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IES Grant

Title: The Story Read Aloud Project: The Development of an Innovative Instructional Approach to Promote Comprehension and Vocabulary in First Grade Classrooms
Center: NCER Year: 2002
Principal Investigator: Baker, Scott Awardee: Pacific Institutes for Research
Program: Literacy      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,019,249
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305G020057

Co-Principal Investigator(s): Chard, David; Santoro, Lana Edwards

Purpose: In this project, the researchers proposed to design a read-aloud intervention to enhance first-grade children's vocabulary, use of comprehension strategies, and complex thinking about text. The researchers on the project contended that explicit teaching of these skills was necessary to develop reading proficiency. However, in the early 2000s, most first-grade teachers spend substantial time reading aloud to their classrooms but not explicitly teaching comprehension skills (retelling a story, making inferences about the causes and consequences of characters' behaviors, etc.). The researchers believed that having curricula to address this practice would improve students' reading abilities.

Structured Abstract


Intervention: The Story Read Aloud program is a read aloud curriculum designed to be delivered by classroom teachers to first grade students.

Research Design and Methods: In the first phase, the research team in collaboration with three first-grade teachers will design a read-aloud intervention that is appropriate for first graders. In the second and third phases of the study, the research team will experimentally evaluate the intervention's effectiveness at promoting comprehension skills in two cohorts of first-grade students. First graders in the intervention condition will be explicitly taught how to analyze a text using narrative text structure knowledge, how to answer inferential questions about texts, and how to identify the meaning of vocabulary words that are part of the texts they are reading. When compared to children in the no-intervention group, children who participate in the Story Read Aloud program are expected to demonstrate greater proficiency across a range of comprehension measures.

Related IES Projects: The Read Aloud Curriculum in First Grade Classrooms: Furthering Our Understanding of Immediate and Long-Term Impacts and Causal Influences (R305G050216)


ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publications:

Journal articles

Santoro, L.E., Chard, D.J., Howard, L., and Baker, S.K. (2008). Making the Very Most of Classroom Read-Alouds to Promote Comprehension and Vocabulary. Reading Teacher, 61(5): 396–408.