The High-Performing Preschool takes readers into the lives of three - and four-year-old Head Start students during their first year of school and focuses on the centerpiece of their school day: story acting. In this activity, students act out stories from high-quality children's literature as well as stories dictated by their peers. Drawing on a unique pair of thinkers - Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky and renowned American teacher and educational writer Vivian G. Paley-Gillian Dowley McNamee elucidates the ways, and reasons, this activity is so successful. She shows how story acting offers a larger blueprint for curricula that helps ensure all preschools - not just those for society's elite-are excellent. McNamee outlines how story acting cultivates children's oral and written language skills. She shows how it creates a crucial opportunity for teachers to guide children inside the interior logic and premises of an idea, and how it fosters the creation of a literary community.Starting with Vygotsky and Paley, McNamee paints a detailed portrait of high-quality preschool teaching, showing how educators can deliver on the promise of Head Start and provide a setting for all young children to become articulate, thoughtful, and literate learners.