Academic journal article Childhood Education

Playing Their Way into Literacies: Reading, Writing, and Belonging in the Early Childhood Classroom

Academic journal article Childhood Education

Playing Their Way into Literacies: Reading, Writing, and Belonging in the Early Childhood Classroom

Article excerpt

PLAYING THEIR WAY INTO LITERACIES: Reading, Writing, and Belonging in the Early Childhood Classroom. Karen E. Wohlwend. New York, NIT Teacher's College Press, 2011. 191 pp. Paperback, $29.95. Interspersed with illustrative vignettes of young children during dramatic play, this book emphasizes the importance of allowing children in early childhood classrooms to have the freedom and opportunity for unstructured imaginative play. In this way, children develop rich and complex story lines and characters, an important foundation for developing their literacy. Wohlwend argues that there is "literate value and cultural power" (p. 6) in allowing children unstructured dramatic play time, something she feels is crucial in an age when the push for more formal academics in preschool and kindergarten is taking a lot of the fun and imagination out of those years. Because of this, Wohlwend asserts that play is an integral part of literacy in the early childhood classroom, developing her arguments in five chapters. The middle three chapters house her main arguments, focusing on the connections between play and reading, play and designing, and play and writing. …

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