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Teaching Language and Literacy Through Dramatic Play

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Cognitive and Language Development
Play is the essence of a child's work. Children learn through productive play. Developmentally appropriate hands-on activities enable children to use their developing problem-solving skills and make endless discoveries that apply to reading, writing, math, and science.
Dramatic play helps children build their communication skills, learn to use their imagination, and develop a respect for role-playing. Computer play and literacy activities support developing phonemic awareness skills; while some children are building reading and writing readiness skills, others are beginning readers and writers.
Keeping in mind that productive play is the pathway to learning for preschool-age children, what interesting materials and experiences might promote cognitive and language growth? Include activities that promote literacy development.

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Solution Preview

Almost any experience that you offer to a child can promote cognitive growth and language development. The key is that the adults need to talk to the child about what is happening (using descriptive language), and conversation should be encouraged.

With that said, here are some specific activities that could promote both cognitive development and language development:

*Set up a dramatic play situation that children will have experienced in real life. For example, have a restaurant where some children pretend the wait staff, some are the customers and other children are the cooks. You could print out menus with simple pictures of ...

Solution Summary

This answer discusses ways that early-childhood teachers can reinforce language development and literacy skills in young children. I talk about ways that dramatic play and other hands-on experiences can be used to enhance the literacy curriculum.