The Art of Interactive Reading

i-065In Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age, I help parents and caregivers master the art of interactive reading. By following my simple “Born Reading Playbook,” anyone can turn storytime into a rich, participatory experience.

These techniques are more than 25 years old.

Dr. Grover Whitehurst, a child development expert who would go on to serve as director of the Institute of Education Sciences at the Department of Education, helped develop a program called “dialogic reading” in the 1980s.

Whitehurst offered this definition at Reading Rockets:

In dialogic reading, the adult helps the child become the teller of the story. The adult becomes the listener, the questioner, the audience for the child. No one can learn to play the piano just by listening to someone else play. Likewise, no one can learn to read just by listening to someone else read. Children learn most from books when they are actively involved.

The Stony Brook Reading and Language Project developed a simple curriculum for parents to teach dialogic reading. Follow this link to explore the whole system.

Below, I’ve linked to more helpful worksheets and videos to help parents master interactive reading.

Online Resources To Master the Art of Interactive Reading

1. Dialogic Reading Demonstration: In this long video playlist, you can watch teachers using interactive reading techniques with kids in the classroom.
2. Dialogic Reading explained: Whitehurst outlines his techniques
3. Reading Aloud video: Experts discuss interactive reading techniques
4. Interactive reading tips for babies
5. Interactive reading tips for toddlers
6. Interactive reading tips for preschoolers


4 thoughts on “The Art of Interactive Reading

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  3. Norah Colvin

    Interactive reading is a very natural approach and one that should be used by every parent or teacher sharing books with children. It encourages all-round intellectual development and extends knowledge. Beautiful!

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