There is more to the story...support for children's construction of meaning from contemporary picturebook read-alouds
Picturebook read-alouds play an important role in primary grades. Despite the plethora of research on them, no empirical evidence was found on the way in which picturebook introductions shape student talk surrounding the read-aloud. Nonetheless, the introduction of a picturebook is a critical juncture that invites children into the story world and has potential for the construction of literary understanding. This qualitative, exploratory, case study in a first grade classroom investigated the effectiveness of picturebook introduction approaches. The research study explored (1) the picture walk approach, and (2) the a focus on peritextual features approach. Over a 10-week period, data including interviews, audio recordings, written transcripts, and field notes were collected in three phases. The two approaches revealed changes in student and teacher talk that suggest three main facets of talk: (1) function, (2) type, and (3) focus of talk. The role of the teacher explored through conversational turns played a significant role in shaping student talk. The change in both teacher and student talk indicated more meaningful and rich construction of literary meaning making. Student talk stayed on topics longer, involved more story talk, showed higher percentages of varieties of function, type, and focus of talk during the second approach of focusing on peritextual features during read-alouds.