Interactive Science-Based and Narrative Read-Alouds: A Descriptive Case Study of Teacher Enactment and Student Responses

Wheatley, Barbara, Curriculum and Instruction - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Abouzeid, Mary, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
McKenna, Michael, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Reading aloud in schools is universal, but the use of interactive read-alouds fluctuates within and between schools. Interactive read-alouds are an effective way to target and strengthen children’s early literacy skills. An interactive read-aloud is a reading experience where both the adult and child are active participants in constructing and engaging in dialogue about the book. Interactive read-alouds with children in preschool through third grade can have positive effects on reading development in the areas of children’s language, phonological awareness, print concepts, comprehension, and vocabulary development. Science is an excellent mode to not only help develop language and literacy skills, but also to increase knowledge of the world we live in. The inclusion of science content in read-alouds can encourage students’ confidence in learning, increase background knowledge, and provide motivation.
This study explored teacher enactment of science-based and narrative text interactive read-alouds. Additionally, student responses to these interactive read-alouds were also considered. This descriptive case study used classroom observations, teacher interviews, and informal interviews to collect the data that informed this study. Findings suggest that teacher interactive read-aloud training should include modeling, practice, and continuous feedback. In addition, strategies for inferential interactive read-alouds should be placed in context of what teachers already use and know about read-alouds. Teachers should practice questioning and purposeful follow-up strategies with possible self-evaluation. Each of these recommendations would benefit students, ensuring that interactive read-alouds encourage discussion and conversations, increase reading skills, and help students relate text to their background knowledge and experiences.

EDD (Doctor of Education)
interactive read-aloud, science text, literacy, summer session, narrative text, oral language, questioning, read-aloud, student response
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