The effect of direct instruction in story grammar using deep processing on the reading and writing achievement of second-graders

Joyce Caplan Fine, Florida International University


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of direct instruction in story grammar on the reading and writing achievement of second graders. Three aspects of story grammar (character, setting, and plot) were taught with direct instruction using the concept development technique of deep processing. Deep processing which included (a) visualization (the drawing of pictures), (b) verbalization (the writing of sentences), (c) the attachment of physical sensations, and (d) the attachment of emotions to concepts was used to help students make mental connections necessary for recall and application of character, setting, and plot when constructing meaning in reading and writing. Four existing classrooms consisting of seventy-seven second-grade students were randomly assigned to two treatments, experimental and comparison. Both groups were pretested and posttested for reading achievement using the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests. Pretest and posttest writing samples were collected and evaluated. Writing achievement was measured using (a) a primary trait scoring scale (an adapted version of the Glazer Narrative Composition Scale) and (b) an holistic scoring scale by R. J. Pritchard. ANCOVAs were performed on the posttests adjusted for the pretests to determine whether or not the methods differed. There was no significant improvement in reading after the eleven-day experimental period for either group; nor did the two groups differ. There was significant improvement in writing for the experimental group over the comparison group. Pretreatment and posttreatment interviews were selectively collected to evaluate qualitatively if the students were able to identify and manipulate elements of story grammar and to determine patterns in metacognitive processing. Interviews provided evidence that most students in the experimental group gained while most students in the comparison group did not gain in their ability to manipulate, with understanding, the concepts of character, setting, and plot.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Literacy|Reading instruction|Elementary education|Language arts

Recommended Citation

Fine, Joyce Caplan, "The effect of direct instruction in story grammar using deep processing on the reading and writing achievement of second-graders" (1991). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9210706.