In this article, the author raises both provocative and necessary questions about the nature of children's play in relation to their classroom learning and writing. Colette Daiute draws from children's transcribed dialogues and written texts to argue that play is critical to a more complex and representative understanding of how children can and do learn. Further, she believes that children's learning ought to be evaluated on its own terms, and not in comparison to adult models of writing proficiency. Her argument is based upon a fundamental belief that children approach learning with a variety of strategies and skills, and this article offers convincing evidence to support a view of children — and of learning — that is respectful and inclusive. Daiute concludes by presenting suggestions for ways to consider child-generated and playful strategies in learning environments.

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