P-2 Connecting, Creating & Communicating Using Quality Children’s Literature


The focus of this three-day course presented by Kathy Rushton and Joanne Rossbridge is to develop understandings and strategies for participants who support English speaking and EAL/D students in early learning educational settings both in pre-schools and schools.

In three connected episodes we will focus on the development of oral language, both speaking and listening and how this provides the basis for developing literacy. With a focus on making meaning using quality children’s literature and developing engagement through play in curriculum contexts, we will explore the development of knowledge about language and literacy.

Practical strategies will be provided to support the development and use of both English language and all linguistic resources including first languages or dialects (translanguaging). Throughout the three episodes, participants will be supported to identify important links between language and literacy development and how through the selection of quality texts and by initiating and joining in play, participants can support the development of valuable skills and knowledge across all curriculum areas especially subject English.

Day 1

Speaking and Listening (language; phonics & phonemic awareness; spelling; EAL/D; the role of play)

  1. Oral language as the basis of literacy development.
  2. Sound letter correspondence, spelling and learning through play to make meaning in a morpho-phonemic language, English.
  3. Talk as process and performance and their relationship to the Mode Continuum, ELYF and the K-2 syllabus.
  4. Strategies to develop speaking and listening as a bridge to literacy. E.g. action songs/poems; teacher in role; collective drawing; soundscape; puppetry; speech making “I like… because”.
  5. The role of translanguaging in supporting learning.
  6. Choosing texts which prompt the choice of a context for independent play.
  7. Introduction to readings and tasks for Episodes 2 & 3.

Day 2

Writing (literacy; grammar; EAL/D; the role of play)

  1. What writing looks like in subject English.
  2. Identifying context, purpose and audience in student writing.
  3. A model of language for planning and identifying contextual and grammatical features.
  4. Exploring the teaching and learning cycle and selecting and ranking texts to support writing.
  5. Selecting play-based experiences for writing and preparing for a joint construction.
  6. Selecting an experience for drawing and writing.
  7. Discussion of readings and presentation of task.

Day 3 

Reading and viewing (literature; vocabulary; EAL/D; the role of play)

  1. A framework for text deconstruction: Field, Tenor, Mode.
  2. Deconstruct and discussion of texts.
  3. Selecting vocabulary and preparing for a joint construction. e.g. a shopping list, a description of today’s weather; procedure for using play equipment etc.
  4. Working with a text: using a demonstrated strategy for supporting field building such as drama and visible thinking routines; floor storming; a matrix; labelling.
  5. Selecting and reading texts suitable for Modelled Reading.
  6. Using ‘think alouds’ and ‘margin questions’ to support decoding and comprehension and to inspire play.
  7. Selecting a text and choosing a demonstrated response such as: walking in role; freeze frame; mind map; re-telling the story; innovating on the text.
  8. Discussion of readings and presentation of task.


Target Participants

Early Childhood, Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 teachers


Face to face or Online