Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Kathryn Campbell, PhD

Second Advisor

Karen Burke, CSJ, EdD

Third Advisor

Nicholas Kowgios, EdD

Abstract

This study examined the effects of reading and discussing of poetry in a fifth grade setting in a suburban school district in the Northeast. A protocol designed by Nancie Atwell (2006) was used as the treatment in the study utilizing a pretest posttest quasi-experimental design. The sample of convenience (n = 141) was drawn from the fifth grade in a suburban school district in the Northeast. All students were administered the Motivation to Read Profile (Gambrell, Palmer, Codling, & Mazzoni, 1996) to measure their levels of motivation prior to treatment implementation. Form S of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test: Vocabulary Subtest (MacGinitie, MacGinitie, Maria, & Dreyer, 2000) was utilized as a pretest to measure vocabulary achievement prior to treatment. Both the experimental and the control groups received literacy instruction in the form of the reader’s workshop model, but the experimental group’s instruction was supplemented with eight weeks of reading and discussing poetry using the Atwell protocol three times per week. Upon completion of the treatment, students were administered the Motivation to Read Profile and Form T of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test: Vocabulary Subtest to measure changes in motivation and vocabulary achievement.

An ANOVA was used to measure the effectiveness of the treatment on both student motivation to read and vocabulary achievement. For both research questions, results of the one-way ANOVA required accepting the null hypothesis. Thus, there were no significant differences in the vocabulary achievement or the motivation to read of fifth grade students who read and discussed poetry on a regular basis using Atwell’s poetry protocol as compared to fifth grade students who did not read and discuss poetry using Atwell’s protocol. Students who received the treatment continued to perform as well as those in the control group who did not receive the treatment.

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