North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Language Development and Communication (LDC)

Subdomain: Learning to Communicate

Goal: Children describe familiar people, places, things, and events.

Skill Progression: Use of narrative skills to describe

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List of Skills by Age

1-2 Months

No observable skills

2-4 Months

No observable skills

4-6 Months

No observable skills

6-8 Months

No observable skills

8-10 Months

No observable skills

10-12 Months

Imitates behaviors such as washing and feeding the baby

12-15 Months

Cares for a doll or stuffed animal, covering it and taking it for a walk in a stroller; begins to vocalize toward the doll or stuffed animal or adult in dramatic play

15-18 Months

Pretends to sleep, eat, etc. with actions directed toward self

Incorporates familiar objects that adults have used into play (e.g., phone, comb, wash cloth, etc.)

18-21 Months

Starts to construct actions and events by searching for needed props (e.g., spoon for bowl, driver for car)

21-24 Months

Directs conversation in dramatic play toward self, dolls, stuffed animals, and an adult

Repeats same events multiple times (cooking, serving)

24-27 Months

Plays house and acts out going to bed, cooking, eating, and other daily routines

Responds to adult’s suggestions for expansions of play

27-30 Months

Demonstrates fantasy play, acting out a story or pretending to be an animal or a character seen on television or a movie

Produces vague stories about something that happened (“I falled”)

30-33 Months

Acts out multiple action sequences within an event with dolls or action figures; talks to or for the dolls or figures

Talks about a theme, with objects or actions mentioned relating to the theme. (e.g., “Baby eating. Baby likes apples.”)

Talks using a series of unrelated sentences

33-36 Months

Dresses up to represent characters and uses props in dramatic play

Talks about how the characters feel

Acts out several familiar events in dramatic play (feeding the baby, reading to baby, putting baby to bed) with complex commentary

Includes peers in play

Produces dialogue in narrative dramatic play, with the sentences building upon each other

36-42 Months

Plays with miniatures, such as a dollhouse, garage, school house, etc. to act out familiar sequences; provides a narrative to actions

Discusses what props are needed and what should happen next in the play; dialogue is interactive

42-48 Months

Cooperates in coordinated dramatic play, creating a narrative with a complex theme or story

Builds structures with blocks and add props to act out stories or scenes

48-54 Months

Negotiates roles in dramatic play and may switch roles to play different parts

Spontaneously builds on another’s dialogue and actions

Creates stories with drawings, constructions of sand, clay, blocks, etc.

54-60 Months

Performs plays for adults

Dictates stories in appropriate narrative sequence, with characters, unorganized plot, and dialogue

Creates elaborate stories with peers for dramatic play

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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