“Communicating in spoken language and in play are very closely related to communication in written language and play provides a rich context for extending children’s understanding about written language”, according to McGee and Richgels from the International Reading Association for the Education of young Children.
So far I’ve been discussing how important dramatic plat is in Early Childhood development; I feel that it is equally important to expose children to literacy and environmental print. Including a dramatic play center with literacy props really promotes childrens literacy development.
Teachers can incorporate literacy in the dramatic play center by including literacy materials and participating in play activities. They could also be a model for literacy behaviors making sure not to intrude on the play. Literacy activities can include but aren’t limited to reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Teachers can take the following steps to plan literacy rich dramatic centers:
1. Select play themes that are familiar to children and literacy potential.
2. Separate the play center from the classrooms with screens or tables.
3. Label the play center with a sign hung at the child's eye level.
4. Select dramatic play props related to play themes.
5. Select literacy props related to play themes i.e.: patient charts, cards, books, prescription scripts, newspapers, magazines, checks, etc
6. Arrange materials within the space to suggest a realtisc setting related to the play theme.
Dramatic Play. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from Learning Point Assoicaiates Web site: http://www.ncrel.org