Shared response and young adolescent readers' comprehension and re-interpretation of picture books
Master of Education
SubjectPicture books for children Educational aspects
School children Books and reading
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This study describes the relationship between shared response and the comprehension and re-interpretation of picture books with four members of a response group of students in a grade 7/8 class during the implementation of a seven-week unit on picture books. A key construct in the study was Kiefer’s (1995) classification of verbal response to picture books which includes four functions of language; informative, heuristic, imaginative, and personal. Six themes emerged from the analysis of data: patterns of shared response to picture books; verbal response to picture books; intertextual connections; aesthetic response to picture bodes; integrity of text and pictures; and students’ perceptions of picture books. Although many of the response group members’ verbal responses could be classified under Kiefer’s framework, the categories did not accommodate the intertextual relationships evoked by readers during engagement with and re-interpretation of picture books. Factors which influenced students’ comprehension and reinterpretation of picture books included: the organization of the unit which provided time, structure and flexibility; opportunities for shared response, which enabled social constructions of meaning; opportunities to re-interpret texts through symbolic systems such as art and drama; and a group project on text sets in which students worked collaboratively to select a “text set", identify the connections across the picture books, and illustrate these in some form.