Assessing Writing in Children



student writing

Assessing Writing in Children:


Similar to evaluating oral language we need to evaluate written language.  When we are looking at writing we want to examine the student’s sample in several ways

  • Conventions/ Mechanics (spelling, punctuation)
  • Structure/ Organization (Does it have a beginning, middle and end, is there use of transition words)
  • Development (vocabulary, related to topic)
  • Sentence Structure (grammar)

Most writing rubrics will have these categories or ones that are similar to it.


 Something that should also be similar to oral language is the type of sampling that you should do. In a language sample you are looking for a comprehensive look at oral language and usually the language sample combines conversation or play, with a structure sample such as a story retell so you can see if they use specific types of grammatical and structure. The same thing is true when you are taking a writing sample. You need to insure that you are getting an appropriate type of sample. Usually in writing you give a writing prompt that will require the student to use a particular organization structure.


Give the student enough time to write and have you writing prompt to be related to a very specific type of writing (opinion, procedural, narrative). Use the writing rubric to grade and then determine where the weakness is. This then can be your writing goal. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
, ,
2 comments on “Assessing Writing in Children
  1. Oral language is important for written language because it is first important for children to grasp the way language is spoken in order to be able to write it. In the slides, it says that children between 3 and 4 years old “begin to obey requests like put the block under the chair.” At this age, they are understanding prepositions and how they are used in language. For example, we don’t say, “the block put under the chair.” Children are beginning to gain meaning on how to form sentences to convey a meaning. This skill transfers to writing, when forming correct sentences. At 4-5 years old, children begin to use past tense correctly. The ability to express time in language makes for effective communication.

    Oral language is also important in being able to pronounce written words and in the writing of words. Most younger children first start to write words using phonetic language; they write how it sounds in their heads. With instruction, they are able to learn the correct spelling as they learn how letters work together to make sounds. Establishing a solid oral language base is the foundation to effective reading and writing.

  2. Your comparison between an oral language sample and a written language sample made it easier for me to understand what to look for. Thank you for the tip on how to create a writing goal.

Leave a Reply to Kelly Burns Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar