Pacific Institutes for Research
Principal Investigators

Lana Edwards Santoro, Ph.D.

P.O. Box 30380

Alexandria, VA 22310-8380


About the Read Aloud Project

The Read Aloud Project builds first grade student comprehension and vocabulary by enhancing read alouds with comprehension and vocabulary-building activities.  Read alouds are an ideal time to show students how comprehension works in a listening comprehension context.  In other words, students can begin to learn a variety of comprehension strategies and build vocabulary just as they are beginning to learn how to read printed text.  Overall, the Read Aloud project includes a research- and state standards-based practical read aloud curriculum that can be used without replacing any current instruction or school reading programs.

Project Purposes

  • extend what we know about how read alouds boost student comprehension and vocabulary
  • powerfully optimize read aloud time using narrative and expository texts to make explicit text-to-text connections
  • enhance read alouds with integrated comprehension and vocabulary instruction
  • implement read alouds focused on science content (thematic focus on animals and "living things"
  • learn how teachers currently use read alouds to improve the Read Aloud Project in future years
  • challenge students to develop more complex strategies than would ordinarily be necessary for the relatively simple narrastive and expository texts typically used in first grade
  • deepen comprehension by increasing text-talk between and among students
  • promote student gains in comprehension and vocabulary

Nature of the Research

  • U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences, funded
  • focus on first grade classrooms
  • recruiting a minimum of 20 teachers (1 per school) to participate
  • 10 receive training & implement Read Aloud curriculum (intervention)
  • 10 help us learn about existing classroom read aloud practices (comparison)

Read Aloud Curriculum

  • a research- and state standards-based read aloud curriculum with lessons, books, and materials
  • English Standards of Learning and Science Standards of Learning and addressed
  • does not replace current instruction or reading programs - the Read Aloud curriculum is designed to be used during a teacher's read aloud time and complements rather than replaces a teacher's instruction and state standards
  • whole-class read aloud instruction
  • 10 thematic units: focus on living things and animal-related science content
  • 20 books (1 narrative and 1 expository text per unit)
  • 19 weeks of instruction
  • flexible implementation