Language and mark making

Many people assume that the starting point for writing is when a child can write his name. However this is merely the tip of a very large iceberg that begins, you might argue, as soon as the child is born. Mark making, drawing, writing and reading are all closely bound up with a child’s communication and language development. In fact you could say that mark making shows us exactly how a child is thinking, and makes visible what they know about reading. In this section we explore ideas for mark making in Early Years settings. These ideas form part of a mark making project in schools in Luton, called ‘On Your Marks’. Please feel free to contact Michael with your own ideas and experiences.

Michael’s new book on language development and mark making, ‘On Your Marks!’, is now available from Lawrence Educational/Yellow Door.


Michael’s book on language and mark making is now available from Lawrence Educational /Yellow Door

Practical ideas for mark making

Role-play and mark making 1: Developmental phases

Mark making and role-play 2: Setting up an exciting and effective role-play area

Mark making and role-play 3: Adult-child interaction

Mark making and role-play 4: stimulating mark making

Developing Fine Motor Skills (Ideas courtesy TES Forum)

Developing mark making through movement 1: making circles

Developing mark making through movement 2: making waves

Developing mark making through movement 3: making zigzags

Developing children’s confidence in mark making and early writing

Mark making and movement: using ‘Write Dance’

Articles about mark making

Date Magazine/Newspaper Article Title Description
June Nursery World Marking Time Linking mark making, construction and role play outdoors.
September Nursery Education Plus Reading, writing and ‘children’s culture’ Developing children’s language and early writing through comics.
February Teach Nursery Get Them Moving! Using ‘Write Dance’ to link music, movement, language and handwriting skills.
June Early Years Educator No mystery to mark making Why everyone in the setting should be clear about mark making.