Citation
Effects of story enactment and teacher-led discussion on preschool children's story comprehension

Material Information

Title:
Effects of story enactment and teacher-led discussion on preschool children's story comprehension
Creator:
Bennett, Teresa C., 1948-
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
1983
Language:
English
Physical Description:
ix, 175 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Child psychology ( jstor )
Control groups ( jstor )
Fairy tales ( jstor )
Literary characters ( jstor )
Low socioeconomic status ( jstor )
P values ( jstor )
Statistics ( jstor )
Swine ( jstor )
Teachers ( jstor )
Theater ( jstor )
Curriculum and Instruction thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Curriculum and Instruction -- UF
Education, Preschool ( lcsh )
Reading comprehension ( lcsh )
Storytelling ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1983.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 170-174.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Teresa C. Bennett.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
029291469 ( AlephBibNum )
09911829 ( OCLC )
ACA4669 ( NOTIS )

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text












EFFECTS OF STORY ENACTMENT AND TEACHER-LED DISCUSSION
ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S STORY COMPREHENSION














BY

TERESA C. BENNETT


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1983

































Copyright 1983

by

Teresa C. Bennett































This work is dedicated to

my son and my father.



"The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide"

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow













ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I wish to extend my thanks to the following people:

Dr. Linda Lamme, who was demanding, insightful, help-

ful, interested, and enthusiastic;

Dr. Steve Olejnik, my teacher, who helped me with the

analysis and spent time critiqueing my writing;

Dr. Dorene Ross, who critiqued my writing, helped me

revise and provided support;

Dr. Pat Ashton, who was a good listener and counselor;

Dr. Bob Algozinne, who provided feedback on my writing

and humor at important moments.

My thanks extend to other members of my family and

friends, my mother, Lolly and Chip, Gussie and Bob Mautz,

Sharen Halsall.

My thanks also go to Lois Rudloff, my typist, who did

such a great job.

I want to express my appreciation to an unofficial

member of my committee, Dr. Anthony Pelligrini, of the Uni-

versity of Georgia, who is an authority on play and young

children. He helped me formulate the framework of this

study.














TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . .

ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . .


CHAPTER

ONE INTRODUCTION . . . . . . .


Introduction . . . .
Need for the Study . . .
Statement of the Problem .
Significance of the Study
Limitations of the Study .
Definition of Terms . .
Formal Story Elements . .
Summary . . . . .


TWO REVIEW OF LITERATURE . . . . . .
Introduction . . . . . . . .
Reading Readiness . . . . . .
Story Comprehension . . . . . .
Formal Elements of a Story . . . .
Low Socioeconomic Status Black Children:
Language Development and Reading
Readiness . . . . . . . .
Play and Young Children . . . . .
Story Enactment and Story Comprehension
Play Training . . . . . . .
Teacher-Led Discussion . . . . .
Fairy Tales . . . . . . . .
Summary . . . . . . . . .

THREE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY . . .
Subjects . . . . . . . . .
Sample Selection . . . . . . .
Variables . . . . . . . .
Instrumentation . . . . . . .
Design . . . . . . . . .
Data Collection . . . . . . .
Hypotheses . . . . . . . .
Assumptions . . . . . . . .


Page


iv

viii




1
1
4
6
8
9
10
12
13

14
14
17
18
20


22
25
29
31
39
41
43








Page

Procedure . . . . . . . . 55
Teacher Training Workshops . . . .. 57
Curriculum Implementation . . . .. 59

FOUR RESULTS . . . . . . ... 62
Little Red Riding Hood: Formal Elements
of a Story . . . . . . 62
The Gingerbread Man: Formal Elements of
a Story . . . . . . . . 77
Post Hoc Analyses . . . . ... 87
Little Red Riding Hood . . . ... 91
The Gingerbread Man . . . . .. 97

FIVE SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 106
Factors Affecting Results of the Study 106
Criterion-Referenced Test: Little Red
Riding Hood . . . . . . .. 113
Story Retelling . . . . . .. 114
Broad Implications for Future Research 122
Practical Implications for Future
Research . . . . . . .. 123
Enactment Treatment Observations ... . 124
Implications for Day Care Teachers . 127
Conclusions . . . . . ... 134


APPENDIX

A CRT LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, 4th FAMILIAR
STORY . . . . . . . ... 137

