Date of Award

1-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

According to Marie Clay (2005), preschoolers know something about the world of print because of their environments. Viewing or experiencing environmental print, the print, symbols, and logos, which surrounds young children on a daily basis, is just one of the ways through which they start to understand that there is meaning behind a symbol or that print carries meaning. During this developmental stage, children are beginning to understand sound-symbol relationship (Pullen & Justice, 2003) and to associate sounds and letters with their name or with environmental print around them. They begin to manipulate those sounds to form sentences and express their ideas orally and in writing.

I believe that preschoolers should have multiple opportunities to use their senses to manipulate, see, hear and say a variety of letters and sounds as a way to explore and refine their understanding of the alphabetic principle. Exposing preschoolers to these literacy concepts should be through multisensory activities such as songs, print around the room, read alouds, interactive writing (teacher and student share the pen when writing), and tracing letters with shaving cream or sandpaper may promote literacy development).

Using multisensory approaches during literacy activities and instruction encourages preschoolers to work through new literacy concepts and social situations on their own. Multisensory approaches may support the literacy development of young children because they can use more than one of their five senses to help them with the learning process and retain information. Language and vocabulary development are crucial in emergent literacy development (Wasik, 2010).

There are several purposes of this study. Perhaps most significant was for me to learn what happens when I integrated multisensory approaches into literacy instruction for preschoolers. I was curious to learn more about how the choices I make in terms of my instruction may influence the preschoolers ' literacy learning and their development.

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