Teacher research yields a plethora of insights about creating a meaningful curriculum for children. In this article, we describe the experience of preschool children who participated in Kindergarten Club, a space that afforded them opportunities to shift roles from being preschoolers to being kindergarteners. Kindergarten Club became a catalyst for engaging in a dialogue about kindergarten, experimenting with print and experiencing literacy learning. Within this context, preschoolers embarked on an investigation that centered around business cards. Business cards ignited interest on the part of preschoolers as they explored their potential for social networking and sharing information. The business card investigation evolved into a curriculum that sparked enquiries into the use of print as mediator for self-representation. Assisted by their teacher and members of the community, preschoolers engaged in collective action to create business cards that would bear imprints of their identity. In the process, young children used their writing abilities, proactively utilizing tools and resources to ensure that their business cards bore authentic representations of themselves. The article conveys the importance of listening on the part of the teacher and trusting children to take the lead in navigating their paths as literacy learners. Documentation in the form of artifacts, images and dialogue reveals how young children naturally incorporate emergent knowledge about literacy and their social worlds into their work as learners. The article provides a gentle reminder of how literacy learning is a joyful process that can be made meaningful and engaging by building upon children’s enquiries into the world.
Efleda Preclaro Tolentino, Lauren Lawson
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy