Northern Oral Language and Writing Through Play

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Publications and Grants

Newest Publication:

Creative Collaborative Curriculum Activities Book 2017

We are very excited to announce the 2017 publication of an entire collection of artifacts in the NOW Play Book of Creative Collaborative Curriculum Activities. The activities in this collection were produced by teachers and partners in the NOW Play Project to promote playful learning for kids in pre-kindergarten to grade 2. Check out the dozens of ideas to bring into your classroom or learning centre today!

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Eisazadeh, N., Rajendram, S., Portier, C., & Peterson, S.S. (2017). Indigenous children’s use of language during play in rural northern Canadian kindergarten classroomsLiteracy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, 22, 1-16.

McIntyre, L.J., Hellsten, L.M., Bidonde, J., Boden, C., & Doi, C. (2017). Receptive and expressive English language assessments used for young children: A scoping review protocolSystematic Reviews,6:70. doi:10.1186/s13643-017-0471-1.

Ntelioglou, B.Y., & Peterson, S.S. (2017). Exploring language, literacy, and identity connections through play-based education in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities. Language and Literacy, 19(2), 1-3.

Peterson, S.S. (2016). Developing a play-based communication assessment through collaborative action research with teachers in northern Canadian Indigenous communities. Literacy , doi: 10.1111/lit.12088.

Peterson, S.S. (2015). Dramatic play supports children’s writing in kindergarten and grade one. Michigan Reading Journal, 48(1), 44-48.

Peterson, S.S. (2016). Research in Canada’s northern rural and Indigenous communities: Supporting young children’s oral language and writing. The Reading Teacher, 70(3), 383-387.

Peterson, S.S. (2015). Supporting primary students’ writing through reading, talk, and literate dramatic play in primary classrooms. Sargent, S. E. (Ed.). The Oklahoma Reader, 51(1), 22-24.

Peterson, S.S. (2016). Supporting young children’s vocabulary through play. What Works? Research into Practice, 62, 1-4.

Peterson, S.S., Anderson, J., Kendrick, M., McTavish, M., Budd, K., Mayer, D., McIntyre, L.J., Ntelioglou, B.Y., & Riehl, D. (2016). Examining rhetorics of play in curricula in five provinces: Is play at risk in Canadian kindergartens? [PDF file].  Canadian Journal of Education39(3), 1-26. Retrieved from

Peterson, S.S., Forsyth, D., & McIntyre, L. (2015). Balancing play-based learning with curricular mandates—Considering the views of northern Canadian teachers and early childhood educators. Canadian Children, 40(3), 40-47.

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.

Peterson, S.S., Horton, L., & Restoule, J.P. (2016). Toward a shift in expectations and values: What we’ve learned from collaborative action research in northern Indigenous communities.Canadian Journal of Action Research17(2), 19-32.

Peterson, S.S., Madsen, A., San Miguel, J., & Jang, S.Y. (2016). Children’s rough and tumble play: Perspectives of teachers in northern Canadian Indigenous communitiesEarly Years, 1-15.

Peterson, S.S., & Malec, A. (2016). Assessing children’s use of language in dramatic play contexts. Tobin, M.T. (Ed.). The Florida Reading Journal,  51(3), 7-13.

Peterson, S.S., McIntyre, L., & Forsyth, D. (2016). Supporting young children’s oral language and writing development: Teachers’ and early childhood educators’ goals and practices. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 41(3), 11-19.

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

Peterson, S.S., Portier, C., & Murray, A. (2017). The role of play at home and in kindergarten and grade one: Parents’ perceptions.  Journal of Childhood Studies, 42(1).

Peterson, S.S., Rajendram, S., & Eisazadeh, N. (2017). Multimodal meaning-making during play in two Northern Canadian Indigenous kindergarten classrooms, Early Years, DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2017.1384994

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

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

Wajskop, G., & Peterson, S.S. (2016). Literatura infantil, brincadeiras e experiências narrativas. [Children’s literature, plays and narratives experiences].  Revista Patio – Educação Infantil, 46. 

Yaman Ntelioglou, B., Peterson, S.S., & McIntyre, L.J. (2017). NOW Play: Northern oral language and writing through play. Research Connections 3(4), n. pag.


McIntyre, L.J. (Principal Investigator), & Hellsten, L. (Co-Investigator). (2016, March). Community-Based Observation Laboratory (COL; CFI #34994). $84,958. John R. Evans Leaders Fund (JELF*), The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

*Note: “JELF offers institutions the opportunity to: acquire infrastructure for their leading research faculty to undertake cutting-edge research; and create competitive research support packages in the form of infrastructure and a portion of the operating and maintenance costs from the CFI, coupled with direct research costs from partner organizations” (CFI, para. 1, see

Peterson, S.S., Anderson, D., Linklater, A., Links, K., & Skowronek., D. Dynamic Assessment of Aboriginal Children’s Speech-Language Abilities. $10,000. CIHR Grant.

 Peterson, S.S., Portier, C. Supporting Young Children’s Oral Language and Writing in Northern and Indigenous Communities. $22,842. SSHRC Connection Grant.