Literacy Development Through Play-Based Activities

| July 9, 2016

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A young preschooler stands on the playground, brandishing a paper towel roll as his “sword” and claiming victory over the land. As he jumps down from the stairs, he walks over to two children who are rubbing sticks together, making an imaginary fire. As he joins them, he begins to “warm his hands,” mimicking campfire conversations he had when he went camping with his own family. The other two children join him in this dialogue, talking about yummy marshmallows, shining stars, and comfy sleeping bags.

Though only a few minutes long, how might this type of play strengthen early literacy experiences? Furthermore, how might these interactions support each child in his or her language development journey?

In this Discussion, you explore the importance of play in language acquisition and development. You also examine the five essential components of reading.

To prepare: Review the Reading is Fundamental article titled “Home-to-School Connections: The Five Essential Components of Reading” (n.d.-a) in this module’s Learning Resources. As you review the article, consider what you may already know about phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. Then, select one age group (infants, toddlers, preschool, or kindergarten/primary) and explore the Reading Rockets website and the Zero to Three website, also in the Learning Resources. With your selected stage in mind, identify center-based activities that might use play to enhance language and literacy.

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