B READING ALOUD TO CHILDREN SCALE (REVISED). 138

C BOOKS USED IN THIS STUDY . . . .. 141

D INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS ON THE STUDY
ABOUT HOW CHILDREN UNDERSTAND STORIES . 142

E SCHEDULE FOR STORIES . . . . .. 145

F QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE BEARS BY PAUL
GALDONE . . . . . . . ... 146

G QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE LITTLE PIGS ILLUS-
TRATED BY AURELIUS BATTAGLIA. . . . 149

H QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE BILLY GOATS
GRUFF . . . . . . . ... 152









Page


I TEACHER-LED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS TO BE
USED FOR THE STORY LITTLE RED RIDING
HOOD BY JACOB AND WILHELM GRIMM ... . 155

J SAMPLE STORIES . . . . . .. 158

K PROCEDURES . . . . . . . .. 168

L SUMMARY FOR TREATMENT EFFECTS WITH
TEACHERS NESTED WITHIN TREATMENTS USED
AS THE ERROR TERM . . . . . .. 169


REFERENCE NOTES . . . . . . . .. 170

REFERENCES . . . . . . . . .. 171

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . . . . . . .. 175














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



EFFECTS OF STORY ENACTMENT AND TEACHER-LED DISCUSSION
ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S STORY COMPREHENSION


By

Teresa C. Bennett

April 1983


Chairperson: Linda Leonard Lamme
Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect

of story enactment and teacher-led discussion on low income

black preschool children's story comprehension as measured

by a criterion-referenced test and two retelling tasks which

were analyzed for formal elements of a story.

The study involved 45 preschoolers (3 1/2 to 4 1/2

years old) in six Title XX (federally funded) daycare cen-

ters in Gainesville, Florida. The pretest administered by

graduate students in the Speech Department was the Test of

Early Language. The posttest data, the criterion-referenced

test and two retelling tasks were collected by the teachers

who carried out the four-week curriculum and by the experi-

menter.


viii










Analysis of covariance was used to test for treatment

effects on 11 dependent variables. Chi-square analysis was

done on 6 variables which were dichotomous. The signifi-

cance level was set at a=.05.

The four-week literature curriculum was carried out by

volunteer teachers in six daycare centers. The enactment

group was provided books, filmstrips, cassettes, instruc-

tions and props for each story. The teacher-led discussion

group was provided books, filmstrips, cassettes, instruc-

tions and specific questions and appropriate answers for

each story. The control group was provided books, film-

strips and cassettes for each story.

The enactment and teacher-led discussion treatments

had a significant positive effect on the criterion-refer-

enced test on Little Red Riding Hood, total formal elements

score and unity on The Gingerbread Man. These results sug-

gest that a literature curriculum utilizing enactment or

teacher-led discussion can significantly improve preschool

children's story comprehension, particularly in regard to

recall.













CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION



Introduction


Psycholinguistic theories of how children learn to

read suggest that reading is above all a thinking process,

a "psycholinguistic guessing game" in which children test

hypotheses about how to derive meaning from print (Downing,

1979; Goodman, 1981; Smith, 1978). Rather than learning a

series of hierarchical skills, children learn to read by

interacting with whole texts while reading (Smith, 1978).

If reading is an integrated semantic process in which mean-

ing is paramount, children need to be given experiences in

problem-solving and making inferences to "fill in the gaps"

in reading materials such as stories (Bransford, 1979). A

story is a stable and organized body of knowledge and in or-

der to understand it a child must comprehend the continuity

and connectedness of the story's events and structure (Stein,

1980). Through exposure to stories, children develop an in-

ternal representation, a set of expectations about what com-

prises a story, called a story schema. A story schema

helps children integrate and understand what they read (Dur-

kin, 1981; Stein, 1980).

Language proficiency helps children understand and re-

member stories that are read to them. Story comprehension










is enhanced by good language skills and consistent exposure

to stories. Low income black children come from environ-

ments where they may not be exposed to literature and their

language development may be termed delayed (Deutsch, 1967;

Templin, 1975). Children from this population who are in

daycare centers might benefit from a program which empha-

sizes a holistic literature approach. Reading many stories over

a period of time facilitates the reading readiness of these

children through listening, memorizing, and inventing stor-

ies using book language (Levenstein, 1970). Better compre-

hension is possible when children understand stories and

their plots. The ability to comprehend the relationship of

events in a story helps children be more ready to read

(Stein, 1980).

