Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Rachel Heydon

2nd Supervisor

Zheng Zhang

Joint Supervisor


This case study was embedded in a SSHRC project called: Learning together: A multiple case study of intergenerational multimodal curricula, led by Dr. Rachel Heydon. The study specifically focused on resources employed by young children in their processes of meaning making within intergenerational art classes. Research questions concerned: 1) what resources were available for young children’s meaning making within the intergenerational art classes? 2) what resources were chosen and used by young children in their processes of meaning making and how? and 3) how did different resources interact with each other in multimodal ensembles? The theoretical tool of the study was the theory of multiliteracies. Sources of data were derived from the original SSHRC project, including audio and video transcripts, interview transcripts, field notes, photos, and participants’ digital portfolios. Methods of data analysis included micro-analysis approach (Kress, 2009) and constant comparison method (CCM) (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2011; Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Findings of this study indicated that except for semiotic resources, human-based resources, contextual resources and young children’s funds of knowledge and funds of identity were employed for young children’s meaning making. Young children chose different types of resources according to their interests and perceived representational appropriateness. Findings also relate that in the multimodal ensembles, different types of resources were orchestrated for meaning making. The resources co-presented and enhanced each other’s expressiveness. Multiple types of resource expanded opportunities for young children’s literacy practices and identity formation. The study enriches the existent understanding of resources for young children’s literacy learning and offers recommendations about resources for young children’s literacy learning in the 21st century.