Literacy Teaching Toolkit video: Lots of trucks: play, reading, and extending language

The educator creates a multiple stage experience extending upon the children’s interest and enjoyment of play with toy vehicles.

The educator creates a print-rich environment during this play and reading experience, and models new concepts and vocabulary, while creating opportunities for child-directed play and learning.

Reflective practice

Observe:

  • The educator’s set up of engaging play areas, incorporating environmental print.
  • The child’s engagement in child-directed play and learning.
  • How the educator introduces new vocabulary during play.
  • The ways the children engage with text during the shared and independent reading experiences.
  • The use of characterisation, gestures, and language to make the story “jump off the page.”
  • The educator’s balancing of child-directed and guided play and learning.

Reflection questions

  • How do you incorporate environmental print in your play areas?
  • What interaction and language stimulation strategies does the educator use in the experiences?
  • What aspects of dialogic reading does the educator demonstrate?
  • What strategy/strategies used by the educator would be most useful to try out in your interactions with children?
  • How would you plan for ongoing learning experiences to support the learning intentions?
  • In discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate and extend this learning?

Learning experience plan

This learing experience plan relates to:

  • integrated language and literacy experience
  • early communicators and early language users (birth - 36 months).

Links to VEYLDF

Outcome 5: communication

Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes:

  • interact with others to explore ideas and concepts, clarify and challenge thinking, negotiate and share new understandings.

Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts:

  • view and listen to printed, visual and multimedia texts and respond with relevant gestures, actions, comments and/or questions
  • actively use, engage with and share the enjoyment of language and texts in a range of ways.

Victorian curriculum Levels F-2: Language and literature

Understand the use of vocabulary in familiar contexts related to everyday experiences, personal interests and topics taught at school:

  • Share feelings and thoughts about the events and characters in texts.

Part 1: Play and reading with children

Learning foci:

  • Concept development and vocabulary
  • Concepts of print
  • Making meaning and expressing ideas (emergent literacy).

Teaching practices:

  • Play
  • Reading with children (interacting with others)
  • Reading with children (emergent literacy)

Learning intentions

  • Following children’s interest in exploring and playing with trucks
  • Drawing children’s attention to environmental print related to their play.
  • Developing children’s meaning making during shared book reading.

Assessment of learning

This is demonstrated when children:

  • initiate play with trucks
  • engage in joint attention with the educator, toys, and print
  • listen and respond to the educator’s reading of the book, with eye gaze, gestures, and language.

Resources

  • Various toy trucks and play area.
  • Labelled pictures of trucks with various colours.
  • Sandpit with digging implements and toy trucks.
  • Big machines by Lissa James.

Group size

Individuals or small group (2-5 children).

Experience process

1. Set up a play area with different toy vehicles and recycled materials available:

  • place environmental print related to the play scene at eye height for the children. For example vehicles with different colours and written labels.

2. Model language using self-talk and parallel talk (language stimulation strategies) whilst playing with children.

3. Follow children’s interests, and respond to their verbal and nonverbal communication:

  • help to extend children’s play by modelling new language and play behaviours.

4. Extend on the play experience by using a book related to this theme (Big machines), and invite children to join in a reading experience in the sandpit.

5. Introduce the text, making sure to discuss:

  • the title
  • the author
  • children’s predictions about what they think the text will be about.

6. Use dialogic reading strategies during the reading experience:

  • support children to point, comment, and describe what they are seeing
  • use descriptions, questions, and invitations to encourage shared meaning-making.

Going further

This experience can be extended by allowing for independent reading and exploration of the text (see Part 2).

Part 2: Independent reading and play

Learning foci: making meaning and expressing ideas (emergent literacy); concept development and vocabulary

Teaching practices: independent reading and writing; sociodramatic play.

Learning intentions

  • Encouraging children’s independent reading and exploration of the text.
  • Developing children’s use of language during play.

Assessment of learning

This is demonstrated when children:

  • engage in emergent reading comprehension, and recall specific words or parts of the story
  • listen to educator’s language modelling, and use language to narrate their play.

Experience process

1. Set up a play area with different toy vehicles and recycled materials available:

  • place environmental print related to the play scene at eye height for the children;(vehicles with different colours and written labels)

2. Model language using self-talk and parallel talk (language stimulation strategies) whilst playing with children.

3. Follow children’s interests, and respond to their verbal and nonverbal communication:

  • help to extend children’s play by modelling new language and play behaviours.

4. Extend on the play experience by using a book related to this theme (Big machines)and invite children to join in a reading experience in the sandpit.

5. Introduce the text, making sure to discuss:

  • the title
  • the author
  • children’s predictions about what they think the text will be about.

6. Use dialogic reading strategies during the reading experience:

  • support children to point, comment, and describe what they are seeing
  • use descriptions, questions, and invitations to encourage shared meaning-making.

Additional/alternate resources

Another book that could be used in this experience is Dig dig digging by Margaret Mayo.

This experience can be adapted to use different play themes, environmental print, and relevant books, including:

  • Toy insects, using book Mad about minibeasts! by Giles Andreae.
  • Toy jungle animals, using book Rumble in the jungle by Giles Andreae.

Related videos and learning experience plans

Videos

Experience plans

Links to sections