Imagine writing time in a kindergarten classroom in an urban area in the United States. It is writing time, but the children’s compositions are being woven through many symbolic media. Children are not only nor even mainly writing; they are drawing, gesturing, conversing, pretending, and, on occasion, singing. This is what writing time may sound and look like in an early childhood classroom that makes time and space for children to be writers.

This entry first discusses the foundational importance of children’s weaving of symbols to their development as writers. As Lev Vygotsky explained, young children’s use of the written symbol system builds on their social play with other symbolic tools. Against this backdrop of young children as symbol users and social players, the entry then ...

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