Critical linguistics in the early years : exploring functions of language through sophisticated picture books and process drama strategies
Exley, Beryl & Dooley, Karen (2014) Critical linguistics in the early years : exploring functions of language through sophisticated picture books and process drama strategies. In Winograd, Ken (Ed.) Critical Literacies and Young Learners: Connecting Classroom Practice to the Common Core. Routledge, New York, pp. 128-144.
In this chapter we describe a critical fairytales unit taught to 4.5 to 5.5 year olds in a context of intensifying pressure to raise literacy achievement. The unit was infused with lessons on reinterpreted fairytales followed by process drama activities built around a sophisticated picture book, Beware of the Bears (MacDonald, 2004). The latter entailed a text analytic approach to critical literacy derived from systemic functional linguistics (Halliday, 1978; Halliday & Matthiessen, 2004). This approach provides a way of analysing how words and discourse are used to represent the world in a particular way and shape reader relations with the author in a particular field (Janks, 2010).
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