Time for play is shrinking in early childhood classrooms, even
though it’s a primary way for children to engage and understand the world
around them. In this standards-driven era, it’s not enough to argue that play
builds social skills or provides physical exercise. Time for play depends on demonstrating
its curricular value as a core literacy with growing importance in this
century. Children’s play and media experiences are a natural starting point for
developing their digital literacies.
Building on her award-winning research, which emphasises that play
is an early literacy, Karen Wohlwend has developed a curricular framework for
children ages 3 to 8. The Literacy Playshop curriculum engages children in
creating their own multimedia productions, positioning them as media makers
rather than passive recipients of media messages. The goal is to teach young
children to critically interpret the daily messages they receive in popular
entertainment that increasingly blur toys, stories and advertising.
The first half of this practical resource features case studies
that show how six early childhood teachers working together in teacher study
groups developed and implemented play-based literacy learning and media
production. The second half of the book provides a Literacy Playshop framework
with professional development and classroom activities, discussion questions
and Technology Try-It sections. This user-friendly book will inspire and
support teachers in designing their own Literacy Playshops.