Children, Youth, Families & Schools, Nebraska Center for Research on


Date of this Version



Published in Young Children 65:1 (January 2010), pp. 74-78, 80-81. Copyright 2010 National Association for the Education of Young Children.


This article examines teacher talk and its elements--kinds of language, functions of language, promoting children's thinking, and power--during small group activities with 2- and 3-year-olds. After observing and videotaping activities in two early childhood classrooms, we are convinced that teachers can promote children's thinking and encourage their participation in authentic conversations (Durden & Rainer Dangel 2008). We examine how two teachers (in toddler and preschool classrooms) talk to children and facilitate small group activities to encourage children's thinking.