The Power of Play Reading Questions and Answers

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  • IELTS Reading Matching Features
  • IELTS Reading Yes/No/Not given
  • IELTS Reading Summary Completion

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IELTS Reading passage –  The Power of Play

The Power of Play

Almost every child in the world enjoys playing. Children are very driven towards playing that they can play in any state of affairs, like when they don’t have real toys or when active encouragement is not given by parents. For children, the pastime is running, dissembling and building. Researchers and educators perceive that children’s communal, intellectual, physical, and behavioral development all benefit from partaking in these kinds of extracurricular facilities. Undeniably, playtime holds a crucial role in the growth of a healthy child. Playing was recognized as a fundamental right by the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights in 1989.

Although experts continue to make a rational argument for the noteworthiness of play in children’s lives, there is a decline in the actual time children spend playing. Playing time has decreased by eight hours a week compared to two decades ago (Elkind 2008). Test preparation has displaced play in elementary and middle schools due to an increase in academic demands, and flashcards and educational ‘toys’ are marketed to parents who really want to give their toddlers forewarning. A deceitful paradox between play and learning is created by our society. 

This resulted in their early experiences with play, children developing a wide range of abilities, including self-control, social concession, problem-solving, and a wide pasture of scientific and mathematical knowledge that will serve them throughout their lives. Adults also play a vital role in helping children learn via play.

Researchers and theorists who study play still can’t really agree on a formal definition of what it is. Definitions ambit from specific descriptions of distinct types of play, such as physical, construction, language, or symbolic play (Miller & Almon, 2009), to these broad characteristics that are designed to capture the core of all play behaviour based on analysis and attitudes (e.g. Rubin et al. 1983).

Most concepts of play concentrate on some key characteristics. Play is rendered as ‘something done only for the thrill of doing it’ by Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute of play. To be more precise, he says that, it ‘appears desultory, generates pressure and joy, [and] reaching the next level of mastery’ (as quoted in Tippett 2008). In the same way, in 2009 Miller and Almond said that play incorporates ‘Initiatives that are freely selected and directed by children and emerge from intrinsic desire’. Generally, this array of behavioural and dispositional parameters is used to describe play-along perpetuity as being more or less playful (e.g. Rubin et al. 1983).

Play is gratifying: Activity must be enjoyed by children or it’s not a play. It is substantially motivated: A child’s play is prompted only by the pleasure it provides. It has no extrinsically motivated purpose or ambition. Play is process-lucid: When children play, the meaning is more crucial than the ending. It is candidly chosen, impromptu and voluntary. If a child is under pressure, they will not anticipate play as an activity. If a child is under oppression, they will not anticipate play as an activity. Play is actively engrossed: Physical and/or mental engagement is a prerequisite for players in the activity. Play is metaphoric. It consolidates make-believe.

Children’s playful behaviour can range from 0% to 100% playful, according to this perspective. In determining playfulness Rubin and colleagues did not assign greater weight to any one dimension; however, it had been suggested by other researchers that process orientation and lack of evident functional purpose may be the most crucial features of play (e.g Pellegrini 2009).

Play, from the perspective of a continuum, might be combined with less frivolous motives and attitudes, such as work. Work, unlike pleasure, is usually not considered joyful and is extrinsically motivated(i.e. it is goal-oriented). According to Researcher Joan Goodman (1994), hybrid forms of work and play are not detrimental to learning; rather, they can provide optimal learning environments. For example, a child may be actively engaged and intrinsically motivated while participating in a tough, goal-directed exercise set up by their teacher. The child’s motivation, together with adult guidance, can generate robust chances for joyful learning at this midpoint between play and work.

A recent study suggests that adults may help children’s learning while keeping a lighthearted approach in interactions known as ‘guided play’ (Fisher et al. 2011) which is considered to be significant. The adult’s role in play varies as a function depending on their educational goals and the developmental level of the child (Hirsch-Pasek et al. 2009).

There are two types of guided play. Adults can enrich a child’s environment at a very basic level by offering things or experiences that encourage components of a curriculum. Parents or other adults can help children’s play by joining in the enjoyment as a co-player, asking insightful questions, commenting on children’s discoveries, or promoting further investigation or new facets to the child’s activity in the more direct form of directed play. Although regulated play can be somewhat structured, it must also be child-centred (Nicolopoulou et al. 2006). Play should be motivated by the child’s own desire.

In a child-centred approach to playful learning, both free and guided play are vital components. Free play that is intrinsically motivated provides the child with the true anatomy, whereas guided play which is an avenue allows parents and educators to provide more targeted learning experiences. In any scenario, children should be deeply invested in their own play, which should be primarily led by the children themselves.

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Questions 27-31

Look at the following statements (Questions 27-31) and the list of researchers below.

Match each statement with the correct researcher A-G

Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

27. Play can be divided into several separate categories.
28. Adults’ intended goals affect how they play with children.
29. Combining work with play may be the best way for children to learn.
30. Certain elements of play are more significant than others.
31. Activities can be classified on a scale of playfulness.

List of Researchers

A   Elkind
B   Miller and Almon
C   Rubin et al.
D   Stuart Brown
E   Pellegrini
F   Joan Goodman
G   Girsch-Pasek et al.

Improve your performance in Matching Features questions by clicking here to access our comprehensive guide. Learn how to match specific features or characteristics with the options provided in the IELTS Reading section.

Questions 32-36

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer in Reading Passage 3?

In boxes 32-36 on your answer sheet, write

YES                   if the statement agrees with the claim of the writer
NO                     if the statement contradicts the claim of the writer 
NOT GIVEN      if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this 

32. Children need toys in order to play.
33. It is a mistake to treat play and learning as separate types of activities.
34. Play helps children to develop their artistic talents.
35. Researchers have agreed on a definition of play.
36. Work and play differ in terms of whether or not they have a target.

Want to excel in identifying the writer’s views and claims? Click here to explore our in-depth guide on how to accurately determine Yes, No, or Not Given in the IELTS Reading section.

Questions 37-40

Complete the summary below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 37-40 on your answer sheet.

Guided playIn the simplest form of guided play, an adult contributes to the environment in which the child is playing. Alternatively, an adult with a child and develop the play, for instance by 37……….. the child to investigate different aspects of their game. Adults can help children to learn through play and may make the activity rather structured, but it should still be based on the child’s 38……….. to play. Play without the intervention of adults gives children real 39……….; with adults, play can be 40………… at particular goals. However, all forms of play should be an opportunity for children to have fun.

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Unlock your full potential in the IELTS Reading section – Visit our IELTS Reading Practice Question Answer page now!

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The Power of Play IELTS Reading Answers

27. B
28. G
29. F
30. E
31. C
32. No
33. Yes
34. Not given 
35. No 
36. Yes
37. Encouraging
38. Desire
39. Autonomy
40. Targeted


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