Friday, October 9, 2015

Teaching Writing to Beginning Writers with Intellectual Disabilities!

Writing has always been one of my most favorite subjects to teach! While I loved teaching writing when I worked in Intermediate Resource, writing can be challenging to teach in a self-contained classroom with intellectually challenged students! 

Most of my intellectually challenged students love real life photos and always seemed especially interested in my Webber Photo Story Starter Cards

The last couple of years I have used these to teach expressive communication and "WH" questions to my students, but I did not use them for their intended purpose, "Story Starters," well because my students can't write a story! But most of them could tell me words about the picture and answer "what" and "where" questions about the pictures! 

Recently, I felt like a couple of my students were ready to be introduced to basic sentence structure and beginning writing skills. So I began brainstorming ways I could utilize these pictures to get them writing! These are the goals I came up with for a couple of my students. 

Xxxxx will write words related to a picture prompt from a word bank achieving a criteria of 60%.

Xxxxx will write words related to a picture prompt from a word bank achieving a criteria of 70%.

Xxxxx will write words related to a picture prompt from a word bank achieving a criteria of 80%.

Xxxxx will use words about a picture from a word bank to write a sentence about a picture using a sentence starter. 

Over the summer, I made writing sheets using the Webber Photo Cards to meet these goals. 

Each sheet has 7 words related to the picture and 5 words not related to the picture. After or while having the words read to them, my students working on this goal, write the 7 words related to the picture on the lines provided. 

Once my student has reached this goal at the criteria stated, I move them onto Level B....creating a sentence using a sentence starter. 

When they master this goal and can write a second sentence on their own, they can move onto Level 3....writing a sentence with no sentence starter. We haven't made it to this point just yet, but we are getting close! :)

My students love the real life colorful photos and I love that I don't have to spend time or money printing colored photos to go with my writing activities!!! And even more...I LOVE that my students working on this goal are making great progress!!!!! They are writing sentences!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The photo card set comes with a landscape set and a portrait set. If you think these would be good writing goals for one of your students or all of your students, I've created all 3 Levels for all 67 of the landscape photo cards! You can see them {here}.

Here are some other beginning writers resources I also use in my classroom with my beginning writers that I love and have been very successful. 

This is an oldie but goodie that I still use and it is editable so you can create your own 3 and 4 word sentences for your students to cut and paste! Grab it for free {here}.

I hope you have discovered some helpful writing tools and that these resources will guide you in teaching writing to your beginning writers!

As Always, thanks a BUNCH!! 


  1. Thank you for the freebie! It will help some of my students that are still learning sight words! I love your writing ideas, especially with the photo cards! I'm going to check out the cards as it would be a big help in my classroom! Thanks for all your ideas!

    Teaching Special Kids

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