top of page

Joining in dramatic play is critical.

Updated: Jun 17, 2021

This post, from my time as a literacy coach, is sweet, but also sentimental to me because the children were in my kindergarten class the next year.

The other day I was walking around one of the PreK classrooms I work with as the teacher sat in the middle of the room pulling students, one at a time, to work on some handwriting. Meanwhile, the rest of the kids were engaged in play around the periphery of the room. In the library, there was a little girl sitting on a bean bag, holding an old phone up to her head. She wanted to chat but didn't seem sure how to start the conversation. I sat down in the beanbag next to her. Me: Would you like to call me? (I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket)

Girl: Sure! Ring, ring, ring, ring!

Me: Hello? This is Mr. Halpern.

Girl: Hi, Mr. Halpern, do you think you could go to the store?

Me: Sure! Oh here comes M (another little girl had heard our chat and wandered over).

Girl: Can she go with you? I need milk, coconut oil...

Me: Hang on, M - we need to write this list down for the store! (M runs off and returns with paper and marker, grabs a hardcover book and starts writing)

Me: What was that again?

Girl: Eggs, Apples, Milk, coconut oil - it's good for dry lips, and pizza - please bring a pizza home for dinner!

Me: M and I are on it! Is that it?

Girl: Yes, bye-bye!

Me: Bye!

And with that, we had practiced oral language skills, concepts about print, handwriting, and oh yeah, had fun playing!

Once I planted the seed of how this telephone play might look, another little boy came over and I handed him (carefully) my phone and the conversation took off in another direction (a doctor's appointment, a scary shot...) and I walked away with a smile.

If you're lucky enough to work with PreK or Kindergarten, find ways to coach into play when you can. Besides having a blast with your students, you'll gently lift the level of play, boosting important skills along with all the fun. Play is the work of our littlest learners after all!

111 views0 comments
bottom of page