Early Writing and Reading Activities & Journal Ideas — Pre K preschool programs are largely geared at 4-year-old and 5-year-old students who will be heading into kindergarten the following year.
While Pre K is still a fun and exciting year filled with lots of free choice and play time, it’s also an important time for students to begin to prepare for kindergarten.
Pre K activities for reading and writing help students prepare for the rigorous kindergarten curriculum, where they will be required to write words, memorize sight words, form sentences, read books and draw complete pictures.
Consider incorporating a few of these Pre K activities into your preschool classroom this year.
12 Pre K Activities for Reading and Writing
- Create a classmate book. Every student should fill out a simple interview form that includes their name and a few fun facts about themselves. They should also draw a picture of themselves. Collect these sheets and put them together in a binder so there is a classmate book for students to browse.
- Play a roll-and-write game. Create game boards that have four or five simple pictures of them. You may want to design themed boards based on your current unit. Students can then roll a die onto the game board and see where it lands. They need to write the word that corresponds to the picture.
- Make letter statues out of clay. Manipulating clay helps to develop the muscles necessary for writing and the letter statues help reinforce letter recognition.
- Use letter cookie cutters and play dough to make words. Leave flash cards with sight words out on the table so that children can refer to them as they are playing with the tools.
- Illustrate a story book. After reading a book to the class, ask them to draw a picture that related to the story. This forces them to remember the story and to reiterate what was written.
- Play a letter matching game with large blocks. On one set of wooden blocks, write out all of the capital letters. On another set, write out all of the lower case letters. Encourage students to stack the matching letters.
- Design name bracelets with letter beads. Stringing beads onto pipe cleaners or pieces of ribbon helps improve fine motor skills.
- Use story necklaces to create a classroom tale. Each student should wear a necklace that has a sentence attached to it. Line the students up and “read” the story based on what their necklaces say.
- Create vocabulary flashcards. Have students decorate flashcards and then use them throughout the year in the classroom.
- Add a post office to the pretend play area. Tell students that they can write letters or draw pictures for classmates there.
- Give students magnetic letters and encourage them to form words with them. You can use cookie sheets so that multiple students can play with the magnets at one time.
- Design a placemat for snack time. Have each student write their name on the placemat and decorate it with stickers. The completed placemats can be laminated and used for snacks.
Journal Ideas for Pre K Students
Most Pre K students are not writing in earnest yet, but they need to start practicing because the kindergarten writing curriculum is intense. Many of these journal ideas require Pre K students to write one or two words and then draw a picture. This helps them practice letter writing while also developing their reading comprehension skills.
Here are a few journal ideas to consider for Pre K students:
- What is your favorite memory from the summer? Draw a picture to go with your sentence.
- What is your favorite color? Draw a picture of an item that is that color.
- What is your name? Draw a picture of yourself.
- What is your favorite animal? Draw a picture of that animal.
- What is your favorite part about school? Draw a picture of your classroom.
When reading and writing is incorporated into every aspect of the Pre K curriculum, students will be destined for success when they graduate and head to kindergarten. By emphasizing writing early, students will be more likely to keep on writing!
Until next time, write on…
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