Northern Oral Language and Writing Through Play


Shelley Stagg Peterson

Shelley Stagg Peterson

Laureen McIntyre

Laureen McIntyre

Karen Rempel

Our research goals are to support young children’s oral language and writing through play and to build teaching capacity in northern rural communities. Our focus is on children, educators, families and community caregivers in northern rural and Indigenous communities from Alberta in the west through to Ontario in central Canada. An extensive network of partners and collaborators working together to address the need for theoretical, empirical and practical work in the area of young children’s oral language and writing development.

The overarching objectives of the partnership are to:

  • Improve literacy and school achievement of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in northern rural communities
  • Contribute to contextualized theory development in oral language and writing
  • Strengthen and sustain research and teaching capacity in northern Canadian communities, and
  • Create and evaluate the effectiveness of a professional development model tailored to the needs of educators in northern communities.

Miigwetch to Red Bear Robinson for his Ojibwe translation

Ndoo-ndagkenjige dibaamjiganinaanin aawnoon saw ii- aasgaabwitongig binoojiinyag giigidowaad miinwaa dazhbiigewinwaa epiichi damnowaad miinwaa wii-aasgaawitamaang kinoomaadwin giiwednong dazhiikewinan. Nginwaabmaanaanig binoojiinyag, ekinoomaagejig, ngodoodegizjig miinwaa dazhiike naagdawendjigejig oodi sa giiwedinong oodenaanswining miinwaa Shkwanganing oodi Epangishmog nikeying Alberta ezhnikaadeg piish manpii nikeying Ontario ezhnikaadeg naanaawiying Canada. Niibna e-maamwewzijig nyaadmaadjig wiiji-nokiimdiwag wii-wiindmaagewaad nonj nikeying menwezing nokiiwin wi sa nikeying binoojiinh wii-giigidowaad miinwaa wii-maajii-zhibiigewaad.

Nonda dash andawenjiganan etemgag omaa wiidookodaadwining aawanoon:

  • Naanawitong nishnaabe miinwaa go nishnaabewisigwaa binoojiinyag wii-mno-maajiishkaawin kinoomaagewining oodi sa giiwedinong dazhiikewining
  • Miigweng sa maawanji-mno-ozhichigewin maanpii sa giigidowining miinwaa zhibiigewining
  • Mashkowiziitong miinwaa aasgaabwitong ndagkenjigewin miinwa kinoomaagewin oodi sa Giiwednong dazhiikewinan etegin Canada ezhnikaadeg, miinwaa
  • Wii-giizhtong miinwaa wii-aanji-ganawaamjigaadeg ezhi-nokiimgag maanda sa kinoomaagewin ezhtamaagaazwaad ekinoomaagejig oodi sa giiwednong dazhiikewining.

The NOW Play Book of Exemplars for Drawing and Writing is Here!

About the book:

Drawn from our two-year project involving children from our participating sites in Alberta and Ontario, this resource offers samples of the most frequently-occurring responses from a group of 137 children in response to our prompt to draw and write. The samples, organized by time of year (fall and spring), age (4-, 5-, 6-years-old), and number of years in school (first or second year of kindergarten) provide a basis of comparison for teachers when assessing their students’ writing.

The NOW Play Publication’s Second Volume of Activities is Here!!

About the book:

Drawn from our NOW Play action research projects with educators who work in northern rural and Indigenous communities, this book offers 19 of their collaborative, creative, curriculum activities (CCCAs). We define CCCAs as learning activities where small groups of children play with materials/objects, as well as with ideas and narratives from various texts, to create written, digital, dramatic, dance, musical, visual arts or other types of products together. In the process, they learn content-area curriculum concepts and solve problems that arise in playing with objects and ideas, and playing alongside one another. CCCAs are authentic learning experiences that build on what children know and can do, and contribute to learning that extends far beyond the curriculum expectations for each grade.

Creative Collaborative Curriculum Activities:
Play Learning Kindergarten to Grade 2, Volume 2


      • Let’s Go To The Movies! Check out our NEW publication intended for teacher audiences.
      • Shelley Stagg Peterson, Jessie Bottle, Jacinta Manitowabi, Yvette Manitowabi, Kathy Sky, and Amanda McLean presented Bringing Niichii Home: Transformation and Healing through Indigenous Language and Teachings Outdoors in K-3 Classrooms at the National Gathering for Indigenous Education in Toronto.
      • Download a copy of our RESEARCH-BASED TOOL for assessing young children’s use of oral language in the classroom.
      • Check out the new VIDEO in which three educators share their reflections on implementing CCCAs in their kindergarten classroom.
      • NOW Play Publications releases a booklet of exemplars of children’s writing and drawing. Get your FREE copy here!
      • NOW Play Publications releases second volume of Creative Collaborative Curriculum Activities (CCCAs). Click here for a FREE digital copy!
      • Read the newly posted research summaries to understand the scope of NOW Play Project’s research contributions
      • Check out our NEW publications focusing on play, writing, and collaborative action research with Indigenous schools and publications intended for teacher audiences.