Reading, writing are partners


February 27, 2000

Editor's note: Jerdine Nolen today explores how writing fits into the world of reading. Her column appears biweekly.

Reading and writing are different sides of the same coin. Writing is how we communicate our ideas and thoughts for others to see. We write for a variety of purposes every day.

What our children know is measured by how well they communicate that knowledge through writing. Like every other skill, reading and writing are acquired or developed through training, experience and daily practice.

We write to:

* express personal ideas in stories, poems, plays, letters, journals.

* inform in reports, articles, directions, lists, speeches.

* persuade in letters, essays and posters.

We write to make visible what we are thinking and to show others we know how to:

* form/copy letters, words or symbols.

* spell words.

* develop manuscript and cursive skills.

* use learned behaviors in expressing ideas.

* restate, rehearse and defend a point of view.

* expound/elaborate on a topic.

* collect, respond, analyze, select and organize ideas for reading purposes.

What can you do to support your child in his or her efforts?

* Encourage an open exchange of ideas in your home.

* Talk with your child about things in the world.

* Listen to your child's ideas.

* Give your child opportunities to express ideas in formal and informal conversations and in writing.

* Encourage your children to express themselves by writing letters, poems, stories.

* Have fun reading their stories aloud.

* Keep age-appropriate writing and drawing materials accessible.

* Encourage relatives to write to your child and encourage your child to respond.

* Bring your child age-appropriate publications; encourage your child to write letters to the editors of those publications.

Pub Date: 02/27/00

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