration may include the following: dialogue, internal thinking, description of small action, "shown and tell," and sound words.

Transition words (e.g., then, after that, next...) may be used at this stage. Word choice is adequate but ordinary and occasionally vague.

Sight words are generally spelled correctly and approximations contain all phonemes. Ending punctuation and capitalization of proper nouns are generally used correctly. Errors in mechanics do not detract the reader from the content.

Stage 5
The writing is a focused small moment narrative or event with an organizational pattern that is somewhat easy to follow. Students in this stage typically use sketches to convey meaning.

The beginning and ending are more developed than in a stage 4. Effective narrative pieces reveal themselves more slowly, rather than with the urgency of a summary, therefore, events in the middle of the story are stretched out further with more developed evidence of elaboration than in previous stages including dialogue, internal thinking, description of small actions, "show and tell," strong verbs, description of setting, feelings, and or sound words. Varied and usually complete sentences and transition words such as next, then, all of a sudden, help move the piece along. Similes and metaphors, if used, enhance the description. Word choice is generally precise and more mature than is a stage 4. There may be more evidence of the writer's "voice" at this stage.

The writing contains more correct spelling than approximations. Mechanical errors are minor and do not detract from content.

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