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Children’s graphics: (Nursery)
CONTEXT: Shereen 4 years 6 months –
drawing at home.
explained: ‘I looked out of the
window. I saw a butterfly, ladybird,
snails, mountain and a dog asking
for its food’.
Children’s visual texts reveal their
use of circles, dots, straight and
curving lines, zigzags, squares,
arrows, spirals, grids and other
graphical marks and symbols such as
those identified by Machón (2013)
and Matthews (1999). They appear to
often embellish their drawings with
symbols, or to practice them, often
including letters or numerals
(alphanumeric signs) in a similar
way. In this example Shereen’s
drawings, symbols and signs comprise
straight and curved lines, ‘U’
forms, a grid, arcs, dots and a
triangle. She included letters (she
did not say what they meant), the
numeral ‘8’, spirals and a cross in
her drawing. This burgeoning symbol
and sign use between the ages of
three and four years extends
children’s existing graphical
graphicacy: drawing, maps,
below for reference.
Gallery 7: The emergence of graphic symbols and
texts in pretend play
8: Children's graphic symbols and texts in
Machón A (2013)
Children’s Drawings: The Genesis and Nature of
Graphic Representation. Madrid: Fibulas
Matthews, J. (1999).
The Art of Childhood and Adolescence: The
Construction of Meaning. London: Falmer Press.
Worthington, M. and Van Oers, B. (2016)
Pretend Play and the cultural foundations of
mathematics. European Early Childhood Education Research
Journal 24 (1). 51-66.
Worthington, M. and Van Oers, B. (2015)
Children’s social literacies: Meaning making and the
emergence of graphical signs and texts in pretence.
Journal of Early Childhood Literacy 16(1), 1-29.
Carruthers, E. (2015).
Listening to children's mathematics in school.
In B. Perry., A. Gervasoni and A. MacDonald. Eds.
Mathematics and Transition to School - International
Perspectives. Sydney, Australia: Springer.
Courses and Conferences
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