The Reading and Writing Connection


Reading and Writing

The connection between reading and writing is often overlooked and skill-building for these subjects are usually discussed separately. This relationship is so important, however that it is emphasized early in the training of Reading Recovery(TM) teachers that one can not be effectively taught without the other. What a child learns about stories, the world of print and his relationship to them while reading, he can apply to writing; just as the same lessons and experiences in writing will aid him in reading.

Early readers and writers vary in their ability to make cross-print connections. One child may notice a word in a book that she practiced writing at school the week before, when another may not recognize it at all, for example.

Tips for building cross-print connections

Here are some ways to draw attention to the connections between reading and writing at home:

Reading time tips that benefit writing development:

Writing tips that reinforce reading strategies:

  • Casually run your finger under a word your child knows, or has recently used in writing to reinforce word recognition
  • Emphasize the importance of punctuation as you read (i.e. make a quick point of stopping when you see a period, pause at a comma)
  • Encourage your young reader to think about how he writes a word he does not know (one chunk at a time) and model breaking longer words into chunks by running your finger along the word, one section at a time (i.e. re – mem – ber)
  • If your child stops reading mid-sentence, ask him to reread the whole sentence from the beginning to ensure he understands and remembers what he has read
  • Ask your budding reader to imagine what it would be like to read the story without spaces between the words!
  • Encourage your author – in – the – making to write with the reader in mind. What makes it easy to read? (spaces, punctuation, capital letters on names of people and things)
  • If your child pauses for more than a few seconds between words as she writes, ask her to reread her sentence from the beginning to ensure that what she is writing makes sense, sounds right and looks right. This will also tell her what word to write next or if her sentence is complete.
  • When faced with an unknown word, consider what she might already know. Help her write the small parts of the word and check by running your finger along the print as you did while reading together. Are all of the parts there? (For example, she may know the word 'yes' or 'day': yes – ter – day)

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Has your son or daughter made a connection between reading and writing? Please tell us about it in the comments!

Post written by Ida Mae West-Simone a.k.a. That Fun Reading Teacher

Read/write image courtesy of edwardsamuel

Girl printing alphabet image courtesy of Hallgerd

For fun, pre-kindergarten to grade three learning tips, activities and resources for kids, parents and teachers, please visit That Fun Reading 


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That Fun Reading Teacher is a Canadian mom, special education and literacy teacher with a passion for kids and reading. She has spent eighteen years teaching literacy to little ones, in kindergarten, grade one, Reading Recovery and Special Education.

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