quote by Jack Gantos, author of Rotten Ralph

The main purpose of writing is so others will read what you have written. The secondary reason we write is for ourselves. We write notes to remind us of things we need to get or projects to finish. (Remember the famous Honey Do List!)

When we write for others it might be a letter, an essay of even a book. For instance, read these sentences that a 1st grader wrote:

Mi dog is big. He dusnit lick luttl catz. Mie dogz nam is Busstr.

Translation: My dog is big. He doesn't like little cats. My dog's name is Buster.

The child’s sentences above were probably written as an assignment. But imagine the joy this child received when she took this paper home for her parent(s) to read. Perhaps she had even drawn a picture to go with her writing.

The teacher may have even put this class assignment on the bulletin board in the hallway for other students to read. When students see their work on display, it gives them a sense of accomplishment. At this point, the child has become a published author.

What's the purpose of writing if it isn't so others can read it? The sense of accomplishment spurs students onward and upward. For them, the writing connection will grow stronger with time.


Every person alive has the desire to communicate. Writing is part of communicating. By writing our words, we are able to communicate with people we don’t know.

For instance, the internet has become the new textbook. We can find almost any type of information we want on the internet.  

Books can now be downloaded to our portable devices; tablets, ipads, and smart phones.

WORDS HAVE POWER! How does a child with a learning disability express his words if he can’t write them in a coherent paragraph? He can do it through a tape recorder, a computer with Dragon Speak or some other voice recognition program or through dictation to someone else.

Most children like to talk. All the teacher has to do is get her student talking about something that the child is interested in and record it at the same time. Later, someone can type it and give it to the child.

The student sees that her words mean something because they were written down. The written word is powerful even if the child doesn’t do the actual writing.

This process continues even as the child is learning how to construct paragraphs and even short stories or essays. As this process continues, she should still be working on her handwriting, either cursive or print.

Even though this child may have problems with writing because of dyslexia or dysgraphia, she still should be taking written spelling tests. Start by having her write just a few spelling words. She can verbally spell the others to someone else or into a tape recorder.

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  • How does reading and writing connect? The more a child reads, the better writer she CAN BE.

  • Why? Because when you read you are subconsciously learning the different styles of writing. When reading an editorial, you may have an opinion opposite the author’s. So you write a response.

  • Don’t expect Pulitzer Prize winning stories from children. Remember you are teaching them the power of words. You are teaching them that their words mean something which is the purpose of writing.

  • Teach children to take pride in their accomplishments no matter how simple the writing.

  • Be Patient. Encourage the struggling reader and the learning disabled student. Work with them at their level. They can do it. It may take the entire school experience to accomplish, but they can learn to write more than their name.

  • Use a writing prompt like Journal Buddies is a site with many writing ideas and journal prompts for many genres.  There are also writing ideas and journal prompts for each season and holidays.  You will find over 10,000 free writing ideas and journal prompts from the award winning author, Jill Schoenberg.  Just click here!

Shop Promptly Journals for year round gifts!

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