Date of Award

Winter 12-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Lee Ann Townsend


With increased standards in today’s school’s teachers are taking away play time and focusing on more specific literacy instruction. The opportunities to learn through play and exploration is a thing of the past. Although research states play is a natural part of a child’s development (Wong, Wang, & Cheng, 2011) the research focused on what reading and writing activities are embedded in play and how play can help develop emergent literacy in young children. A qualitative study was conducted with a 5-year-old male, at the emergent literacy state of development. The current study observed the research participant playing within his home environment over a span of 6 weeks to determine if play helps advance a child’ emergent literacy development. Results suggest specific types of play a child engages in, and particular literacy learning opportunities through play. Implication and results are discussed.