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Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.

A Simple Sequence for Helping Children Write Stories

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Young students can be reluctant story writers, even when they are good readers. However, understanding a simple sequence often gives them the confidence to give writing a try. This is a basic writing sequence that’s been successfully used by many teachers over the years.

  • First we learn letters
  • Letters make words
  • Words make sentences
  • And sentences make a story

This sounds so simple! Yet from a young child’s point of view it clarifies why he has to learn all this new (and seemingly unrelated) information.

To help your child:

  • Practice letter recognition with letter “partners” like Bb. This is more practical and helps make an easier transition to print.
  • With index cards, label objects around your child’s bedroom in lowercase letters. While lying in bed, she can “read around her the room” (window, chair, closet, floor, door, etc.).
  • Once she can easily read the words around her room, turn the words into sentences with additional index cards. For example, “Here is a window.” “I see a closet.” “This is a desk.” “I like my bed.”
  • When she can read the sentences with ease, help her create a simple story using one of the sentences as a story starter. For example, “I like my bed because it’s so soft. Sometimes I read in it. Sometimes I jump on it! I can stand on my bed and look out the window. I like having a nice bed!” Then she could illustrate her story. 


The more a young child understands how this basic writing sequence works, the more likely she will learn to love writing.

> Helping Good Readers Become Good Writers

> Help Your Child Build Writing Skills


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