Literacy PK-3

Systems Change


Imagining allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles. Through this kind of play, learners naturally take on different roles to act out multiple perspectives and possibilities, developing their Cognitive Flexibility. When this type of pretend play mimics real-life literacy activities such as playing a doctor writing prescriptions, children are developing early reading and writing skills.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch a preschool classroom that supports student learning through dramatic play. By exploring pretend situations, students learn how to communicate with peers and develop their Social Awareness & Relationship Skills.

  • Dramatic play to retell a story allows learners to practice their Narrative Skills to better comprehend a text. As they role play these events with others, they also gain a deeper understanding of various emotions and practice Self-regulation and Social Awareness Skills. Teachers can provide opportunities for learners to act out texts without words to help stimulate imagination and help build Narrative Skills.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    Learn about an educational game, Dr. Panda Town, that allows learners to roleplay daily interactions in an imaginative town. By acting out different social interactions among characters, learners practice and explore their own Social Awareness & Relationship Skills.

  • Products can incorporate pretend play by the context they establish. They can center around pretend play and exploration of open-ended life experiences, like vacation or nature. By using their Background Knowledge to create imaginative interactions, learners develop a deeper understanding of Emotion, Self-regulation, and Relationship Skills.
  • Factors Supported by this Strategy