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Predictable Chart Writing: From Ideas to Books (Including Digital Books!) for Emergent Writers

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For students with complex communication needs, writing can be a daunting task. Predictable chart writing is a great way to start. This five-day process begins on Monday with students sharing ideas on a simple topic (I like; I am; We go, etc.), and ends on Friday with a personally meaningful book written at a very easy text level. Throughout the week, students are supported in activities that focus on their sentences. These activities address foundational emergent literacy skills, such as, observing writing models, phonological awareness (counting syllables), concepts about print (e.g., left to right and sweep), using inner voice, print tracking, and exploring syntax. The activities also address early conventional word reading skills. Integral to literacy, students will explore and use language on their AAC systems while writing and discussing the book.

This presentation shares strategies for making predictable chart writing accessible and meaningful for students who use communication devices. We will show light and high tech approaches (including key apps) for scaffolding each stage of this process. Participants will engage in creating a predictable chart, using light and high tech AAC systems and accessible alphabets. Sample books will be presented, plus techniques for differentiated instruction, making this a truly multilevel opportunity.

To summarize, predictable chart writing supports a wide range of emergent and early conventional skills, and helps classrooms develop a library of very easy books that are personally meaningful and engaging. Materials for creating digital books are described, so that ALL students can access books that they co-created.


Caroline Musselwhite    
AAC Intervention
United States

Gretchen Hanser    
United States

Erin Sheldon    
Angelman Literacy Project
United States


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