Using “Touch and Tell, Touch and Say, Touch and Read” strategies to foster independence in writing

These are the 3 strategies that I teach in the classroom which I have recently introduced at home to help Kai and Kei with writing. I find that when children are encouraged to say things aloud, they often notice things that are often overlooked when they “think silently” to themselves. Encouraging children to use their hands as a “pointer” is a concrete way to encourage sharing out loud. These strategies go well with Beginning Middle and End writing which I have written about here

TOUCH and TELL gives children the opportunity to sort out their ideas on their own when they share their story aloud. They must touch each part of the picture and describe their experiences.

TOUCH and SAY allows children to clarify their thoughts just before writing. They are asked to touch the line / part that they are about to write on.

TOUCH and READ enables children to use their finger to track their writing, word by word, encouraging self-editing to review their own mistakes.

Touch and Tell

Below are 3 videos that show a narrative piece, opinion piece and a procedural writing piece, in which Kai uses the “Touch and Tell” strategy. He is 6 years old at this time.

This is another story entirely told in Mandarin using Touch and Tell strategy. Note how I support him by giving suggestions and labelling his picture with phrases that could be used later in writing:

These are two of Kai’s Touch and Tell in Chinese. He was 6 years and 3 months at the time.

Here is Kai’s Touch and Tell done in Japanese:

Below show Kei (4.6 years old) doing “Touch and Tell.” Notice that I give him more support, and his story is also shorter!

Kei at 4 yrs 11 months in CHINESE:

Incorporating Dialogues during Touch and Tell

Kai is 6 and a half and to support his storytelling, I’ve recently introduced adding speech bubbles on his drawing using sticky notes. This is an effective way to enhance a story because dialogues help to reveal character’s emotions and thoughts. They also make the story more interesting!

Here is how I prompt Kai to add dialogues during #touchandtell:

Touch and Say

This is different from Touch and Tell in that after they tell the story, as they are writing, they should be encouraged to say what they will be writing phrase by phrase or sentence by sentence.

Touch and Read

The Touch and Read strategy is a great way to encourage proofreading later on when they are ready. For now, I ask that Kai touch each word and reads it out after he finishes his story.

Here is a more recent #touchandread by Kai at 6 years 4 months:

More recently, I integrated grammar practice during our TOUCH AND READ. After learning about verbs, nouns and adjectives, I ask that Kai do a “Let’s find 321” by identifying the parts of speech in his writing: He circle each component in a different colour.

Summing it up…

All these strategies only require your child’s hand to act as a pointer and reminder to say or read out loud. It is low prep strategy that can take place anywhere, even if you are not physically beside your child! These strategies is something you can encourage at home so your child can work towards writing more independently.

Other writing-related posts are here:

Published by Ms Claudia L. Kimura

Apple Distinguished Educator, Class of 2015 Primary school teacher, technology coordinator Not just a regular mom, but a teacher-mom Mom of 2 boys, stepmom of 3 boys

7 thoughts on “Using “Touch and Tell, Touch and Say, Touch and Read” strategies to foster independence in writing

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