Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Creative writing (Primary education); Picture books for children -- Educational aspects;


Beginning a written composition is a difficult task. Anyone who has ever , attempted to create a piece of writing can identify with this statement. Whether it is a blank piece of paper or a blank computer screen, getting started on a piece of writing is often the hardest part. 1 The first sentence of this paper encompasses my own struggles as a writer, even with this composition. I tried to imagine how much greater this must be felt as I observed first graders wrestle with how to begin their own writing. Even for adults, thinking of the first sentence can be excruciating. How much more is this frustration felt by a first grader whose vocabulary is limited, who has less experience to draw upon for ideas, and who is just beginning to learn all the conventions of writing? This question stemmed from my observations of one first grade class, when I was working as a classroom assistant with a specific focus on literacy. As these students worked their way through the various stages I of the writing process (Graves, 1983), it seemed that the biggest hurdle was writing the first sentence or two. Despite this difficulty, I wanted the students to feel comfortable with putting their ideas down on paper, because each time they go through the writing process, it helps them improve their writing ability (Kostelnik, Soderman, & Whiren, J, 1999). I began to ask myself, "How can I help these students get their ideas down on paper?"

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Deborah Tidwell

Second Advisor

Linda May Fitzgerald


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Date Original


Object Description

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