Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Joyce Fine

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mido Chang

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Elizabeth Cramer

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

George O'Brien

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


reading comprehension, text structure

Date of Defense



Reading comprehension is the process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language (Snow, Science and Technology, and States, 2002). For many students, there is a decrease in reading achievement as early as fourth grade as a result of increased demands in complexity of intermediate text (Williams et al., 2005). Reading attitude is “a system of feelings related to reading which causes the learner to approach or avoid a reading situation” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 1). McKenna, Kear, and Ellsworth (1995) found that attitude towards reading grew increasingly negative as students moved from first to sixth grade. In addition, the Common Core Standards requirement on students to read and write from informational text has made an even greater demand on teachers to improve reading comprehension.

The study aimed to advance the research on the impact of reading strategy instruction towards reading comprehension and reading attitude. Reading strategies are deliberate attempts to modify the reader’s efforts to construct meaning of text. The current quasi-experimental study investigated the effect of the Reciprocal Mapping (Fine, 2004) approach on third-grade students’ reading comprehension achievement and reading attitude. Reciprocal Mapping (Fine, 2004) is an integrated reading/writing strategy, using visual representation to make concrete the process of examining the text structure of science informational text.

The theoretical framework for the proposed study stems from a sociocultural perspective. This perspective incorporates readers’ backgrounds while developing their cognitive strategies and metacognitive skills for comprehending text. The investigator developed a pretest/posttest comparison group quasi-experimental design.

The study’s independent variable was group membership, with the dependent variables being reading comprehension achievement and reading attitude. An ANCOVA indicated that there was a significant difference for overall reading comprehension between the two groups on the basis of the post reading test scores when controlling for the pre-test scores. However, when analyzing for reading attitude, there was not a significant difference for overall reading attitude. The findings suggest that standards-based instruction on science informational text with the Reciprocal Mapping (Fine, 2004) approach was an effective method for increasing third-grade students’ reading comprehension.





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