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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The relationship between symbolic style and kindergarten children's emergent writing Steffler, Bonita


According to research, differences in the way young children learn using symbols is a characteristic of growth and development. Harvard's Project Zero researchers have suggested that children possess characteristic styles of symbol use in the way they draw, create using clay and play objects, and tell stories. In particular, the "symbolic styles" of Patterners and Dramatists have been identified. [This study investigated the relationship between kindergarten students' preferred symbolic style and their early writing attempts.] Six focal children (3 Patterners, and 3 Dramatists) were selected from a total of 26 children. Over a period of 4 months, data were collected at a classroom writing centre. Collected data included the children's written and drawn products, audiotaped recordings of the children's talk, observations of journal writing sessions, and taped responses to interview questions. This data were analyzed to determine any similarities or differences in each groups' approach to journal writing and their views about writing. Data analysis revealed both similarities and differences between Patterners and Dramatists. Differences among group members were observed in some instances. Discussion compared the children's written/drawn products and observed writing behaviors both to each other and to those described in the literature.

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