ERIC Number: ED443583
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
From Play to Literacy: Implications for the Classroom. Occasional Paper No. 2.
This paper considers the connection between play and literacy in the early childhood classroom. The paper discusses five literacy goals that can be reached by supporting children's natural inclination toward playful endeavors: (1) developing symbolic processes; (2) fostering language growth; (3) supporting the ability to solve problems; (4) enhancing the motivation or disposition to persist in literacy activities; and (5) facilitating joyful engagement as children speak, listen, read, and write. The paper also examines aspects of early childhood classrooms where play is valued and literacy fostered, focusing on the five goals. Five classroom aspects are discussed: (1) a classroom structure that includes a flexible schedule and sufficient inviting materials to allow opportunities for imaginative play, the development of symbolic processes, and the ensuing effects on literacy development; (2) an environment that encourages literacy growth through fostering phonemic awareness, ever-expanding vocabulary, and meaningful expression; (3) a curriculum that is relevant to children's interests and developmental stages, and rich in problem-solving opportunities; (4) a climate of persistence through the use of self-initiated practice; and (5) celebrating the centrality of story in human lives and the joy that is possible when teachers understand that all aspects of literacy come together in mutual stories. The paper concludes that acknowledging the literacy implications in children's play should be seen as supportive of, rather than in opposition to, the acquisition of literacy skill. (Contains 11 references.) (KB)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Sarah Lawrence Coll., Bronxville, NY. Child Development Inst.