Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 439–447 | Cite as

Interthinking: Young Children Using Language to Think Collectively During Interactive Read-alouds


Mercer, N. (1995) coined the term interthinking to link the cognitive and social functions of group talk. Essentially, interthinking means using talk to think collectively, to engage with others’ ideas through oral language. In this article I share four excerpts from small group interactive read-aloud sessions that were conducted with Grade 1 children, and examine the nature of the interthinking that occurred during these discussions of picture books with Radical Change characteristics (Dresang, E. 1999). I examine the types of discourse that occurred during these read-aloud sessions and some of the techniques I used to guide the children in their construction of knowledge of these contemporary picture books.


young children thinking talking literature discussions picturebooks 



This study was supported by an Elva Knight Grant from the International Reading Association.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cuirrculum and Instruction in the Faculty of EducationUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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