Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Sarah Vander Zanden


Reading comprehension; Third grade (Education);


This qualitative research study explores how teacher prompting and questioning impacts students’ comprehension of texts. The researcher observed a third grade teacher, Mrs. G., at a local elementary school in order to discern patterns in how this teacher used verbal prompts and questions to assist her students in understanding what they read. An initial interview was conducted with Mrs. G. to determine how she typically teaches and assesses reading comprehension, as well as the types of verbal prompts and questions she utilizes to assist students in comprehension. The researcher observed two literacy lessons in which Mrs. G. instructed the whole class as well as small groups of students. An analysis of these observations revealed Mrs. G’s use of academic language as well as explicit modeling or thinking aloud as a means to aid students in their reading comprehension. These patterns were confirmed through analysis of the data by multiple sources, including Mrs. G’s comments, and are evident in the literature. Recommendations for educators linked to this study include using academic language to label and discuss various reading comprehension strategies, as well as modeling reading comprehension strategies by thinking aloud in an effort to support students’ understanding of when and how to implement particular strategies to aid in their understanding of texts.

Keywords: reading comprehension, academic language, modeling, third grade

Year of Submission



Department of Curriculum and Instruction

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (1 volume (unpaged))



File Format