In March 2000, 70 trainee primary school teachers in their third year of an undergraduate education program at De Montfort University in England were asked to observe and record a 15-min breaktime on a primary school playground as part of a study of children’s informal language and culture. This chapter draws on extracts from some of their recording and observation on playgrounds in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Milton Keynes in 2000, and from subsequent students in 2001, 2002, and 2003. The data could be grouped under several headings: jokes, traditional rhymes and games, football, media influences, and narrative fantasy games. Traditional playground games, and girls’ play in particular, have been discussed elsewhere (Bishop & Curtis, 2000; Grugeon, 2000; Opie, 1993). The author has chosen to concentrate on the way recent media influences are being absorbed into the language and culture of the playground. As Marsh (2003) suggested,

Over a period of 4 years, approximately 275 teacher trainees have observed more than 4,000 min of playground activity in more than 60 primary

schools. The aim of the project was to encourage teacher trainees to become aware of children’s interest in popular culture and, as professionals, to consider the relation of these interests to school literacy and culture. A growing archive of material now exists that allows researchers to track some of the ongoing changes in children’s everyday play activities. This material partly feeds into the current debate about using children’s interests in popular media and consumer texts to enhance learning and motivation in the primary classroom (Bromley, 2002; Dyson, 2001; Lambirth, 2003; Marsh & Millard, 2000). It also provides a means of updating wellestablished forms of “mass observation” of children’s popular folklore, of the kind most widely identified with the work of the Opies in Britain (Opie & Opie, 1959).