Northern Oral Language and Writing Through Play

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This page includes descriptions of classroom activities from NOW Play participating educators. Each activity described below has been successfully implemented in a real Canadian classroom.

Ice Fishing

There’s Something Fishy Going On Here!

Simulating ice fishing in the classroom.

From snowmen to snowballs, ice castles to ice fortresses, winter provides a whole set of tasks and activities that can open a child’s imagination. The cold days in the North also bring about frozen lakes – an excellent setting for our cool winter activity: ice fishing!

Ice fishing has long been a tradition of many Northern communities. What better way to learn about this tradition than to bring it into the classroom through interactive play!




Writing Prescriptions

Time to Buy your Medicine!

Here is another example of how teachers are creating “playful” spaces for authentic writing experiences in their classrooms.

Children’s Writing Shapes their Play Narratives

This student takes notes about the “medicine” that she is holding.

Three young girls brought some writing materials to the tables (along the wall) in the corner of the classroom. They each set up a “work station” at the table and began to stock their stations with wooden blocks. As they did this, they also wrote some names/letters/lines/shapes on their papers. One girl announced that the blocks were “medicine” and soon these stations became “pharmacies” and the blocks were pretend medicine that they had to organize. They gathered the medicine (blocks), they took notes, and talked about doctors and patients. (more…)

Post Office

Mail Delivery!

This envelope includes some stickers for stamps and many numbers for the address.

Here are some examples of how teachers are creating “playful” spaces for authentic writing experiences in their classrooms.

Children Write In-Role During Play

The “Post Office” centre serves as an example of children integrating writing into their role-play. In this example, the children visited the “post office” and wrote letters, addressed envelopes and drew stamps. They brought these to the mail clerk to send. The clerk placed the letters into mail boxes and, later, the teacher as the “mail carrier” came in with her mail bag and collected some mail for delivery. When she left, some children took on her role, and collected the remaining letters. (more…)