Exploring silent, small-group and adult mediated reading with nonfiction picturebooks: children's responses and educational potential in elementary school.
Keywords:non-fiction, primary education, reading, picturebooks
Following the editorial rise of the nonfiction picturebook, a growing line of research has been initiated to analyze its educational potential and its place in children's reading. However, the number of empirical studies on children's responses to nonfiction picturebook reading remains limited. Therefore, this study focuses -from a qualitative analysis based on participant observation, involving 97 elementary school participants between 8 and 9 years old and covering 48 hours of recording- on the reading of nonfiction picturebooks from three different reading conditions: silent, shared in small groups, and adult-mediated. The results reveal differences among the three reading approaches, evidencing a greater positive response to nonfiction picturebooks during individual and adult-mediated silent reading, a greater ability to foster critical and personal responses when mediated, as well as the fundamental role of illustrations and visual composition in fostering curiosity and critical reflection. However, small-group reading generated a greater number of negative responses, indicating the need to investigate it independently to more effectively harness its formative potential for children's readers, given that it is questioned in this study. Therefore, this paper provides a detailed analysis of these different reading conditions with nonfiction picturebooks and their implications for educational practice.
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