SchoolFamily Voices

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.

Simple Tools to Promote Good Writing

Boy WritingChildren are great story tellers. It’s wonderful to listen to their detail, expression, and language when they speak of important events in their lives. I often point out to my students that writing a good story is just like telling a good story.

Last week I shared three simple strategies to help your young child become a good writer. This week I want to share two easy ideas to help your child organize their thoughts, and help their stories flow. I also want to share links to graphic organizers to print and use with your child.


  • A graphic organizer is a simple chart that provides spaces for organizing thoughts. Using a graphic organizer when planning a story can be a very helpful tool for your child. An organizer that charts basic questions, such as "Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How" can help a struggling writer get started.
  • Children need to understand and use sequential words. Knowing and using words like "first," "next," "then," "after," and "last" helps your child keep their story on track. A sequencing graphic organizer will help your child write their story from beginning, to the middle, to the end.

Often simple visual tools like these are just what your child needs to jump start their writing skills!

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#1 Lynn Clarke 2011-02-09 19:47
Another great blog entry! I'll take all the tips I can get. :-)
I really like the links to the organizers--ver y helpful!! We'll definitely be using them. I've already downloaded, saved, and printed them. :-)

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