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Draw & Dictate Baby Animal Stories

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Each month, Mother Goose Time incorporates Draw & Dictate Stories to develop emergent writing skills. Read our Draw & Dictate Baby Animal Stories.

Emergent Writing Skills

One of the goals we have for preschoolers is to develop emergent writing skills, such as writing their names, starting to write words and sentences.  Eventually, children begin to express themselves through writing. As toddlers, children begin to write letter-like forms and create their own symbols. They may scribble, or draw marks as a representation of an object or person.

Preschoolers may attempt to print or copy familiar symbols or letters, especially those in their own name.  They draw lines, circles or shapes and explains who or what they represent. A Pre-Primary benchmark may be that the child prints their name and uses inventive spelling. They will use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to express and record an event or idea.

A Pre-Primary benchmark may be that the child prints their name and uses inventive spelling. They will use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to express and record an event or idea.

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Day 18 of the Baby Animals theme covered the topic of “Growing Smarter”. Like human babies, animals babies grow bigger, stronger and smarter. We can teach babies new things.

Drawing a specific animal can be overwhelming for children. To avoid “I can’t”, or disappointment of the results of their drawing, not being what they envisioned, so I printed coloring sheets of the animals each child chose. For every theme Mother Goose Time offers printable coloring pages in Member Resources that coordinate with the theme. I printed t,hem on “multiple pages” setting on my printer, so they come out two/page and fit on the Draw & Dictate page.

Some children choose to draw their picture and of course, that’s wonderful. However, I don’t want the drawing to be a holdup or a reason to not complete the activity because, in the end, it’s more about the writing than the drawing.


This is the fun part! During the process of our day, we’ve already talked about animals growing smarter. We’ve been enjoying the Baby Animal theme all month, learning different things about each one.  So now, after the child has selected their baby animal, glued it to their paper and colored it, I begin to ask questions.

The Mother Goose Time teaching guide offered these questions: 

  • What kind of baby animal will (did) you choose?
  • Can this baby animal make sounds? What sound does your baby animal make?
  • Does this baby animal jump/run/swim?
  • What tricks will you want it to know?
  • What rewards or treats would it like to receive?

A couple things:

I always type text I add to my preschoolers work. I prefer not to have my writing on their work. I always use printed name labels for this reason as well. Some can write their names and often do, however, sometimes by the end of the project, the kids are just done – they don’t want to write their names.  Instead of guessing who’s project is who’s, I put labels on as they work.

It may help to ask questions individually, not in front of the others, to avoid everyone saying the same thing or building on what someone else said. I have each child take a turn standing by my desk and we write their story.

Generally, I type what the child says. Sometimes I might shorten up a sentence or guide a thought process but the questions are easy enough for them to answer on their own.

Draw & Dictate Baby Animal Stories

Read the fun Draw & Dictate Baby Animal Stories my group wrote. They are so proud of their work and they should be.

Baby Turtle (By A, age 4)

Baby Unicorn (By K, age 4)

Baby Kangaroo (By E, age 3)

Baby Kitten (By G, age 3)

Another wonderful activity from Mother Goose Time!

More Baby Animal Theme Activities

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