How drawing can support writing acquisition: Text construction in early writing from a Vygotskian perspective

Noella Mackenzie
Charles Sturt University

Nikolai Veresov
Monash University

To be truly literate, children need to learn to create, comprehend and use written, visual, aural and multimodal texts. When they start school, they are usually able to create spoken and visual texts (drawings) but have limited skills in written text creation (writing). Our study investigated what would happen if teachers encouraged children, in the first six months of formal schooling, to continue visual text creation while they taught them to create written texts. Ten teachers and 60 children from six schools in a regional centre in Australia informed the study. Genetic Research Methodology (GRM) provided a framework with which to interrogate and understand the data and consequently a ‘new’ way of exploring the relationship between drawing and early writing development. We argue that encouraging children to draw, while teaching them how to write, allows children to create meaningful texts of a complexity that they may not be able to create using conventional print forms alone. We also argue that the incorporation of drawing into the early writing curriculum is more important than ever given contemporary understandings of literacy.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 38 No 4 December 2013
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