Early Symbolization: Learning Through Pretense

Delivery Method: 

Three girls use dolls to enact a pretend play script about a doctor and her patients. Emma takes the lead role as doctor and skillfully negotiates the flow of play to include Brenna and Julia as patients. Observe what world knowledge about medical treatment and the doctor-patient relationship the children represent in their play. Study how the girls invent symbols through both sounds and actions to enact and clarify the script. Notice instances where the children have to ignore the physical, literal look of an object in order to use it as a symbol in their play and learn how the children help one another accept a particular prop as a symbol. Observe how young children competently assume, maintain, and develop leadership roles as they create and act out pretend play scripts.

Keywords: Fours, Child-Child, Pretense, Leadership, Illness, Co-construction

Length of stand-alone master video clip: 1 minute 54 seconds