The effects of an elaborated directed reading activity on the metacomprehension skills of third graders

Maribeth Cassidy Schmitt, Purdue University


The study was designed to investigate the effects of an elaborated format of guided reading designed to enhance independent metacomprehension skills within the context of basal reading instruction. Essentially, as a means of monitoring their own comprehension, the students in the experimental condition were taught how and encouraged to activate their own background knowledge, set purposes for reading, generate prequestions, answer generated prequestions, hypothesize, verify or reject hypotheses, and summarize where appropriate. The students in the control condition were taught the same basal stories in a manner directed by the teacher's manual. The sample consisted of third grade students in two intact classrooms in different elementary schools in a middle-sized midwestern community. The study included the guided reading instruction of five basal stories. Reading comprehension ability and strategy awareness measures were administered to all subjects prior to instruction to serve as pre-experimental estimates of subjects' abilities. These scores were used as covariates in the data analyses. The five dependent measures in the study included an error detection test, a cloze test, a comprehension strategy questionnaire which were administered to all subjects, a verbal report measure and an interview measure which were administered to a selected sample of 10 subjects from each group. Multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was performed on the results of the three measures given to all subjects. A significant treatment effect favoring the experimental group was indicated. Univariate analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) were conducted to further explore the effects due to treatment. All ANCOVAs were significant. The Mann-Whitney U Test, which was conducted to compare the performances of the selected samples on the final two measures, revealed significant differences between the groups, favoring the experimental group. It was concluded from these findings that third graders' metacomprehension abilities can be improved through the elaborated format of guided instruction used in the study.




Baumann, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Educational psychology

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