Northern Oral Language and Writing Through Play


Shelley Stagg Peterson

Shelley Stagg Peterson

Laureen McIntyre

Laureen McIntyre


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 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.



  • Shelley Stagg Peterson and Nicole Beardy-Meekis presented Supporting young children’s multimodal meaning-making and cultural learning through play in Aboriginal head start classrooms in a Poster session at the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC) annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.


Click link to view the Presentation, in PowerPoint format: Northern Ontario Aboriginal Head Start – Cultural and Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Aboriginal Children and Families