You never know where play will take you.
Following the interest of animals and our daily reading GOODNIGHT GORILLA by Peggy Rathmann. The girls had sneaky animals and they were taping them to their bodies so that they couldn't "cause trouble" I suggested that we put them in a ZOO and began taping them to the half wall. We then thought about what we see in zoos and realized that our zoo needed signs.
Our writing practice interested other children who soon joined us for sign making. The children would pick an animal and then we would work together to write the sign.
The emerging writing was seen in many different lights. Some kids felt comfortable having me write the word and they copied. This gave them the letter formations and order and they could then work at their own pace.
Others asked for the spelling verbally but then worked on letter formation themselves.
Still more sounded out and used their own knowledge to create their signs.
The biggest surprise to me was how so many children were eager to write. The had something they wanted said and worked out how to get it said. I enjoy supporting the children as these interests emerge and look forward to more occasions where it just flows into the play.
While participating in these activities the children engaged in several Vermont Early Learning Standards (VELS) including, but not limited to:
Domain 1 (Approaches to Learning), Elements 1 - 3 (Play and exploration, initiative, and problem solving)
Domain 2 (Social/Emotional Learning), Elements 1 - 3 (Emotion and self regulation, self awareness, and relationships)
Domain 4 (Language Development), Elements 1 - 5 (Listening, speaking, and knowledge of language)
Domain 5(Literacy Development), Element 3 (Writing)