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ERIC Number: EJ868216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Lap Reading with Kindergartners: Nurturing Literacy Skills and so Much More
Knopf, Herman T.; Brown, H. Mac
Young Children, v64 n5 p80-87 Sep 2009
In this article, the authors reexamine and duplicate research conducted more than 20 years ago to learn if the simple act of sharing literature with kindergarten children through a nurturing dialogic approach will support children's development of literacy skills, including a love of reading. Dialogic reading is based on: (1) child participation; (2) provision of feedback to the child; and (3) the adaptation of reading style to the needs of the child. The reading program the authors implemented in four kindergarten classrooms was composed of three essential components: (1) intimate dialogic reading experiences that involved reading and discussing a story with two or three children in a distraction-free setting; (2) repeated readings of classic children's literature on different days until the children virtually memorized the story line; and (3) family and community involvement. In the project at Nursery Road Elementary School in Columbia, South Carolina, the authors modeled nurturing lap-reading experiences on the bedtime story interaction between parent and child. The small lap-reading groups were limited to three children per adult per story, and the authors encouraged the adult to be in physical contact with each of the children while reading the story. To help facilitate a climate of intimacy between the adult readers and the children, reading was conducted in a variety of quiet settings throughout the school--the media center, a corner of the classroom, and a common lap-reading area that resembled a bedroom. This reading area included a twin bed complete with pillows, comforter, and stuffed animals, a sofa, and several baskets of the selected storybooks. The closeness of the children to the reader allowed all of the children to see the text and illustrations of the storybook while at the same time creating a safe and nurturing climate for sharing literature. This project reinforces the findings that reading with children in an authentic and intimate manner leads to increased book-handling and literacy skills; a deeper understanding of the importance of reading; a love of stories, literature, and art; development of critical thinking skills; and greater respect and appreciation between adults and children. Perhaps most important, it shows that intimate reading is not out of reach for a teacher in a typical school setting and that this generation of children can be introduced to the wonders of the imagination stimulated by good literature.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina