Chapter 1: Building Connections that Support Emergent Literacy

“Children are born with wings. Teachers help them to fly.”

– Shelby Stollery

Opening Vignette: Climbing Together

Marvin and Maria, both three-years-old, played with four-year-old John in the backyard outdoor area in a multi-age family home child care. There were five tree stumps of varying heights and a very large piece of a tree trunk lying sideways on the ground. The children scrambled on top of the stumps and the trunk, laughing and occasionally saying, “Watch me!” Maria and Marvin both made several attempts to climb on the large sideways log by bringing up a knee, but John was able to climb atop it more easily. Marvin frustratedly exclaimed, “I can’t do it!” Maria pointed to John, replying, “He is big!” And John said, “Get your leg up,” while demonstrating a maneuver holding the top of the trunk while extending a straight leg. When Marvin made his next attempt, he bent his knee as he had done before. John coached, “No. Like this!” and demonstrated. After trying once or twice, Marvin was able to climb atop the trunk. Maria then made several attempts. Though she used the straightened-leg approach that had worked for John and Marvin, she could not climb onto it alone. Marvin walked over as she struggled and nudged her further forward, and she was finally able to sit on top of the trunk.



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The Early Literacy Journey: Supporting and Celebrating Young Learners Copyright © 2024 by Sandra Carrie Garvey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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