How to teach children to write. Stages in the learning of writing

How to teach children to write. Stages in the learning of writing.


Children learn how to write gradually, starting from a stage of copying or reproduction. Later, the child can write what he is dictated. Finally, he learns to write spontaneously. To advance through all these stages, children need to master their calligraphic ability and develop attention and memory.

Teaching writing is not a simple task.

Children learn to write step by step. Generally, children start to approach written language during the final stage of early childhood education, around the age of 5.

In this stage, children learn to recognize their name and familiarize themselves with the written language through play. However, literacy doesn’t start until primary school, when the child is 6 years old. The process of learning to write consists of different stages: the stage of copying, writing from dictation and spontaneous writing.

The first stage, like its name indicates, involves hand-copying letters, numbers and so on. Later, learning gets more complex, as it becomes essential to transform what is heard (sounds) into writing (letters). Finally, this learning process ends when the child is able to write what he thinks or imagines.


It is important for parents to know each one of these stages, so that they can identify possible learning problems. At home, parents can exercise with children by reading a story together, asking questions about it, etc.


In this article about learning to write we will see what each stage consists in.

  • 1st stage: reproducing symbols (copying)
  • 2nd stage: writing from dictation
  • 3rd stage: free or spontaneous writing.


The first stage: reproduction of models or copies

At the beginning, infant education (up to age 5) targets the acquirement of manual motor capacities by the means of reproducing symbols, or copying.

The basis includes vertical lines, horizontal lines, diagonal and curved ones, and so on. Complexity increases to the phase of copying more difficult symbols, such as letters, numbers, syllables and words.

In this stage, development of writing goes hand in hand with development of the expressive drawing ability, although we are trying to highlight the difference between the two.