This article addresses the importance and benefits of integrating informational texts into read alouds in preschool classrooms through an instructional approach entitled REAL Time. Teachers use the REAL Time framework to pair complex storybooks with one or more informational texts in order to develop children’s understanding of key vocabulary and important real world concepts. Teachers are then encouraged to plan curricular experiences for children that deepen and extend their understanding. Such experiences help the teacher link children’s content knowledge across texts and learning experiences. While implementing REAL Time, teachers draw attention to text features and functions of informational texts in ways that build children’s understanding of print.
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This study was supported, in part, by the Rollins Center for Language & Literacy at the Atlanta Speech School and the Research on the Challenges of Acquiring Language and Literacy (L & L) Initiative at Georgia State University. The opinions expressed are ours and do not represent views of the funding agencies. We would like to thank Dr. Kim Day and Comer Yates for their invaluable leadership and the United Way of Greater Atlanta for their ongoing support of this work. We would also like to thank the teachers, children, and families who participated in this project, without whom this research would not have been possible.
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E. Bingham, G., Venuto, N., Carey, M. et al. Making it REAL: Using Informational Picture Books in Preschool Classrooms. Early Childhood Educ J 46, 467–475 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10643-017-0881-7
- Informational text
- Read alouds
- Print features
- Concept knowledge