Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Reading--Direct instruction approach; Language experience approach in education; Direct instruction;


Though differences between whole language and explicit instruction theories and research may seem irreconcilable, a growing body of research advocates an integration of the two. Combining the meaning-filled and student-empowering environment of whole language with needs-based explicit instruction is the solution most highly recommended. The unit letter activity is a teaching strategy for elementary-aged students which blends explicit instruction and whole language approaches. The activity involves student interaction with a thematic-related letter. The activity's purposes are two-fold : to convey information related to a theme chosen by the students, and to provide an authentic context for learning and practicing reading skills and strategies. Students read the letter for meaning-making purposes, discuss areas of interest, then practice using and implementing specific reading skills and strategies. The unit letter activity is completed by a final review of the letter's meaning, and a typed copy is sent home with the students to share with caregivers.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Penny L. Beed


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Date Original


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