Degree Name

Master of Education (Hons.)


Centre for Studies in Literacy


An understanding of writing development is essential for educators of young children.

This study investigated the writing process of tour children in the first half ot their first year at school. focusing on the part of drawing in this process.

Using a Naturalistic Paradigm involving participant observation, interview, discussion and written product, the actions and reactions, both oral and physical, of the focal chidren during a "story writing session" were recorded.

Children were found to naturally utilize both drawing and writing in an attempt to produce a message on the flat surface or a page when progressing through early writing development. Drawing appeared an important part of the message of their "writing".

Purpose for drawing varied, but children revealed that it was a valuable part of their writing development, and needed to be incorporated in the planning of early writing programs. Drawing was shown to : ead children into writing ; inspire the graphic episode; be descrived in writing; evolve through talk, altering intention and leading to new meaning in writing; provide a detailed visual story; as well as being a stable, familiar media which could offer rest and support during the less familiar and more stressful process of producing written text.