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Don’t Stifle Children’s Desire to Write
October 12, 2021
The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves.
-Joseph Campbell
Rebecca Giles reminds all of us who work with or for children that often we inadvertently dampen, or even extinguish, children’s love for writing because of stifling “skill and drill” practices at a young age.
In her book, A Young Writer’s World, she writes, “As children explore the wonders of the written word, imitating the writers around them, they begin to realize that developing one’s ideas on paper by composing sentences is a rewarding process. With plenty of time and rich experiences that allow children to incorporate writing into their play, they can successfully navigate the journey to become confident and creative authors.”

An Exchange Reflections, "Writing and Dramatic Play: Perfect Partners," centered on an article by Giles, provides a wealth of ideas about using dramatic play as an inspiration for children's writing, based on this premise:

“The dramatic play center, traditionally known as the housekeeping or home center, allows children to enact ideas and experiment with props as they dramatize familiar roles… Children apply their knowledge of language, numbers and print…as they recreate scenes and participate in role play related to well-known situations, such as cooking dinner or going to the grocery store.”


A Young Writer's World
Creating Early Childhood Classrooms
Where Authors Abound
Take 50% off A Young Writer's World and "Writing and Dramatic Play: Perfect Partners" when you purchase both titles.

Use coupon code WRITER at checkout

Developing young writers takes energy and creativity, wisdom and strategy, intention and reflection. All are provided here, in abundance. This book is a tool and a resource written by someone who knows the terrain deeply and treats it with reverence.

A Young Writer's World invites you to celebrate and explore the world of words with your young ones – seeing letters and words in everyday life, connecting language with play on a daily basis, and entering into the delight of literacy, print, and connection with children as they become readers, speakers, and writers.

May not be combined with any other offer.
Offer ends October 13, 2021, at 11:59 pm PST.
Not valid on past purchases or bulk discounts.


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Comments (4)

Displaying All 4 Comments
Tiffany Peckham · October 14, 2021
Lincoln, NE, United States


Thank you for sharing more information on James Moffett and his book! I will reach out to you in regards to newsletter.

-Tiffany at Exchange

Francis Wardle · October 13, 2021
Center for the Study of Biracial Children
Denver, Colorado, United States

Interestingly, the author talks about the use of dramatic play to encourage language development, but then describes the dramatic play area as "a home center or housekeeping area". In my book, Oh Boy, I discuss at length the fact that, ON AVERAGE, young boys compared to young girls are delayed in literacy development. Then I also discuss the critical need to make the dramatic play area attractive to you boys,which means it must include props and items that, stereotypically, are associated with men in our culture. I changed a Kindergarten dramatic play area with this in mind, and saw a huge increase in the involvement of the boys.

Tiffany Peckham · October 12, 2021
Lincoln, NE, United States

Francis, thank you for pointing out the quality versus quantity of the words. I look forward to your thoughtful comments!

-Tiffany at Exchange

Ruth Nathan · October 12, 2021
UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar
Alamo, California, United States

I’ve just finished a chapter that’s to be in an upcoming Moffett Reader, as in James Moffett, the author of “A Student-Centered Language Arts Curriculum, K-13.” The text went through 4 editions before James’ passing. He’s got chapters on dramatic play and early writing.

He also has a chapter “Becoming Literate,” which emphasises the importance of the cipher—playing with the alphabet and learning the alphabetic principle. Wonderful. I’d be happy to write a short piece for your newsletter. Just let me know.

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