ERIC Number: EJ1031374
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Can I Play with You? The Intersection of Play and Writing in a Kindergarten Classroom
Yoon, Haeny S.
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, v15 n2 p109-121 2014
Play is well documented as a purposeful, authentic way for children to engage in literacy practices. Although the benefits of play are widely agreed upon, there is some debate regarding its place in school. In fact, play is often marginalized in place of "back to the basics" language instruction. For kindergartners, this means word recognition drills, letter-sound correspondence exercises, and other decontextualized exercises. Increased pressures translate into directive language instruction rather than a social space for contextualized language use. In this two-month case study of a diverse kindergarten classroom, the practices are highlighted of a group of children that engaged in school writing tasks within their play. Given the space to play, children used the resources of popular culture and childhood interests with the academic tasks of writing, word and letter recognition, and phonics-based instruction. Peer interactions in play connected fluidly to their formal reading and writing tasks. The findings show the importance of play as a way for children to negotiate relationships, construct multiple identities, and explore social constructs especially that of gender. Most importantly, there is potential for formal language tasks to be enacted in authentic ways through children's play.
Descriptors: Kindergarten, Young Children, Play, Word Recognition, Drills (Practice), Phoneme Grapheme Correspondence, Student Diversity, Popular Culture, Phonics, Childhood Interests, Peer Relationship, Social Influences, Interpersonal Relationship, Identification (Psychology), Gender Issues, Childrens Writing
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Kindergarten
Authoring Institution: N/A