Northern Oral Language and Writing Through Play

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Conference Presentations

Collaborative Action Research with Indigenous Schools:

Glaés-Coutts, L., & Peterson, S. S. (2017, May). Teacher professional learning through collaborative action research in northern rural and Indigenous communities. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Toronto, ON.

Heppner, D., & Peterson, S.S. (2018, October). Professional learning in remote northern Canadian rural and Indigenous communities. National Forum to Advance Rural Education. Denver, CO.

Peterson, S.S., & Gardner, T. (2017, November). Supporting young children’s multimodal meaning-making and cultural learning through play in Aboriginal head start classrooms. Poster to be presented at the National Association for Education of Young Children annual meeting. Atlanta, GA.

Peterson, S.S., Horton, L., & Restoule, J.P. (2016, May). Collaborative action research: Building collaboration and capacity in northern Ontario Indigenous communities. Forum: Learning and Teaching for Tomorrow: Building Collaboration and Capacity. Toronto, ON.

Peterson, S.S. (2015, August). Creative collaborative curriculum activity: Motivational ways to develop vocabulary and writing. Paper presented at Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre (KERC) Summer Institutes. Sioux Lookout, ON.

Portier, C., Rollheiser, B., Wollum, S., Riener, R., & Peterson, S.S. (2018, March). Creative, collaborative curriculum activities: Supporting young children’s oral language and writing. Presented at the Mighty Peace Teachers Convention. Grande Prairie, AB.

Writing Focus:

Eldridge, B., Tucker-Lewis, T., Wishart, K., Stagg Peterson, S.S., & Friedrich, N. (2018, November). Assessing classroom writing in play contexts. Presented at the Rainy River District School Board Early Childhood Meeting. Fort Frances, ON.

Peterson, S.S. (2018). Foundations of literacy in kindergarten. . . play/talk/write (repeat). Presented at the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario Early Childhood Conference. Toronto, ON: April.

Portier, C.,Peterson, S.S., & Friedrich, N. (2018, August). Describing verbal, written and graphic meaning-making patterns of young northern Canadian children. Presented at Sig Writing 2018 Conference in Antwerp, Belgium.

Oral and Nonverbal Communication Focus:

Friedrich, N. (2018, March). Northern oral language through play. Presented to the Indigenous ECE Leadership group at the Oshki Pimache-o-win Centre. Thunder Bay, ON.

Jang, S.Y., Peterson, S.S., & Tjandra, C. (2018, November). Kindergarten students as playwrights: Utilizing multimodal social strategies in dramatic play. Presented at Literacy Research Association. Palm Springs, CA.

Madsen, A., Kim, J., & Peterson, S.S. (2018, November). Teacher oral language production to facilitate children’s talk in play contexts. Presented at Literacy Research Association. Palm Springs, CA.

Malec, A., & Peterson, S.S. (2018, June). Review of young children’s oral language assessments reveals opportunities for collaborative research in early childhood education. Canadian Society for Studies in Education. Regina, SK.

Peterson, S.S. (2018, March). Oral language during play in Northern rural and Indigenous kindergarten classrooms. Presented at the Ontario Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders Symposium. Toronto, ON.


Altidor-Brooks, A., Malec, A., & Peterson, S.S. (2018, May). “You can write it the way you want to”: Kindergarteners’ sociodramatic play and emergent writing in early years’ education. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Regina, SK.

Altidor-Brooks, A., Malec, A. (2017, May). How kindergarteners in a Northern rural classroom co-construct meaning through play. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Toronto, ON.

Bottle, J., McLean, A., & Peterson, S.S. (2018, February). Dramatic play following cultural: Supporting language and writing in K-1 classrooms. Presented at the Keekanamakayo Conference of the Kwayaciiwin Education Resource Centre. Winnipeg, MB.

Eisazadeh, N., & Rajendram, S. (2018, March). Culturally responsive play-based activities in the classroom. Presented at the CTL Research Gala & New Student Meet and Greet, OISE. Toronto, ON.

Friedrich, N., Portier, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2018, May). Patterns in the graphic representations of young children living in Northern rural and Indigenous Canadian communities. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Regina, SK.

Jang, S.Y., Tjandra, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2018, May). Children’s meaning making in dramatic play: multimodality, playwright and detective uses. Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Regina, SK.

Madsen, A., San Miguel, J., & Jang, S. Y., Peterson, S. S. (2017, May). Hunting for a balance in the classroom: When is pretend gun play acceptable in school settings? Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. Toronto, ON.

Peterson, S.S. (2019). Deepening young children’s cultural knowledge and supporting writing through dramatic play. Great Moon Gathering of the Mushkegowuk Council. Timmins, ON: February.

Peterson, S.S. (2019). Oral language and writing in Grade 1 classrooms: The play connection. Toronto District School Board Early Literacy Symposium. Toronto, ON: February.

Peterson, S.S., Eldridge, B., Friedrich, N., Lewis-Tucker, T., Thompson, N., Wishart, K. (2018, July). Culturally relevant play-based support for young children’s multimodal composing in northern rural Canadian communities. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Literacy Association. Austin, TX.

Peterson, S.S., Bottle, J., Neekan, D., Wesley-Naim, S., & McLean, A. (2017, July). Indigenous children’s verbal, nonverbal and written communication connected to dramatic and outdoors play. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the International Literacy Association. Orlando, FL.

