Words don’t make a writer…
Writers make words, and in the words of Asher (age four):
Words are, indeed, the human power.
We use our power to tell stories, to ask questions, to help, to teach, to express ourselves. Words get us into problems and words get us out of them.
Words are our power, and words are powerful. But words don’t make writers.
Yet, there’s the fact that many books have words, and kids notice that. There’s an expectation that from their very first year in school, kids write with both pictures and words. Rubrics and progressions rate writing, categorize writers, based on volume and accuracy of words. To kids, to families, to educators, these can lead to the false notion: “The more words, the better the writing. A writer who writes many words = a stronger writer.” It’s no wonder we, educators, caregivers, stress about the words kids are (or are not) writing.
And when we, the adults, stress about the words, kids stress about the words (and word-writing is stressful enough!).