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Print in sociodramatic play - experience plan

This experience may be an addition to existing areas, highlighting where educators can incorporate print within already developed learning areas of sociodramatic play.

This experience may be an addition to existing areas, highlighting where educators can incorporate print within already developed learning areas of sociodramatic play.

This experience should be differentiated depending on the individual child/group level.

This learning experience plan relates to:

  • integrated language and literacy experience
  • language and emergent literacy learner (30-60 months)
  • learning foci: concepts of print, conversation and social skills
  • teaching practice: sociodramatic play.

Collect information

  • What information has been gathered as evidence to inform this experience?

Outcome 5: communication

Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes:

  • Children engage in enjoyable reciprocal interactions using verbal and nonverbal language.

Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media:

  • Children use language and engage in symbolic play to imagine and create roles, scripts and ideas.

Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts:

  • Children take on roles of literacy and numeracy uses in their play.

Victorian Curriculum levels F-2: language

  • Explore the different contribution of words and images to meaning in stories and informative texts.

Learning intentions

  • For children to use text meaningfully in the sociodramatic play area.
  • For children to identify features of text (e.g. pages, words, letters, numbers).

Assessment of learning

Learning is demonstrated when children:

  • use the text in the area for its purpose
  • identify words, letters or symbols that convey meaning.


  • Different forms of everyday print.
  • For example, a shop: signs, price tags, shop name, names of items, receipts, ‘pay here’ sign, ‘on special’ signs, opening hours, packages with print (e.g. cereal boxes, milk bottles, biscuits).

Group size

Small group (two-five children).

Experience process

  1. Introduce the children to a new sociodramatic play area, for example, a shop.
  2. When children are playing in the area, become a participant in the play, modelling language and play behaviours whilst interacting with children. For example:
    • browse the aisles collect items in your basket/trolley
    • ask for help from a child play a shop assistant to look up a price
    • mark off items on your shopping list
    • how you use the aisle/item labels to find your shopping list items.
    • checkout of the shop, and model how to place the items on the counter to be scanned and paid
    • model use of the cash register and payment using cash or card.
  3. To consolidate the learning experience, suggest to children they might like to create their own shopping list by using pictures or pretend writing. Take turns being shoppers, and assistants, modelling and scaffolding children’s play and use of print.

Going Further

  • Children could create their own signs and labels for the sociodramatic play area.


Differentiation should be based on prior assessment of the child/children’s communication skills. Examples of differentiation:

  • Children can use pictures to accompany text in order to read the items on their shopping list.
  • Educators can provide pre-written lists for children to play with, and to use as a model for their own list (using images and text).


Reflective questions for educators may include:

  • What learning has occurred? How do you know?
  • What have you realised about the child’s interests, knowledge, and capabilities?
  • In discussion with colleagues, what would you plan next to consolidate or extend children’s learning?

Additional/alternate resources for this learning experience

This experience can be adapted to any sociodramatic play theme/area, for example:

  • post office – signs, Australia Post, post here, price tags, address books, advertising
  • toy shop – boxes for toys (real), price tags, sale signs, advertising, opening hours, open/closed sign, receipts
  • café – menus, newspaper, magazine, price tags, “pay here” sign, signs on food, table numbers.


Reviewed 14 April 2023

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