Literacy Development Through Play-Based Activities

Week 7: Literacy Development Through Play-Based Activities
A young preschooler stands on the playground, brandishing a paper towel roll as his “sword” and claiming victory over the land. As he jumps down from the stairs, he walks over to two children who are rubbing sticks together, making an imaginary fire. As he joins them, he begins to “warm his hands,” mimicking campfire conversations he had when he went camping with his own family. The other two children join him in this dialogue, talking about yummy marshmallows, shining stars, and comfy sleeping bags.
Though only a few minutes long, how might this type of play strengthen early literacy experiences? Furthermore, how might these interactions support each child in his or her language development journey?
In this Discussion, you explore the importance of play in language acquisition and development. You also examine the five essential components of reading.Professional Custom Writing Services from the Experts!
To prepare
Review the Reading is Fundamental article titled “Home-to-School Connections: The Five Essential Components of Reading” (n.d.-a) in this module’s Learning Resources. As you review the article, consider what you may already know about phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. Then, select one age group (infants, toddlers, preschool, or kindergarten/primary) and explore the Reading Rockets website and the Zero to Three website, also in the Learning Resources. With your selected stage in mind, identify center-based activities that might use play to enhance language and literacy.
By Day 3 of Week 7
Post the following: Describe two to three center-based activities that use play to enhance language acquisition, language development, and literacy. Explain how each activity might foster one or more of the five essential components of reading. Then, explain whether these activities are developmentally appropriate for the stage you have selected and why.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
• Share how your colleagues’ selected activities might be modified or improved upon for a different stage and/or different learning needs, such as children whose second language is English.
• Share how you, as an early childhood professional, intend to integrate play into your current practice in an effort to enhance language development and acquisition.
Cite appropriate references in APA format to substantiate your thinking.
The Five Essential Components of Reading

Reading with children and helping them practice specific reading components can dramatically improve their ability to read. Scientific research shows that there are five essential components of reading that children must be taught in order to learn to read. Adults can help children learn to be good readers by systematically practicing these five components:
• Recognizing and using individual sounds to create words, or phonemic awareness. Children need to be taught to hear sounds in words and that words are made up of the smallest parts of sound, or phonemes.
• Understanding the relationships between written letters and spoken sounds, or phonics. Children need to be taught the sounds individual printed letters and groups of letters make. Knowing the relationships between letters and sounds helps children to recognize familiar words accurately and automatically, and “decode” new words.
• Developing the ability to read a text accurately and quickly, or reading fluency. Children must learn to read words rapidly and accurately in order to understand what is read. When fluent readers read silently, they recognize words automatically. When fluent readers read aloud, they read effortlessly and with expression. Readers who are weak in fluency read slowly, word by word, focusing on decoding words instead of comprehending meaning.
• Learning the meaning and pronunciation of words, or vocabulary development. Children need to actively build and expand their knowledge of written and spoken words, what they mean and how they are used.
• Acquiring strategies to understand, remember and communicate what is read, or reading comprehension strategies. Children need to be taught comprehension strategies, or the steps good readers use to make sure they understand text. Students who are in control of their own reading comprehension become purposeful, active readers.

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