Social Talk and Imaginative Play: Curricular Basics for Young Children’s Language and Literacy

Dyson, Anne Haas; Genishi, Celia

It is writing time in the kindergarten class. As she does every day, Mrs. Bee (all names are pseudonyms), the teacher, urges her young charges to “think” before they write, to make a “quick sketch” of their idea, and then to write that idea, “stretching their words” and listening to their sounds, bravely spelling the best they can. Each child should do their “own” text based on their “own” true life, Mrs. Bee cautions. No one should copy anyone else, and most certainly, they should not spend the period drawing and talking. After Mrs. Bee’s directions, the children begin to draw and talk; among the children are LaTrell and his tablemates, Cici and Della: