Karen Wohlwend

A literacy professor who studies young children's play as an embodied literacy with action texts and everyday imaginaries. Through play, even very young children remake popular media with new technologies in ways that can transform their participation in online spaces and classroom cultures.

Nexus Analysis Website

Exercises and Resources for Nexus Analysis

Nexus Analysis Website

Playshop Research




Through pretend play, children help one another learn to read, write, and belong in early childhood classrooms.

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Digital Literacies

Ironically, in a time of rapidly expanding technologies, too many schools are clamping down rather than ramping up.

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Maker Literacies

Children are immersed in everyday/everywhere media but are rarely encouraged to produce media themselves.

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Disney Princess, Monster High, and More

Through play with peers, children find ways to pretend their way around the emphatic gender texts in popular media.

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Literacy Assessment

Expanding definitions of literacy require new assessments that recognize a wider range of literacies and more diverse learners.

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Multimodal Design

Children design to create puppets and toys but also to anchor their fluid storying and collaboration.

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Nexus Analysis

Nexus analysis tracks the trajectories of meanings, modes, and actions with toys, tools, and bodies in children's play and design.

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In the Media

Links to interviews and podcasts in national media featuring my research on popular films, children's toys, critical media play, and digital literacies

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Where To Find Me