Exploring Role Play to Aid Emergent Writing.

Posted on 1 September 2013 | Sharing, Subject
"Who has left their yellow dress on the washing line?" asked Mr Elephant.

"Who has left their yellow dress on the washing line?" asked Mr Elephant.

The English Creative Writing curriculum at Blossom has always aimed to stimulate children’s emergent writing skills and to encourage them to think out of the box. Over the years of carrying out this programme, we can say that we have noticed significant development in children’s thinking processes and expression of ideas. They are more vocal and are able to explore the usage of new vocabulary better. While we focus extensively on developing children’s writing skills in the upper level, we start them off initially with activities that aid verbal language development and fine motor activities. One such activity would be role playing where children use vocal expressions and actions to tell a story. This enables them to explore new vocabulary and have good gross and fine motor exercise, which will gradually assist in emergent writing skills.

Alexis acts out the role of Mr Elephant, while Shauna plays forgetful "Miss Giraffe", who left her little pillow out on the washing line.

Alexis acts out the role of Mr Elephant, while Shauna plays forgetful "Miss Giraffe", who left her little pillow out on the washing line.

In the pictures, you will see the Nursery 2 children engaged in a role play activity where they acted out scenes from the story, ‘The washing line’. The lesson objective was to explore question and answer in a simple dialogue. The children re-enacted the story of 5 animals who hung their clothes out to dry on the washing line and forgot about them until ‘Mr Elephant’ goes around asking whom each piece of clothing belonged to. Through this activity, the children learned new vocabulary like, ‘who’, ‘Is’, ‘Where’ and also how to structure a question. After the activity, we observed that the children were able to re-tell the story in sequence, pose simple questions and engage in a meaningful question and answer session with one another.

We believe Creative Writing consists of many components aside from physical writing. Hands-on activities like the above enhance and act as the foundation for children’s learning journey. Creative Writing also proves to be an emotional outlet for young children, as they transfer their inner thoughts and feelings through writing, verbal or pictorial expressions and role playing. By providing them with an array of activities to stimulate their thinking, we are actually encouraging them to look at the world in a different way and prompting them to derive at solutions to problems in a unique way. On the whole, our aim is to scaffold the individual child’s learning and guide them to acquire writing skills eventually through Nursery 2 to Kindergarten 2.