4 Square Writing in Kindergarten!

Well, we’ve started the New Year with full force in Kindergarten and as we kick academics up a notch, we continue to implement the 4 Square Writing technique. I learned this writing technique last year when I was teaching 2nd grade and saw how beneficial and effective it was in producing better writers. I feel that I had an advantage as I used this writing tool in my Kindergarten class in the fall because I had the 2nd grade year to direct me as to where and what direction I wanted my Kindergartners to go.

To explain this technique in a nutshell, 4 Square Writing is a way to learn to write for any grade or subject. A graphic organizer (paper divided up into 4 squares) is used to teach prewriting and organizational skills. It is a visual aid that helps students conceptualize and understand what they are writing.

There are different ways of using the 4 Square template depending on what grade the child is in. In Kindergarten, I transformed a small bulletin board into a super-sized 4 Square Template (see picture below) so that I could discuss and brainstorm with my Kindergartners before they used their own templates. We started with a topic in the middle of the template and then drew pictures in each of the 4 squares that related to our topic in the middle. We have now progressed to writing simple starter sentences using our High Frequency Words and ending them with pictures. You will see an example of this in the picture below. This is the work of one of my Kindergartners. As you can see, he has written in the sentences and completed them with a picture. They all relate to the topic “Winter.”

Eventually, the children will complete the sentences using their High Frequency Words along with inventive spelling once all phonics are learned. This system allows the students to stay on topic in an organized fashion. As the student moves through the grades, he or she will be writing paragraphs in each square which is then written over on regular lined paper in paragraph form.

Just wanted to share this with you because I am so fond of it! Feel free to post questions or comments and please look at our previous blogs!

~Mrs. Thornton


6 Responses to “4 Square Writing in Kindergarten!”

  1. kathryn mcleod Says:

    maryanna- looks great!! thank you for loving david and teaching him to read and write!! have a great weekend. kathryn

    ps- 1st blog i have ever seen or written on

  2. anne brown Says:

    Dear Friends,
    I am so proud of my grandchildren when they ask us to listen to them read!! As a former teacher, this just thrills my heart. This was one of the many tools I used to get the children to think outside of the ordinary!
    I thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to the teaching of our future leaders. What a comfort for a grandparent to know that each day in school our children are being taught Christian values. God’s Blessings—
    I remain fondly,
    Anne Brown (Colson and Lexi Brown’s grandparent)

  3. Jessica Blanchard Says:

    I love it!! So THIS is why Thomas was actually disappointed when school was closed for the snow and said, “But school is FUN!” :) Thank you for making it fun for him to learn!!
    ~Jessica

  4. Maryanna Thornton Says:

    Thank all of YOU for your support and your sweet children!!!

  5. Michelle Turner Says:

    I am student teaching in a kindergarten classroom and the teacher does not use the four square writing method. I am doing my action research project on improving writing skills and think that I am going to use four square writing. There are students that don’t even try to write on their own maybe this will motivate them. This helped me decide how I would introduce it to the students. Thanks for the great idea.

  6. Maryanna Thornton Says:

    So happy this helps!