Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Literacy Studies: Reading (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Elizabeth Stolle

Academic Year



Writing’s importance in the classroom has been pushed aside by the recent push for reading and math instruction (Cutler & Graham, 2008). In early childhood classrooms, the amount of time spent on writing is limited and early childhood teachers are feeling unprepared to address the needs of their students (Cutler & Graham, 2008; Haland, Home, and McTigue, 2018; Korth et al., 2017; Pelatti, Piasta, Justice, and O’Connell, 2014). From a theoretical perspective of social constructivism, social cognitive theory, and emergent literacy, teachers will build on what students already know and can do and support within the social constructs of the classroom and community (Mackenzie, 2011). By appreciating student’s early marks as emergent writers rather than discounting them as nothing more than scribbles, teachers give students confidence as writers within the classroom (Mackenzie, 2014; Sulzby & Teale, 1985). This project is a resource for teachers to incorporate developmentally appropriate practices within their Writer’s Workshop to support and encourage them to keep writing as part of the daily routine. By centering the focus for emergent writing on illustration at the beginning of students first formal year of school, students begin to build their writing identity and self-efficacy using what they already know how to do when they first arrive at school.