Language Arts is the premier journal for the teaching of language arts, focusing primarily on issues concerning children of preschool through middle school age.
Volume 95, Number 4, March 2018
Amy Stornaiuolo and Erin Hope Whitney
This article proposes that writing can be understood as a practice of worldmaking, as people construct shared worlds through symbolic practices. We focus on two young women’s composing processes to illustrate how young people are writing to represent, challenge, and reimagine their worlds. We argue that framing writing as a worldmaking practice can help educators tap into the transformative power of writing, as young people use resources at hand to architect new worlds and write themselves into both narratives that have excluded them and systems that have disabled them. This practice-oriented approach resists a one-size-fits-all understanding of writing by emphasizing its cultural, historical, and situated nature, suggesting that educators should focus on reconfiguring learning environments to center youth perspectives, foreground rhetorical practice, and accommodate different learning needs and histories.
Cassie J. Brownell
This article illustrates how one fourth grader used creative language as play to incorporate popular culture into the mandated writing curriculum. Segmented by one snapshot of the child’s in-class writing, I illuminate how he used subtle, intertextual tracings to other texts—drawing on characters, setting, and plot from a range of sources—to bring worlds of play into his writing. After exploring how the child playfully tailored and/or retold the story for his own purposes, I outline the concept of play(giarism) and demonstrate how, in an era of standardization, children are engaging in meaningful literacy practices, even if they must create them. Through this inquiry approach, teachers and researchers are offered new points of consideration to reimagine the teaching and learning of writing.
Deborah Wells Rowe
This column traces the journey of theory and research that has allowed our field to fundamentally reimagine the very beginnings of early childhood writing.
This column describes a process of listening, asking, and studying to reimagine how teachers might interpret prekindergarten writing.
Cynthia Alaniz, Jane Beane-Folkes, Sue Corbin, Pamela C. Jewett, Diana Porter, Jennifer Sanders, and Holly Sims
This column features the 2017 Notable Children’s Books which are unique in language and/or style and encourage readers to discover quality texts that linger long after the pages have been read.
Marissa E. King and Karen Sheriff LeVan
Building on a rich tradition of student talk, this article explores how audio recording can help us understand our students and their writing.