drawing an “I’m Sorry” picture {early writing skills}

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drawing an "I'm Sorry" picture {early writing skills} from wildflower ramblings

Writing is a wonderful way for children to express their feelings.  Whether they are early writers, like my son, or older writers using real phonetic letters, they are still writers.  Children have stories to tell.  They just need the tools and the space to help their stories out, through both the spoken word, and down on paper.  Telling stories through drawing pictures is the first step for young children to become confident little writers.

But he doesn’t like to draw

My son has not enjoyed drawing pictures.  I have one picture of an octopus that he drew a couple of months ago and that is about it.  He doesn’t enjoy drawing and that’s okay.

But his behavior towards his sister has been aggressive and poor and I have been trying to think of constructive ways to channel his energy.

Write an apology note, an “I’m Sorry” picture, to express his remorse for the poor choices and behavior.

Why Draw?

This not only helps him with sorting through his feelings towards his sister, but also begins early writing skills that are useful in learning and writing later in life.

I simply set him at his “school” table with a paper and markers.  This was a type of discipline, so the instructions were clear and concise: “Write a note to your sister to tell her that you are sorry.  You can draw a picture or write letters and words.

And I walked away.

I let him create on his own.

The first time I did this, I had no idea what he would draw.  I did not tell him exactly what to write, so I didn’t know what he would come up with.

{Proud mama moment.}

drawing an "I'm Sorry" picture {early writing skills} from wildflower ramblings

And here it is.  His “I’m Sorry” picture.

Listening to his story

“Tell me about your picture.”  This phrase does not lead his storytelling.  It is simply an invitation to share his story and picture with him.

He responded: “This is May and this is me!”

This short story was enough for me.  This is the first time he had ever drawn a person!!  And I had this moment cherished in my heart forever. I see the classic head with eyes, a mouth, and legs, plus some letters he said were there (letters from his name!)  All the signs typical for drawing a body at his developmental age.

We have had to write several apology drawings.

drawing an "I'm Sorry" picture {early writing skills} from wildflower ramblings

One for me.  Another for May.

Drawing for friends

And an impromptu apology station outside while playing with a friend.  There was some pushing on the swing set, so I told him to write a note to his friend to say “sorry.”  He was eager to do so, and he drew a picture of “Toby and me!”

drawing an "I'm Sorry" picture {early writing skills} from wildflower ramblings

Sharing and telling the story about his picture.  Toby took it home, happy to have a picture written just for him from his friend.

drawing an "I'm Sorry" picture {early writing skills} from wildflower ramblings

Here is his “I’m Sorry” picture to a friend.

drawing an "I'm Sorry" picture {early writing skills} from wildflower ramblings

He has a story to tell.

He had to draw a picture last night for pushing his sister.  Here is John at his writing station.

drawing an "I'm Sorry" picture {early writing skills} from wildflower ramblings

“Tell me about your picture.”  I was concerned by the lines drawn all across the people, but didn’t want to tell him to stop. He replied, “Mom, May, and John are reading a book in bed together!”  The lines over the people was our blanket!

Oh my heart skipped a beat.  He was apologizing for pushing his sister, and in that, he remembered a special time, or times, that are good and positive in his mind.  — Reading in bed is where we should be.  Not hitting my sister.

drawing an "I'm Sorry" picture {early writing skills} from wildflower ramblings

Continuing his writing work

We will continue this work as a therapeutic way to encourage a better relationship with others.  It also is a way for me to assess his drawing over time, since he is not drawing for fun.  Surprisingly, he has not grumbled about drawing these “I’m Sorry” notes, though that may begin over time, because I certainly don’t want drawing or sharing pictures to be a negative experience.

I will have to think of more excuses to get John writing!!  I’m thinking thank you cards and pictures for grandmas or aunts or daddy.

Storytelling

Children love to tell stories.  It is engrained in who they are as people.  We all love to talk about ourselves and tell others about our experiences.  Storytelling is the first stage in early writing skills.  Drawing these stories, and talking about their pictures, allows children to open up about their thoughts and experiences.

I hope to share more Writer’s Workshop tips as my son grows into a little writer himself.

 

 


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