Personal Connections to Picture Books in Preschool: Comparing Spontaneous Responses of Preschoolers
This study investigated the response patterns of preschool children to different types of picture books. Using information books and storybooks for comparison, the researcher sought to determine if children made more personal connections when responding to one type of text over another. Over a four-week period, spontaneous responses from a sample of sixteen children were recorded as a teacher read two information books and two storybooks aloud in four separate sessions. Quantitative comparisons investigated differences between response types across all four books and for each book type; further analyses examined the factors of age and gender in these comparisons. Results revealed that overall, information books were significantly more likely to elicit personal connections in comparison to storybooks. However, significant differences were discovered between age groups. No differences were found in comparisons of gender. Findings from this research support the argument that information books can play an important role in the development of early comprehension skills, but that storybooks continue to play a very important role for our youngest preschoolers.
Keywords: Preschool, Children, Literature, Genre, Language
Dr. Terry Robertson
Doctoral Recipient, Graduate School of Education, University of Massachusetts Lowell