Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith


This study was completed to investigate whether there are differences in emergent literacy behaviors between a teacher guided literacy-enriched play environment and a literacy-enriched play environment without teacher guidance.

This study occurred over a five week period. During the first week, base-line data were collected using qualitative naturalistic observations where literacy behaviors were recorded during spontaneous play. The play area was literacy-enriched with play centers, environmental print, and literacy props. Six four-year olds were exposed to the environment for a half hour daily. During the first week of treatment, three of the subjects received teacher guidance / modeling while they played. These three subjects experienced the literacy-enriched environment without teacher guidance at a different time than the treatment group.

After three weeks of exposure to the redesigned play environment, observations of the children's literacy behaviors were noted while they played in the enriched environment. Qualitative naturalistic observations of children's literacy behaviors were used to compare the treatment and control groups. There were differences in literacy behaviors between the experimental and control groups.