Children's Writing theorists


Kroll's Stages on the Development of Writing (1)

Stage 1: Preparation Stage

  • Masters basic motor skills
  • Learns basic spelling principles
  • Graphemes/Phonemes

Stage 2: Consolidation Stage

  • Writes in the same way it speaks
  • Short, declarative sentences - includes mainly 'and' as conjunction
  • Incomplete sentences.
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Kroll's Stages on the Development of Writing (2)

Stage 3: Differentiation Stage

  • Aware of difference between speaking and writing
  • Recognises different writing styles available
  • Lots of mistakes
  • Use writing guides
  • Write to reflect thoughts and feelings

Stage 4: Integration Stage

  • Child develops personal style
  • Understands that you can change your style according to audience and purpose
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Barclay's Stages on the Development of Writing (1)

Stage 1: Scribbling Stage

  • Random marks on a page
  • Writing and scribbles accompanied by speaking

Stage 2: Mock Handwriting Stage

  • Writing and drawings
  • Wavy lines (understand lineation)
  • Cursive writing

Stage 3: Mock Letters

  • Letters are seperate graphemes

Stage 4: Conventional Letters

  • Involves writing name as the first word
  • Puts letters onto a page, is able to read it as words
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Barclay's Stages on the Development of Writing (2)

Stage 5: Invented Spelling Stage

  • Child spells in the way they understand it should be spelt
  • Own way of spelling

Stage 6: Appropriate/Phonetic Spelling Stage

  • Attatch spelling with sounds
  • Phonetically

Stage 7: Correct Spelling Stage

  • Able to spell most words
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Perera's Theory


  • Rely on action words (verbs)
  • Linking ideas using connectives
  • Stories, diaries, instructions
  • Considered to be easier.


  • Considered more difficult
  • Relies on making logical connections between ideas
  • Shopping list, mind maps, poems, report writing, cards.
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Britton's Three Modes of Children's Writing

First Mode Developed: Expressive

  • Resembles speech
  • Uses 1st person

Second Mode Developed: Poetic

  • Skills in crafting and shaping language - creative
  • Phonological features - rhyme, rhythm and alliteration
  • Descriptive devises - adjectives and similes

Last Mode Developed: Transactional

  • Dissociated speech from writing
  • Academic essays
  • Impersonal style and tone
  • Third person
  • Formal sentence structures
  • Graphological features used to signpost sections and ideas
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Rothery's Categories of Children's Writing (1)


  • Writer makes an observation (I saw a Tiger)
  • Follows this with an evaluative comment (it was very large)
  • Sometimes mixes the two together (I saw a very large tiger)


  • Chronological sequence of events
  • Recount of school trip
  • Written subjectively (I)
  • Orientation - Event - Orientation
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Rothery's Categories of Children's Writing (2)


  • Factual, objective description
  • Tends to be non-chronological


  • Story genre
  • Set pattern: Orientation-Complication-Resolution-Coda (Coda not always added)
  • Structural complexity, few children will achieve whole structure early on
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Gentry's Spelling Stages (1)

Stage 1: Precommunicative Stage

  • Uses symbols from the alphabet but has no knowledge of letter-sound.
  • Lack knowledge of entire alphabet
  • Lack knowledge of distinction between upper and lower case letters
  • Lack knowledge of left-to-right lineation

Stage 2: Semiphonetic Stage

  • Understand letter-sound correspondence
  • Uses single letters to represent words (U = you)

Stage 3: Phonetic Stage

  • Letter/group of letters to represent every speech sound
  • Some of their choices aren't standard English, still understood (kom for come, en for in)
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Gentry's Spelling Stages (2)

Stage 4: Transitional Stage

  • Begins to understand conventional alternative for representing sounds
  • From phonology to visual representation
  • Understamd sturctures of words
  • Egul for eagle. Higheked for hiked.

Stage 5: Conventional Stage

  • Knowledge of the English orthographic system and basic rules
  • Understands prefixes, suffixes, silent consonants/vowels, alternative spellings, irregular spellings
  • Generalisations of spellings and knowledge of exceptions to rules are usually correct
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