Student-Initiated Play and Literacy Development Play for young children is not recreation activity,... It is not leisure-time activity nor escape activity.... Play is thinking time for young children. It is language time. Problem-solving time. It is memory time, planning time, investigating time. It is organization-of-ideastime, when the young child uses his mind andbody and his social skills and all his powers in response to the stimuli he has met. --James L. Hymes, Jr., child development specialist, author
Oral Language• Oral Language is a crucial part part of literacy development• Research shows that vocabulary and oral language skills are a bigger predictor of later success in reading and writing than phonics and alphabet knowledge http://www.allianceforchildhood.org/sites/alli anceforchildhood.org/files/file/kindergarten_r eport.pdf
Think of oral language as the base of literacy. Reading and writing cannot exist without it. Reading Writing Oral Language
• Research shows that children who engage in complex forms of socio-dramatic play have greater language skills than non-players, better social skills, more empathy, more imagination and more of the subtle capacity to know what others mean. http://www.allianceforchildhood.org/sites/allianceforchildhood.org /files/file/kindergarten_report.pdf
Looking ahead without pushing ahead meansintroducing books, the alphabet, and otherelements of literacy in playful ways, withoutthe burden of long hours of drill and testing tomeet inappropriate standards.
Speak to your child a lot• Explain what you are doing• Think aloud• Model good language structure and critical thinking skills• Involve your child- ask opinions, have child participate as much as possible• Use a variety of vocabulary- the more vocabulary a child knows, the easier it will be to figure out unfamiliar words when they start learning to read
Encourage the use of writing and drawing during play- play restaurant and make menus, makesigns for pretend shows, make money and tickets to sell, or open a lemonade stand!
Make books together• Have your child illustrate and dictate the story, or have your child use developmental spelling to write the story. Treasure these books and read them again and again!