People generally talk about reading and writing in the same breath. Certainly, many of the skills that make children successful in one subject make them good in the other.
For example, one important reading skill that benefits from writing practice is identification of details.
Parents should encourage children to provide details in their own written and verbal stories. This will help them become more aware of the way other authors use detail.
One writing exercise requiring detail is to have children give directions. Ask them to write very specifically how to get from home to school, or how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
When children write thank-you notes to friends or relatives, have them describe in detail the gift they received and how they will use it.
You can also have children use a clipboard when watching TV. Have them jot down ad slogans that use good details.
They might write down phrases such as “the brightest, sharpest photos” or “crispy, crunchy crackers.”
Children can also take the clipboard along on family outings. Ask them to describe the “prettiest” thing they see on the trip, or the “most unusual.” Then challenge them to list as many details and descriptions as they can.
One way teachers measure improvement in young writers is to look at their use of details. The same is also true for improving reading comprehension: details matter.