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Interactive Read Alouds: Teachers and Students Constructing Knowledge and Literacy Together


Wiseman, Angela. “Interactive Read Alouds: Teachers and Students Constructing Knowledge and Literacy Together.” Early Childhood Education Journal, vol. 38, 2011, pp. 431-438.

(This article is freely available through the Academic Search Premier database on Badgerlink)


As one part of early reading instruction, interactive read alouds can support emerging readers’ learning through dialogue and language development. This article focuses on one kindergarten teachers’ instruction with read alouds over the course of a 9-month study, with 21 African American students. Major themes from the study are described and analyzed.

A detailed description of the read aloud is provided, highlighting the importance of attention to print concepts, making predictions, and noticing visual features. Classroom examples are provided, including how the teacher models oral reading and awareness of print and constructing meaning through confirming student statements, showing how to make sense of different parts of picture books, pushing each others’ ideas, and building meaning together in a social context. These components are taken up in their own detailed subsections with examples from the classroom.

Classroom Application

Educators may find the specific classroom examples most helpful and interesting, as they provide the direct context on how and why the teacher works through several different read alouds. The examples provided come from different points in time over the course of 9 months, which is meaningful, as they change as students gain more knowledge about concepts of print and build background knowledge. Major takeaways at the end of the article may also be of interest, with the focus on active methods for providing part of the reading curriculum with social opportunities for reading and learning, as well as the importance of text selection.