Building on her award-winning research (featured in Playing Their Way into Literacies) which emphasizes that play is an early literacy, Wohlwend has developed a curricular framework for children ages 3 to 8. The Literacy Playshop curriculum engages children in creating their own multimedia productions, positioning them as media makers rather than passive recipients of media messages. The goal is to teach young children to critically interpret the daily messages they receive in popular entertainment that increasingly blur toys, stories, and advertising.
The first half of this practical resource features case studies that show how six early childhood teachers working together in teacher study groups developed and implemented play-based literacy learning and media production. The second half of the book provides a Literacy Playshop framework with professional development and classroom activities, discussion questions, and “technology try-it” sections. This user-friendly book will inspire and support teachers in designing their own Literacy Playshops.
Karen E. Wohlwend is an assistant professor in literacy, culture, and language education in the School of Education at Indiana University. She is the author of Playing Their Way into Literacies: Reading, Writing, and Belonging in the Early Childhood Classroom.
“Not since Vygotsky have we had a stronger advocate for play than Karen Wohlwend. Having argued that ‘children play their way into literacy’ and that ‘play is the earliest form of inquiry,’ I compliment the authors of this volume on not only proving these points, but demonstrating how technology, popular culture, and critical literacy might be woven seamlessly into the early childhood curriculum.”
—Jerome Harste, University of Indiana