Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Teaching and Learning (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

María S. Carlo

Second Committee Member

Laura Kohn-Wood

Third Committee Member

Jennifer Langer-Osuna

Fourth Committee Member

Eduardo Negueruela-Azarola


This study focuses on the implementation of a multicultural, instructional read aloud lesson by a first grade teacher using the Voices Reading literacy curriculum during a six-week summer academic program for students at risk for academic failure who lived in a primarily black, low income, urban community in the southeastern region of the United States. The study examined how the teacher promoted an active participatory structure during the read aloud lesson and how this aspect of her teaching was guided by the curriculum and program context. The study used a case study approach to qualitative research (Creswell, 2006) and thematic analysis (Boyatzis, 1998; Braun & Clark, 2006; O’Leary, 2009). The analysis was based on the coding of seven read aloud lessons by the first grade teacher in the summer program. The coding of the data served to identify instances during instruction where the teacher promoted an active participatory structure during discussion about the text. Analysis of the interactions revealed that the parts of the lesson most helpful in supporting this active participatory structure took place when the teacher and students engaged in repetitive instances of ongoing dialogue or exchange reflected in continuous, sustained conversations, with the purpose of constructing meaning around a particular topic or idea, as opposed to simply extracting information from the text they are reading. These particularly rich exchanges are characterized by the following: a) integration of open-ended questions (e.g., factual/recall, inferential, or opinion/evaluative), as well as follow-up probing and elaboration by the teacher; and b) the welcoming of student interjections by the teacher, reflective of their thoughts and ideas surrounding the text. Furthermore, the read aloud lessons were characterized by a significant amount of teacher and student interaction and dialogue surrounding the text reading as a whole. In addition, an active participatory structure, as well as personal relevance, established through a co-construction of meaning, were supported through the teacher’s utilization of the curriculum as a guiding framework during instruction. The teacher also relied upon her own cultural competence to make choices regarding the discursive language style that she utilized during instruction, reflective of her students’ prior knowledge and cultural backgrounds.


Read Alouds; Multicultural Literature; Literacy; Reading; Multicultural Literacy