Read aloud discussions: Influence of teacher understanding of visual text




Villarreal, Alicia H.

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Picturebook read alouds are a common practice in classrooms; however, not all read alouds create spaces for children to engage in inferential discussions. Studies have shown that children are capable of sophisticated thinking through discussion about stories. Although children are quite capable, there is a lack of research documenting how teachers' understanding into crafting of visual text in picturebooks can support children's talk during a classroom read aloud. Analyzing how to develop teachers' growing understanding of visual devices in picturebooks and how the devices can help support students' discussions is therefore, important for school leaders and professional development coaches.

The participants for this study were two-first grade teachers. The data sets for this study included semi-structured interviews, read aloud observations, professional development workshops, teacher reflective logs, and teacher created webs. To identify the codes emerging from the data set, this study used constant comparative analysis.

Findings from this study suggest that teachers' insights into the crafting of visual text can be developed through carefully structured professional development. Findings also suggest that teachers can utilize their understanding of the crafting of visual text to support children's meaning making during picturebook read alouds. Additionally, children began to increasingly use illustrators' craft on their own as a means of exploring stories more critically.


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constructivist, discussions, literacy, Read aloud, reading, Semiotics



Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching