The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Mario from Super Mario in Kindergarten

Anne Lise Wie, Nord University (Norway)


Visiting a kindergarten, the author seeks to learn more about the daily activities, with a focus on early literacy. Literacy is a composite competence «involving skills to create understanding by help of various signs and modalities» [1]. A multi modal text includes at least two modalities, and in this case study Peder delivers by combining drawing and oral presentation. Meet Peder: he is 5 ½ years old and attends a kindergarten where the children love to draw and convey what they draw. Peder has drawn the digital game Super Mario where there are numerous tasks and challenges Mario needs to navigate to get to the next level. Media and digital games have become a large part of the lives of numerous children, and a number of studies have been carried out looking into how they are affected [3]. To Peder, his drawing was near equal to playing the game itself, spending a long time both drawing and telling what he had drawn. «You may keep the drawing and take it home with you and learn more, and also play”, he said. Peder shows his conveying competence through images and symbols when he interprets his own drawing, and anticipates his visitor will be able to decode the multimodal text in line with his intentions. The context for this case study is a socio-cultural view of learning where «knowledge is constructed through interaction with others in various social contexts». [2]. The aim of this study is to learn more about children’s literacy through Peder’s multi modal text about Mario; how a child’s digital play may be an entry to literacy.

Key words: kindergarten, multimodal texts, digital games, early literacy


[1] Blikstad-Balas, M. (2023). Literacy i skolen. (2nd edition) Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

[2] Gjems, L. (2007). Hva lærer barn når de forteller? Bergen: Fagbokforlaget

[3] Hygen, B. W., Belsky, J., Stenseng, F., Skalicka, V., Kvande, M. N., Zahl-Thanem, T. og Wichstrøm, L. (2020). Time spent Gaming and Social Competence in Children: Reciprocal Effects Across Childhood. In Child Development, May/June 2020, Volume 91, Number 3 (S. 861-875).

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