Peterson, S.S., Portier, C., & Friedrich, N. (2017, June). Multimodal communication during play in rural northern Canadian kindergarten classrooms. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Research in Language Education. Tallinn, Estonia.

Peterson, S.S., Eisazadeh, N., Rajendram, S., & Portier, C. (2016, December). Indigenous children’s use of language during play in rural northern Canadian kindergarten classrooms. Literacy Research Association Annual Convention. Nashville, TN.

Peterson, S.S., Portier, C., Austin, S., Budd, K., & McLean, A. (2016, July). Young children’s use of oral language in play contexts in rural and Indigenous communities. International Literacy Association Annual Conference. Boston, MA.

Peterson, S.S., Rajendram, S., Eisazadeh, N., & Portier, C. (2016, May). Social purposes of young children’s language in dramatic and block play in northern rural and indigenous Canadian classrooms. Canadian Society for Studies in Education. Calgary, AB.

Peterson, S.S. (2015, July). Assessing and Supporting Young Children’s Oral Language Through Play: Learning from Northern Canadian Primary Teachers and Students. Paper presented at the European Literacy Conference. Klagenfurt, Austria.

Peterson, S.S. (2014, February). Oral Language and Writing in Play-Based Kindergarten and Grade 1 Classrooms. Paper presented at the Kekeenamawkayo First Nations Education Conference. Winnipeg, MB.

Portier, C., & Friedrich, N. (2017, May). Exploring dramatic play as a context for meaningful writing in northern rural and Indigenous Canadian classrooms. Canadian Society for the Study of Education. Toronto, ON.

Rajendram, S., Eisazadeh, N., & Peterson, S.S. (2017, May). Young Indigenous children’s verbal and nonverbal communication in play contexts. Canadian Society for the Study of Education Conference. Toronto, ON.

Rollheiser, B., Stagg Peterson, S.S., & Portier, C. (2018). Assessing young children’s writing in play contexts. Presented at the Peace River School Division Early Childhood Meeting. Peace River, AB: October.

Invited Talks

Peterson, S.S. (2016, February). Play-based teaching and assessing of young children’s oral language and writing. 25th Great Moon Gathering of the Mushkegowuk Council-Omushkego Education. Timmins, ON.

Peterson, S.S., & Eisazadeh, N. (2016, January). Oral language and writing in early childhood settings. Presented to the Indigenous early childhood class during their on-campus session at the Oshki Pimache-o-win Centre. Thunder Bay, ON.

Peterson, S.S. (2015, November). Global Conversation: Addressing Literacy Disadvantage in Canada and the UK. University of Exeter in partnership with the Royal Ontario Museum. Toronto,ON.

Peterson, S.S. (2015, September). Young Children’s Oral Language in Play Contexts: Observations in Northern Canadian Classrooms. Presented at Umeå University. Umeå, Sweden.

Phirangee, K. (2015, April). Establishing Your Web Presence. Presented at the Professional Development Symposium, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON.

Phirangee, K. (2015, March). Put Your Best Foot(print) Forward: Creating a Positive Digital Footprint. Presented to the course Vic233: Signs, Meaning and Culture. Semiotics and Communication Program, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON.


2017  NOW Play Conference — June 26, 2017
To include some of the communities not represented in the February event—as well as serve as a welcome to new on-boarding schools—this one-day event is to be hosted in Toronto to further develop the mission of the NOW Play study, via a focus on data collection and analysis; writing and video sources with specific writing tasks to follow a child’s progressive abilities with all aspects of the written and spoken word.

2017 NOW Play Annual Meeting — February 02–03, 2017
Held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, this event comprised a series of sessions and speakers to reflect on Data Analysis focus groups, delivering the CCCA book and its results, as well as a poster session. The attendees were also regaled with two excellent presentations, one from an Indigenous speaker on the topic “Reflect Those We Serve”, as well as “Perspectives on Play Based Learning in Manitoba Kindergartens”, delivered by an ECE Consultant for a Ministry of Education.

2016 NOW Play Annual Meeting — May 26–27, 2016
Conducted in workshop-style sessions, this international thinktank brought together speech pathologists, professors, teachers and special educators as well as government delegates from the Ministry of Education to OISE. Two days of presentations and breakout groups culminated in ideas for a collaborative publication and Artifacts reflective of the creative firepower of our two-day meeting of minds.

2015 NOW Play Annual Meeting — May 21–22, 2015
Held in Toronto, Ontario, project partners and all participating sites met to share their experiences. Teachers also participated in workshops which focused on strategies for oral language and speech support, creative collaborative curriculum activities and lastly practices that helped to better develop student writing. Teachers also provided feedback on using the iPod Touch and their experiences participating in the NOW Play project so far.

Project Launch Event — June 06, 2014
Held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, project partners meet for the first time and are introduced to the project. Professor Shelley Stagg Peterson leads the event and explains the different phases of the project. During this event project partners are encouraged to ask questions about the project; share stories from inside the classroom with each other; participate in a workshop about the web-based collaborative platform, PeppeR; and learn more about the iPod Touch.

Guest Speakers

Parr, J. (2015). Raising Achievement in Writing Through Inquiry-Driven, Needs-Based Professional Learning . Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada: May.