10 – 12

History of writing


History of writing

What to do with this activity?

Humans have been writing things down for thousands of years. After all, it's a wonderful way of remembering things, and passing on information and ideas. At first, people made marks on stone or bone, inventing pictures or signs that other people learned to understand. Later, the Egyptians began to write on papyrus, made from a plant. It was much easier to carry around than stone tablets! Paper was only invented in China about 2000 years ago.

Nowadays we write mainly on computers or mobile devices like phones. Don't forget that there are thousands of different written languages in the world today. Search for a few online and have a look together at how different they are - Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi to name just a few. We use the alphabet that was invented by the ancient Romans.

Learn about the fascinating history of writing with your child. Here's a good video about the history of writing from the British Museum


  • Why am I doing this?

    Writing is like a muscle – the more your child practices it the stronger their writing ability will become. You child is also more likely to write about things they like or are interested in – writing is a way to express yourself and using writing in this way can be more meaningful to a child.

  • How can I do more?

    Decide on a writing project you could work on either together or with you standing by to help. This could be writing or sending an email to a family member or friend living away or your child writing about one of their interests. List key messages you want to write about, who else might read it and then begin work on the piece. Have a dictionary at the ready and use the spell checker if working on a computer.

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