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Telling Stories with Blocks: Encouraging Language in the Block Center

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Author(s): Janie Heisner

Journal: Early Childhood Research & Practice
ISSN 1524-5039

Volume: 7;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Early Childhood Education | Sociodramatic Play | Blocks | Reading | Language Development | Young Children

ABSTRACT
A large body of research documents the positive impact of sociodramatic play on children’s language development. Through the social interaction that takes place during sociodramatic play, children develop the ability to express thoughts in a logical sequence, share ideas about events in which there is not shared context, and develop vocabulary. Previous research on the relationship between sociodramatic play and language development in the preschool setting primarily has been conducted in the dramatic play center. However, some children prefer other activity areas that also are conducive to this beneficial form of play. The block center is one such area. With its open-ended activities and constructive play opportunities, the block center provides an area in which children can use their imagination to create fanciful structures with their friends and then take on roles as they interact with their creations and their peers. The impact of a specific effort to incorporate toys from the block center into shared storybook reading in order to promote sociodramatic play in the block center is discussed in this essay as well as observations and recommendations for promoting more of this important type of interaction throughout the classroom.
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