Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Reading (Elementary); Silent reading;


This study investigated the effects of sustained silent reading (SSR) (Hunt, 1967) on low achieving, rural Midwestern second-grade readers' interaction with reading material. The purpose of this study was to determine if daily 10-minute periods of SSR significantly affected low achieving second-grade readers' choice of activities during daily free-time periods. It was expected that these subjects would choose to read more during free time as a result of exposure to daily periods of SSR. Additionally, the study examined the effect of SSR on their oral sharing after each daily SSR period. A multiple baseline design across individuals was employed to evaluate the effects of the program. Six students classified as low achieving readers according to the 1981-82 Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test scores were randomly assigned to three groups. The remaining 18 students also were randomly assigned to the same three groups. The teacher randomly selected one group of students and initiated the intervention, daily 10-minute periods of SSR with a 5-minute sharing period following. The remaining two groups began their daily seatwork. During "work-breaks," three daily free-time periods, all students were allowed to_engage in any of three activities: reading, drawing, or playing games. Baseline data were taken on all subjects for 7 days. The intervention was implemented with Group 1_ on the eighth day. During subsequent work-breaks, observational data were collected on individual subjects in 10-second intervals and recorded on specially designed observation checklists. Results were graphed daily for individual students as well as the pairs of students in each group. The intervention was implemented with Group 2 and continued with Group 1 after an upward trend in the graph was noted for Group 1 and extended to Group 3 when an upward trend in the graph was noted for Groups 1 and 2. The entire study lasted 12 weeks. Results indicated that four subjects and two groups demonstrated an increase in interacting with reading materials as indicated by individual and group graphs. It was also noted that the quality of oral sharing improved substantially after all groups received the intervention. The results of this study lead to three conclusions: 1. Under appropriate environmental conditions and with proper motivational devices and techniques, low achieving readers often choose to read during free time rather than participate in other special activities. 2. When combined with motivating materials, appropriate atmosphere, and opportunity to openly express feelings, SSR is directly related to an increase in the quality of oral sharing of reading materials. 3. The design used in the study, multiple baseline across individuals, is a technique suitable for classroom use and is adaptable to many subjects.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Catherine W. Hatcher

Second Advisor

Sharon Arthur Moore

Third Advisor

Bruce G. Rogers


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Date Original


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