16 We use computers to write.


We use computers to write.

View Big Book.

Many children have used computers at home. They may also have used computer catalogs at a library. There are probably as many computer experiences as there are children in your classroom. (A few may even know as much as you do!)

About the Picture We see a large computer with all its parts. In particular, an oversized keyboard is set horizontally so children can identify the letters and numbers.

Major Concepts

  • Computers can be used for writing and drawing.
  • A computer is a tool for finding information and playing games.

State Standards Covered in This Chapter

LAFS Covered in This Chapter

TEKS Covered in This Chapter

TEKS Covered in This Chapter

Daily Lesson Planning

Day 1

  1. Interact with "We use computers to write." Ask children to find certain letters. Mention fingering, if appropriate.
  2. If you have a computer and large-screen monitor in your classroom, launch a word-processing program. Have children find specific keys and press them, watching the characters appear on the screen. Ask those who are ready to key in words—especially their names.
  3. Implement “We use computers to write” (BB 31).

Days 2-4

Choose from the following:

  • Implement “We use computers to write words and sentences” (BB 32).
  • Conduct a shared writing about a current topic of interest. Do the composing on a computer, using a large-screen monitor so the class can see it. Save the writing. Then, in a day or two, revisit it. Ask the children if they would like to change any words to make the writing better. Would they like to add words? Take words away? Move a sentence?
  • Using a word-processing program, allow children to compose lists, sentences, stories, or other forms they are comfortable with. (You may discover eager writers when the computer is used for composing.)
  • Offer online books as interactive opportunities for early learners. Consider stories that engage children in choral reading, echo reading, and supported literacy practice.
  • Introduce artwork software. After children create art, have them label their pictures, write about the pictures, or dictate stories to a scribe. Writing can be done with a pencil or on a word processor.
  • With help from the children, enter the “ABC Song” into a computer and display it on a large-screen monitor. Then implement "ABC Song."

A, B, C, D, E, F, G,
H, I, J, K, L-M-N-O-P,
Q, R, S, and T, U, V,
W, X, Y, and Z.
Now I know my ABC’s.
Next time, won’t you sing with me?

Day 5

  1. Post children’s computer writing for others to see.
  2. Review procedures for using the computer in your classroom.
State Standard Reference:
LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

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Additional Activities

These activities offer options for continuing the learning in this unit. Whether your curriculum is skill-based or more open-ended, select the activities that are most appropriate for the children in your classroom. The Writing Spot is primarily a writing program, but writing can be integrated throughout your curriculum—in art, drama, reading, math, and science.

  • Send emails to cyber-pals.

Work with a kindergarten teacher in another school to pair children as cyber-pals. Each week, children will exchange one email. Consider assigning a topic for each week. As children become comfortable using the computer, they may want to exchange stories, drawings, and photographs. Use "My Monitor" for this activity.

  • Look for child-friendly keyboards.

Check to see if there are child-adapted keyboards (there’s also a child-sized mouse) for use with your classroom computer(s). These keyboards are comfortable for the hands and fingers of most little children. Avoid having children become too dependent on the hunt-and-peck method, which becomes a difficult habit to change.

  • Make signs with computers.

Children might be more likely to follow computer-center rules if they make the rule signs themselves. You can help by printing simple rules on the board and having children copy them into the computer to make and print signs. Rebus pictures can be used for some of the words.

Have clean hands.
Keep food and drinks away from computers.
Keep magnets away from computers.
Be kind to computers.

  • Find places to write about.

Look for Web cams. They allow you to view something as it happens. Many zoos have animal cams. You can also visit places like the Washington Monument and Niagara Falls. Use Web cams as story starters. Have children write and draw pictures about their virtual visits.

  • Write stories with computers.

Shared story writing on the computer can be done in a variety of ways. Children can dictate stories to you as you type, and they can copy stories that the class has written together. Some children will be able to write stories on the computer using simple words without any help. Assess each child’s ability to write and to use the computer. For “computer buddies,” have a strong writer and a computer user in each pair. Encourage buddies to work together and help one another as they write.

  • Create notes and cards for friends and family.

Use a greeting-card software program if you have one. Encourage children to use their note and message writing skills during computer time. Children could help make the notes and announcements that you want to send home. You enter the text, and each child adds an illustration or types in his or her name. This activity provides added incentive for students to take the notes to their intended destinations.

  • Illustrate words and stories with computer artwork (and even animation).

Explore software programs that allow children to create pictures. Have them create pictures for words that begin with a specific letter or sound. Suggest that they create pictures to go with their stories or journal entries. Some children may emerge as better artists than writers. Pair strong writers with these artists and allow them to work together.

  • Let children publish photos and videos to your classroom Web site.

Children can write and perform a play on video to upload for parents and friends to see. They can also photograph their 3-D projects, upload pictures, and add labels and text.

  • Visit Web sites.

As you plan your computer lessons, search for interesting sites by using these key phrases: “kindergarten Web sites,” “virtual field trips,” and “Web cams.”

State Standard Reference:
LAFS Standard:
TEKS Standard:
NE ELA Standard:

Related Resource Tags

Click to view a list of tags that tie into other resources on our site

English Language Arts: