Landscape to Language
Reading and Writing the Natural World
HOW DOES LITERACY BEGIN?
Our earliest ancestors looked into the natural world for signs that would give them information
about what had happened in the past and to predict what might happen in the future. When they
wanted to share this information they copied the lines and shapes of nature to make maps and to
leave tracks. These became the first alphabets. Literacy is about communication, active and passive:
it is about speaking and listening through the use of marks or representations. As civilization became
more complex the ancient alphabets, which depicted real things, developed into letters which stood
Early age learners are naturally very curious about the world of real things. Using brushes, chalks,
pencils and pens, they are able to describe the horizontal, vertical and spiraling lines of the landscape
around them. While doing so they develop their fine motor skills and practice the movements
required to produce alphabetical letters. Landscape to Language emphasizes the active dimension of
literacy. Children are encouraged to be producers of knowledge and to develop a confident use of
voice and hand.