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Language and Communication makes marks  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


Pupils make marks or symbols in their preferred mode of communication and are beginning to show an awareness that marks or symbols convey meaning, e.g. generating a symbol from a selection on a computer, painting drawing making a mark on paper.

Early years skill:Moving and handling
Early years typical range:8-20m
P-scales/Curriculum skill:English Writing
P-scales/Curriculum level:P4
TAP skill:Writing
TAP level:TAP24
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Early Years (0-5yrs) info; Primary (5-11yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
Imitates vertical strokes

Writing tools and paper

Washing up brush and bucket of water

Sand tray

Play dough

(1) Start by making big vertical strokes with a washing up brush and a pail of water outside on a fine day. Use hand over hand modelling start at the top of the stroke and move in a downward direction. Say 'Down...........down.'

(2) Reward any attempts to make a downward stroke with clapping hugs and praise etc.

(3) Follow this procedure in the sand or in a rolled out piece of play dough etc.

(4) Use a chunky crayon (not too long) and a piece of paper. Start at the top and use hand over hand modelling to make down strokes. Say 'Down ......down.'

(a) Reward success with praise or reward toys.

(b) Use a ruler to make two vertical tramlines on the page and then help the child draw between the lines in a downward motion.

(5) Draw two or three tramlines on a page well spaced - and see if the child can start at the top and draw down. Give hand over hand modelling where necessary

(6) Draw big dots in a downward line and make the starting off dot big and red. Model for the child drawing a downward line roughly along this line of dots. You may need to start the child off and stop half way down the line for the child to complete.

(7) Use different colours and writing tools to make the task more interesting. Reward attending to the task with social praise or a reward toy.

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