Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Speech-Language Pathology

Department or School/College

Department of Communicative Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Lucy Hart Paulson

Commitee Members

Laurie Slovarp, Kate Brayko


emergent writing, instruction, preschool, early literacy skills


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Educational Methods


Writing is an essential component of language development and early literacy. With the growing focus on national and state education standards, the early foundation of writing and literacy skills proves to be an area of importance and concern; however, limited research has been conducted in the area of preschool writing instruction. This study investigated writing and other foundational literacy skills in preschoolers following three different instructional conditions. Preschoolers (n=85), who attended a preschool educational setting serving low-income families, were randomly assigned to classrooms in three research groups: control, comparison, and treatment. The control group participated in implicit writing experiences and instruction, typical in many preschool classrooms. Students in the comparison group received biweekly modeled adult writing instruction, and students in the treatment group received biweekly modeled emergent writing instruction over a 10 week period of time. Pre- and post-assessment of early literacy skills indicated that children who received modeled emergent writing and those who received modeled adult writing demonstrated statistically significant improvement in their early writing skills compared to children in the control group who did not receive explicit writing instruction. Results indicated no statistical significance for letter knowledge, print concept, and phonological awareness skill growth between the research groups. Writing skill growth occurred among 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old participants. This study contributes to the knowledge base of the most effective and efficient form of writing instruction for preschool children building early literacy foundations needed for later achievement.



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