I have a friend who loves talking about reading with children as much as I do. She has voracious readers in her house and she comes to me often to report on books that her girls have loved and to brainstorm ideas for new titles to add to their shelves. And then sometimes, she sends me great literacy-related information.
I knew I was in luck last week when I opened an e-mail from her titled, “Interesting article regarding teaching kids to read.”
The article, published in the journal Child Development, states something slightly alarming.
Research has found that simply reading aloud to children is not all it takes to turn them in to good readers. Discussing the story isn’t enough either. And neither is asking questions about the story.
Research finds, in fact, that adults need to draw children’s attention to the print on the page in order for read alouds to positively impact later independent reading.
I know that many people do this without realizing what they are doing. Some people point word to word when the text is big. Others draw children’s attention to words that start with the same letter as their names. Some move their finger across the line of text marking left to right movement. I do all of these things but not all the time. A reminder is a good thing.
Click here to read a summary of the article or… if the end of the school year craziness hasn’t gotten you, the full reference for this fascinating article is… Piasta, S. B., Justice, L. M., McGinty, A. S., & Kaderavek, J. N. (2012). Increasing young children’s contact with print during shared reading: Longitudinal effects on literacy achievement. Child Development, 83(3), 810–820.