Northern Oral Language and Writing Through Play


Shelley Stagg Peterson

Shelley Stagg Peterson

Laureen McIntyre

Laureen McIntyre

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 will work 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 proposed 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.

The NOW Play Publication’s new book is available now!

About the book:

Drawn from our NOW Play action research projects with educators who work in northern rural and Indigenous communities, this book offers 22 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 Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 2


  • Our project, “Supporting and Assessing Young Children’s Language and Writing in Northern Rural and Indigenous Communities” will be presented at the CTL Research Gala & New Student Meet and Greet on March 23, 2018 at OISE
  • Recent presentation by Jessie Bottle, Amanda McLean, and Shelley Stagg Peterson delivered at the Keekanamakayo Conference of the Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, entitled Dramatic play following cultural: Supporting language and writing in K-1 classrooms
  • See our full complement on our Conference list on our Presentations page