Monday, June 27, 2011

Literacy and Play

It seems that when I'm reading or thinking about something, the kids in my classroom always do something that fits into that. I'm reading Literacy Beginnings for our book study blog party. As you can read in Vanessa's post today, part of chapter 1 emphasizes that play is an important part of all learning including literacy. And the authors emphasize that literacy should be infused within all parts of the classroom.

This week we were making mountain collages. I had the word mountain on the table. And a pencil for writing names when the children completed their collages. (Not a lot of literacy integration, but okay.) I moved to the table at one point and saw this.

I was truly amazed. I asked her if she had drawn the letters or just cut them out. "Just cut them out," she said.

Now granted, these kids are 6 and preparing for first grade. But I still think this is quite an achievement. B has shown she knows how letters are shaped and can think about letters more 3-dimensionally. This was a great intersection of literacy, art, and small motor skills. Perhaps our approach to playing with letters and words throughout the classroom gave B the "permission" to experiment in this way.

How have you found kids playing with words and letters in your classroom?


  1. The students in our classrooms play with letters and words all the time. They really want to be able to write something so we always leave writing tools so they can write anytime they wish. Most of what they write is not readable:) But it has meaning to them!

  2. I have found it benificial to actually teach a lesson on bubble or balloon letters about mid-way through the year. My little girls are always soooo into graffiti they see their older sisters doing on their own notebooks, so I have to address this with enthusiasm as soon as it appears :) I do explain that we want to be letter experts in writing all sorts of letters. They are so impressed with themselves! Of course, once they learn to make bubble letters, they want to cut them out! Students who do not make bubble letters well yet have access to blackline sheets with letters they need. They have the option to cut the letter out in detail, or they can just cut the squares apart. I think it is such a fun way to differentiate with cutting skills. Love all of the comments regarding this book!