Orchestrating literacies: Print literacy learning opportunities within multimodal intergenerational ensembles

This exploratory case study considered the opportunities for print literacy learning within multimodal ensembles that featured art, singing and digital media within the context of an intergenerational programme that brought together 13 kindergarten children (4 and 5 years) with seven elder companions. Study questions concerned how reading and writing were practised within multimodal ensembles and what learning opportunities were afforded to the children while the participants worked through a chain of multimodal projects. Data were collected through ethnographic tools in the Rest Home where the projects were completed and in the children’s classroom where project content and tools were introduced and extended by the classroom teacher. Themes were identified through the juxtaposition of field texts in a multimodal analysis. The results indicate that the multimodality of the projects and the reciprocal intergenerational relationships forged in and through text-making afforded children opportunities to improvise and refine their print literacy practices as part of multimodal ensembles. The study is designed to contribute to the nascent, yet growing, body of knowledge concerning print literacy practices and learning opportunities as conceptualized within multimodal literacy and intergenerational curricula.

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