Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


Literacy is a combination of reading, writing, viewing, listening, and speaking skills. My experiences working with and observing children has allowed me to see the types of literacy skills such as reading, writing, book handling, representation, retelling, comprehension that children incorporate into their own self initiated play. These experiences have also further inspired my main research question for this study: How do children in a pre-school classroom demonstrate emergent literacy skills in their self-initiated free play? I was also curious to research the following question: How do the classroom setting and teachers influence the use of literacy skills within play?

As emergent literacy learners, the participants in my study were beginning to learn and develop important early literacy skills necessary to becoming strong readers, writers, and thinkers. In conducting my study I focused on literacy skills related to reading and writing. These skills included reading, pretend reading, reading with meaning, book handling, recognition of print, knowledge that print holds meaning, knowledge of words used to represent pictures, letter recognition, letter sound knowledge, pretend writing, letter and word formation, word structure, spelling, using background knowledge, making connections, comprehension, recalling information, understanding vocabulary, and hand/eye coordination.

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