Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Joyce Fine

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Eric Dwyer

Third Advisor's Name

Paulette Johnson

Fourth Advisor's Name

Lynne Miller


visualization, onset-and-rime, story read alouds, discussion, vocabulary, comprehension

Date of Defense



It has long been known that vocabulary is essential in the development of reading. Because vocabulary leading to increased comprehension is important, it necessary to determine strategies for ensuring that the best methods of teaching vocabulary are used to help students make gains in vocabulary leading to reading comprehension. According to the National Reading Panel, multiple strategies that involve active engagement on the part of the student are more effective than the use of just one strategy.

The purpose of this study was to determine if students’ use of visualization, student-generated pictures of onset-and-rime-patterned vocabulary, and story read-alouds with discussion, would enable diverse first-grade students to increase their vocabulary and comprehension. In addition, this study examined the effect of the multimodal framework of strategies on English learners (ELs).

This quasi-experimental study (N=69) was conducted in four first-grade classrooms in a low socio-economic school. Two treatment classes used a multimodal framework of strategies to learn weekly vocabulary words and comprehension. Two comparison classrooms used the traditional method of teaching weekly vocabulary and comprehension. Data sources included Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading (FAIR), comprehension and vocabulary scores, and weekly MacMillan/McGraw Hill Treasures basal comprehension questions and onset-and-rime vocabulary questions.

This research determined that the treatment had an effect in adjusted FAIR comprehension means by group, with the treatment group (adj M = 5.14) significantly higher than the comparison group (adj M = -8.26) on post scores. However, the treatment means did not increase from pre to post, but the comparison means significantly decreased from pre to post as the materials became more challenging. For the FAIR vocabulary, there was a significant difference by group with the comparison adjusted post mean higher than the treatment’s, although both groups significantly increased from pre to post. However, the FAIR vocabulary posttest was not part of the Treasures vocabulary, which was taught using the multimodal framework of strategies. The Treasures vocabulary scores were not significantly different by group on the assessment across the weeks, although the treatment means were higher than those of the comparison group. Continued research is needed in the area of vocabulary and comprehension instructional methods in order to determine strategies to increase diverse, urban students’ performance.





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