Northern Oral Language and Writing Through Play

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Free Teacher Resources

Writing & Drawing Exemplars

In this book, we describe samples of the most frequently-occurring responses to our Drawing, Writing, and Talking Task (DWTT) Protocol for four-year olds in their first year of kindergarten, for five-year olds in their first and second years of kindergarten, and for six-year-olds in grade one. See how children expand their abilities as they practice letters and graphic symbols with teacher, assistant, and parent encouragement.

Creative Collaborative Curriculum Activities (CCCA)

Our CCCA Collection

The activities in these two collections were produced by teachers and partners in the NOW Play Project to promote playful learning for students in pre-kindergarten to grade 2. Check out the dozens of ideas to bring into your classroom or learning centre by clicking on each book cover!

Teachers and Early Childhood Educators have been creating and implementing CCCAs in their classrooms throughout the project. WATCH THE VIDEO below on how three participating teachers brought CCCAs into their kindergarten classrooms.

Classroom Assessment Tools

To learn about how teachers have used this assessment tool in their classrooms CLICK HERE.
Can be found in the 2021 issue of
Michigan Reading Journal

Articles for Teachers

Play & Literacies

White, A., Peterson, S., & Quigan, E. (2022). Young children co-constructing stories with teachers. Early Childhood Folio, 26(2), 13-19.

Kim, J., Madsen, A., Peterson, S. (2021). Play, oral language, writing and cultural relevance in northern rural kindergarten classrooms: Teachers’ roles. Early Childhood Education, 47(1), 3-8.

Peterson, S.S. (2021). To help children learn how to read in the pandemic, encourage writing messages as part of play. The Conversation.

Pan, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2019). Informal instruction and dramatic play to support kindergarten children’s language and writing developmentMaster of Teaching Research Journal, 2, 1-11.

Portier, C., Friedrich, N., & Peterson, S.S. (2019). Play(ful) pedagogical practices for creative collaborative literacyThe Reading Teacher, 73(1), 17-27.

Wajskop, G., & Peterson, S.S. (2015). Dramatic play as a meaning-making and story-making activityEarly Childhood Education, 43(1), 17-20.


Eisazadeh, N., Altidor, A., Peterson, S. (2021). “That’s a home run!”: Assessing young children’s writing multimodally. California Reader, 54(2), 17-22.

Friedrich, N., & Portier, C. (2020). Let’s go to the movies: Children’s textual practices before and during a play-based classroom initiative. Texas Journal of Literacy Education, 8(1), 38-57.

Peterson, S.S., & Senior K. (2019). Looking for gold: Role play and writing in a northern rural Canadian kindergarten classroom. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 48(1), 9-17.

Friedrich, N., Wishart, K., & Peterson, S.S. (2018). Supporting emergent writers through guided play in a kindergarten classroomJournal of Childhood Studies, 3(2), 58-64.

Peterson, S.S., & Horton, L. (2019). Child-directed dramatic play as identity text in northern Canadian Indigenous kindergarten classroomsLiteracy, 53(4), 254-264.

Peterson, S.S., Huston, L., & Loon, R. (2019). Professional lives and initial teacher/educator experiences of Indigenous early childhood educators, child care workers and teachers in northern OntarioBrock Journal of Education, 48(2), 17-32.

Peterson, S.S., Friedrich, N., Portier, C. (2018). Developing a multimodal observation tool: Teachers and researchers working together. Alberta Voices, 14(1), 3-9

Peterson, S.S., & Grimes, A. (2018). Authentic writing in children’s lives outside school. Early Childhood Education, 45(1), 20-25.

Peterson, S.S., & Portier, C. (2016). Teaching vocabulary and writing in kindergarten through dramatic play centers. Colorado Reading Journal, 27, 25-32.

Oral Language

Peterson, S. S., Eisazadeh, N., Liendo. A. (2021). Assessing young children’s language and nonverbal communication in oral personal narratives. Michigan Reading Journal, 53(2), 15-25.

Greenberg, J., Bowles, P., Peterson, S.S., & Altidor-Brooks, A. (2019). Supporting children’s vocabulary and thinking in a magic potion laboratory: A reflective conversation between educators, a speech-language pathologist and a linguist. Early Childhood Education, 46(1), 3-9.

Kim, M. & Peterson, S.S. (2018) Play-based intervention supporting kindergarten children’s language in a Northern Ontario First Nations community. Master of Teaching Research Journal, Inaugural Issue, 1-11.

Peterson, S.S., & Portier, C. (2017). Rural northern Canadian teachers’ discoveries about young children’s oral languageLanguage and Literacy, 19(2), 109-126.

Peterson, S.S., & Greenberg, J. (2017). Teacher intervention to support oral language and literacy in dramatic play contextsTexas Reading Association Journal, 5(1), 10-23.

Indigenous Culture and Identity

Eisazadeh, N., McDonald, E., Wedawin, S., Yadav, S., Francis, G., & Peterson, S. (2022). Creating a home kit for teaching Tłı̨chǫ Languages: Starting with input from parents and educators. Xàgots’eèhk’ǫ̀, 1(1), 69-83.

Sky, K., & Peterson, S.S. (2020). Fishing with elders builds these Oji-Cree children’s language, cultural knowledge and writing. The Conversation.

Peterson, S.S., & Robinson, R.B. (2019). Culturally sustaining practice in a northern Canadian Indigenous kindergarten classroom: Story drama and writing. California Reader, 52(4), 17-24.

Peterson, S.S., Gardner, T., Ings, E., & Vecchio, K. (2018) Dramatic play in northern Aboriginal Headstart classrooms – supporting Indigenous children’s learning of their culture and languageECE Link, 2(1), 35-44.