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.
The upcoming 2021 issue of Michigan Reading Journal will describe the development of this assessment tool

Articles for Teachers

Play & Literacies

Informal Instruction and Dramatic Play to Support Kindergarten Children’s Language and Writing Development By: Pan, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2019)

Play(ful) Pedagogical Practices for Creative Collaborative Literacy By: Portier, C., Friedrich, N., & Peterson, S.S. (2019)

Multimodal Meaning-Making During Play in Two Northern Canadian Indigenous Kindergarten Classrooms By: Peterson, S.S., Rajendram, S., & Eisazedeh, N. (2019)

Dramatic Play As a Meaning-Making and Story-Making Activity By: Wajskop, G., & Peterson, S.S. (2015).

Research in Canada’s Norther Rural and Indigenous Communities: Supporting Young Children’s Oral Language and Writing By: Peterson (2016)

Writing Focus

Let’s Go to the Movies: Children’s Textual Practices Before and During a Play-Based Classroom Initiative By: Friedrich, N., & Portier, C. (2020)

Looking for Gold: Role Play and Writing in a Northern Rural Canadian Kindergarten Classroom By: Peterson, S.S., & Senior K. (2019)

Supporting Emergent Writers Through Guided Play in a Kindergarten Classroom By: Friedrich, N., Wishart, K., & Peterson, S.S. (2018)

Developing a Multimodal Observation Tool: Teachers and Researchers Working Together By: Peterson, S.S., Friedrich, N., Portier, C. (2018)

Authentic Writing in Children’s Lives Outside School By: Peterson, S.S., & Grimes, A. (2018).

Teaching Vocabulary and Writing in Kindergarten Through Dramatic Play Centers By: Peterson, S.S., & Portier, C. (2016)

Dramatic Play Supports Children’s Writing in Kindergarten and Grade One By: Peterson, S.S. (2015)

Supporting Primary Students’ Writing Through Reading, Talk, and Literate Dramatic Play in Primary Classrooms By: Peterson, S.S. (2015)

Oral Language Focus

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

Play-Based Intervention Supporting Kindergarten Children’s Language in a Northern Ontario First Nations Community By: Kim, M. & Peterson, S.S. (2018)

Rural Northern Canadian Teachers’ Discoveries About Young Children’s Oral Language By: Peterson, S.S., & Portier, C. (2017)

Teacher Intervention to Support Oral Language and Literacy in Dramatic Play Contexts By: Peterson, S.S., & Greenberg, J. (2017)

Supporting young children’s vocabulary through play. What Works? By: Peterson, S. S. (2016)

Assessing children’s use of language in dramatic play contexts. By: Peterson, S.S., & Malec, A. (2016). 

Indigenous Culture and Identity

Fishing with Elders Builds These Oji-Cree Children’s Language, Cultural Knowledge and Writing By: Sky, K., & Peterson, S.S. (2020)

Culturally Sustaining Practice in a Northern Canadian Indigenous Kindergarten Classroom: Story Drama and Writing By: Peterson, S.S., & Robinson, R.B. (2019)

Child-Directed Dramatic Play as Identity Text in Northern Canadian Indigenous Kindergarten Classrooms By: Peterson, S.S., & Horton, L. (2019)

Preparing Indigenous Teachers From Remote Communities: Voices From Northern Ontario By: Peterson, S.S., Huston, L., & Loon, R. (2019)

Dramatic Play in Northern Aboriginal Head Start Classrooms – Supporting Indigenous Children’s Learning of their Culture and Language By: Peterson, S.S., Gardner, T., Ings, E., & Vecchio, K. (2018)