How to support early literacy and emergent writing skills

Three year old Niaz has been playing shops in the home corner. He finds the teacher as he want help to make a shopping list.


  • What cues can you see that show what Niaz is interested in? (Look out for non-verbal and body language as well as spoken language)
  • How are the children learning? Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe
  • In what ways does the adult support the children’s learning?
  • How does the environment support the children’s learning?
  • What is valuable about the materials provided as learning resources?


What are your thoughts about:

  • The areas of learning and development that were covered through his play?
  • The adult’s role – how did she support the play?
  • The importance of the environment and the materials?


What would you do to:

  • Extend Niaz’s understanding of lists and why they might be useful?
  • Use his interest in pretence and role play to support other areas of his learning?
  • Support his interest in mark making and understanding of symbols?

What next:

  • Did watching the clip help you notice any particular strengths or weaknesses that you might have when trying to support children during their play? How could you use this? Could you support others with something you are particularly good at? Or find some one to support you with an area you find difficult?
  • Could you suggest a way of encouraging this kind of role play in your own setting?

Visit the new online clip library and find lots of videos about early literacy

With 100s of short video clips to search through there's always going to be something that fits your needs. You can search by area of child development, specific theories, areas of play, learning strategies, age or setting and find just what you need to enhance your training and make learning stick. Additional information, prompts and reflection questions provide support and guidance for planning training.

Visit the online clip library →