Embodied meaning‐making: using literacy‐as‐event to explore a young child's small world play

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Hulston, Samantha Jayne  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4357-9062

jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThis article uses the concept of literacy‐as‐event to explore the embodied meaning‐making of a young child during small world play. Recent developments in literacy research, influenced by relational thinking, have led to a reconsideration of how meaning‐making unfolds in home and school settings. The concept of literacy‐as‐event suggests that meaning‐making is unpredictable and dynamic, responding to novel socio‐material interactions between texts, people, objects and moments. This view suggests that there is a need to ensure children have opportunities to engage with embodied and material meaning‐making beyond shared reading events. In this article, small world play after a shared reading event is positioned as enabling socio‐material meaning‐making through embodied and material encounters with people and objects. A single episode of small world play is presented for analysis. A multimodal analytical approach is used, drawing attention to the embodied interactions between a child, her adult and objects. Analysis of the data shows that the young child's meaning‐making involved moments of physical and material jats:italicalmost‐hiatus</jats:italic>, followed by erratic movements. These often unexpected fluctuations, between stillness and motion, created generative tensions between the child and her adult, enabling creative jats:italicswerves</jats:italic> in engagement between narrative action, character traits and story themes.</jats:p>

Original Article, Original Articles, literacy‐as‐event, meaning‐making, young children, small world play, embodiment
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Economic and Social Research Council (ES/J500033/1)