Faculty Publications

Title

Utilizing Nonfiction Texts to Enhance Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary in Primary Grades

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Comprehension, Informational text, Nonfiction, Primary grades, Vocabulary

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Early Childhood Education Journal

Volume

45

Issue

2

First Page

285

Last Page

296

Abstract

Many primary grade students are not afforded nonfiction-rich opportunities, with fiction comprising the majority of books read aloud in classrooms. With the Common Core Standards recommending that half of the texts made available to students be nonfiction, educators are increasing their use of informational text. The present study explored the impact of explicitly teaching reading comprehension and vocabulary strategies with nonfiction text compared to fiction text in primary-grade classrooms. Two first-grade (n = 39; 25 male, 14 female) and one second-grade class (n = 20; 13 male, 7 female) participated in the quantitative study that followed a repeated measures design in which the students alternated every 2 weeks between fiction-based instruction and nonfiction-based instruction for a total of 8 weeks. Vocabulary and use of comprehension strategies were assessed at the end of each 2-week period. Overall findings indicated that students were better able to apply the comprehension strategies and define vocabulary following nonfiction-based instruction; they also were more motivated to read informational text. The authors recommend that teachers use more nonfiction texts in the primary grades to support students’ reading comprehension and vocabulary development.

Original Publication Date

3-1-2017

DOI of published version

10.1007/s10643-015-0763-9

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

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