The Missing Tooth: Case Illustrations of a Child’s Assembled, Out-of-School Authorship

  • Kari-Lynn Winters


Case illustrations of a six-year-old boy’s adventures with a missing tooth are used in this paper to re-define a broader notion of authorship. Drawing on theories of social semiotics, New Literacy Studies (NLS), and critical positioning, this notion of authorship not only interweaves the boy’s preferred modes of meaning-making and communication, but also considers his sociocultural environments. Findings suggest that each mode of meaning-making (linguistic, symbolic, musical, etc.) has its own semiotic potential (both affordances and limitations) and that all authorship needs to be framed critically, within social contexts, in order to better understand and facilitate young children’s abilities to garner, interpret, design, and communicate ideas across a range of semiotic systems.

Author Biography

Kari-Lynn Winters,

Assistant Professor

Department of Teacher Education

Brock University