Play and Storytelling: Building literacy in the early years

Play and Storytelling: Building literacy in the early years

$89.00 GST incl

by Karen Stagnitti and Louise Jellie


This book is a new edition of the 2006 book “Play to Learn: building literacy skills in the early years” by Karen Stagnitti and Louise Jellie, previously published by Education Services Australia.


The new edition is aimed at play activities that can be used in the classroom to support children’s understanding of story narratives. The play activities can also be used in one-on-one sessions with older children aged 7 to 10 years. There are 45 play activities with many of them having supplied resources that can be printed and laminated for repeated use.


The introduction chapter gives a brief overview of the links between pretend play and narrative or storytelling. A table is provided that details the development of pretend play and narrative from 18 months to 12 years of age. In this new edition references have been updated – a lot has happened in this area since 2006 – with recent research supporting pretend play and narrative connections. After the introduction chapter, the book has 3 sections and each section has its own play activities.


Section 1: Using play to extend oral language, narrative ability, and use of symbols. The play activities in this section explore characters and roles, practice in planning and predicting what will happen in a story, communication using verbal and non-verbal skills, problem-solving and logical sequencing, and the ability to use symbols in play.


Section 2: Focusses on extending narrative and oral language. Play activities are provided for teaching narrative structure and facilitating imaginative play. Proformas are provided, including story sequencing cards, character attributes, settings and themes, plus a board game. In this new addition we have increased the number of provided proformas, allowing a greater range of story options.


Section 3: is making up stories. In this section only part of the story is given. These stories are designed to be read aloud to children and to invite their participation. They comprise stories with a problem to solve, stories that require a middle or ending and stories that have lots of possibilities. In this new edition, illustrations of characters for some of the stories are provided, which may assist with younger children’s engagement in the story.


In this new edition the illustrations are by artist Charlotte Peachey. Louise Jellie is a speech pathologist involved in early childhood intervention settings and Karen Stagnitti is Emeritus Professor at Deakin University involved in writing and research.




About the Author

Karen Stagnitti PhD, BOccThy, GCHE. Karen is an occupational therapist by training who has a very strong interest in children’s play. Find out more about Karen

Additional Information

  • Published in 2023