Making a plan is necessary for seemingly simple tasks such as copying a sentence from the board, to more complex skills such as writing an essay.

Making a plan involves:

Setting short term and long term goals –

  • ‘I’ll copy one word at a time to make the sentence’

Deciding the best strategy 

  • ‘Will I try and remember the whole sentence or just remember a word at a time?’

Prioritising aspects of the task and working out the approach –

  • ‘I’ll write the words first then go back and check the punctuation’
  • ‘Should I try and write down everything quickly or will I take my time to get one sentence right?’
  • ‘I know I am slow at writing so are there key words I should copy or do I need the whole sentence?’

Knowing what to do if things go wrong –

  • ‘If I lose my place should I start again or just go back to the last word I wrote?’

Evaluating progress as well as the end result –

  • ‘Now that I’ve finished I should check my work rather than pack up my things’
  • ‘I don’t recognise that word, should I double check I copied it right?’
  • ‘I often forget to leave spaces between words and use capitals so I should double check that’.

The skills your child needs to be able to ‘plan’ how to approach an activity are some of the skills that you may have heard referred to as executive functioning skills.