“They Just Loved to Be Experts!”: Inspiring Writing in the Kindergarten Classroom


Typical writing instruction focuses on asking students to write for an unspecified audience with an unspecified purpose. Assignments primarily focus on grammar and spelling as isolated skills. However, this may not be the most effective approach to teaching writing. Research suggests students writing quality is higher when they are writing for an external audience rather than just the teacher. This study examines the ways kindergarten teachers adjusted their writing instruction after they received professional development focusing on the importance of writing to an external audience and offering strategies to implement this type of writing instruction. Teachers came out of the experience with new attitudes toward writing instruction. They felt their perspectives had changed along with their methods and strategies. As a result of providing an external audience and purpose for their student writers, teachers noticed their students became more engaged and more excited about writing in general. The teachers who participated in this study also indicated that they intend to continue using the writing instruction approach that they learned in the professional development session, as it did not require much effort on their part to switch to and showed notably positive results.



Knight, J. A., Block, M. K., & Flory, M. (2014). “They just loved to be experts!”: Inspiring writing in the kindergarten classroom. The Utah Journal of Literacy, 17(2). | Full Text 

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