Research with low income black children and reading

falls into two categories. Research which used isolated

skills as outcome measures found that direct instruction in

these skills most benefitted the children (Bereiter & Engel-

man, 1966). The use of higher order measures, like overall

language development and comprehension with children taught

by direct instruction, indicates that these children are not

as successful in comprehending what they read as children

taught by a meaning approach (Becker, 1977; Bruner, 1968).

The goals of this study are not involved with skill hier-

archies, since comprehension cannot be broken down into

skills (Mason, Osborn, & Rosenshine, 1977). This study has










a much broader goal, the integration and understanding of

story material.

One theory about the learning style of low income

black children terms their learning style, social in-

teractive (Gordon, 1982). Play, which is social interac-

tive, is identified as a powerful means for develop-

ing the language of young children (Piaget, 1962; Vygotsky,

1978). Play, an intellectual process, helps the young child

assimilate new information into present mental structures

(Piaget, 1962). Language and meaning grow through play as

the child becomes aware of symbols and the relationship be-

tween the signifier and the signified (Wolfgang, 1974). A

special type of play treatment, story enactment, may be ideal

for facilitating the language growth and story comprehension

of this population, because it is social interactive. Also

previous research has shown that story enactment has had pos-

itive effects on the story comprehension of low income chil-

dren who are five years of age (Pelligrini & Galda, 1982).

The traditional teaching method used to help children

listen to and understand stories is a questioning or

classroom discussion technique (Pearson & Johnson, 1978).

Teacher-led discussion, one treatment in this study, is more

direct than the other treatment, story enactment. This

study seeks to juxtapose a dynamic, interactive treatment,

story enactment, with the more direct method, teacher-led

discussion, to determine which condition enhances the story











comprehension and language of four year old black children.

Story comprehension and language, in turn, are important

aspects of reading readiness in a holistic approach to lit-

eracy.



Need for the Study


Theories abound as to why low socioeconomic status

black children do poorly in school settings. Whether the

problem is lack of adequate stimulation at home, biased

tests or biased teachers, the fact remains that children

in this population have difficulty academically (Gordon,

1982). It seems important to do research on these children

before school entry to ascertain the most appropriate teach-

ing methods for facilitating their learning.

This research is needed to extend the generalizability

of previous research in the area of story comprehension to

low socioeconomic status black four year olds. Six known

studies utilizing a small group enactment treatment have

found significant results on story comprehension measures

(Milner, 1982, Pelligrini & Galda, 1982; Saltz, Dixon, &

Johnson, 1977; Saltz & Johnson, 1974; Silvern, Williamson,

Taylor, Surbeck, & Kelley, Note 1; Silvern, Williamson, Tay-

lor, & Kelley, Note 2). This research shows that story en-

actment does facilitate story comprehension in older chil-

dren. There has not been enough research on children un-

der five years of age to know how they understand stories.










Nancy Stein (1980), a major researcher in the area of story

comprehension, states that more research is needed with

young children below the age of five to complete our under-

standing of how children think about stories.

The present study is similar to Milner's (1982) study

and a study by Pelligrini and Galda (1982). Milner used a

story enactment treatment with middle income white four

year olds and found significant results on total formal ele-

ments of a story included in a retelling task. Milner's re-

sults can only be generalized to similar populations, pre-

school children of college students. The proposed study

extends the generalizability of Milner's results to low SES

black four year olds. The second treatment in this study,

teacher-led discussion, is similar to a treatment used by

Pelligrini and Galda (1982). The discussion group in the

Pelligrini and Galda study did facilitate story comprehen-

sion, but the primary treatment, story enactment, facil-

itated better story comprehension for low SES black five

year olds.

Another reason this study is needed is to develop a

literature program of fairy tales for daycare staff using

story enactment and teacher-led discussion. This study

will broaden our knowledge of the best teaching methods to

use while involving children with literature. There is

little research data on the impact of children's experiences

with literature in the daycare curriculum. The










effectiveness of the training provided for the teachers is

assessed by determining its impact upon the students.



Statement of the Problem


Research is needed on low socioeconomic status four

year old black children in daycare settings to determine

the best methods for promoting conceptual learning, such as

story comprehension. This study seeks to investigate the

effects of two treatment conditions, story enactment of

fairy tales and teacher-led discussion about fairy tales on

preschoolers' story comprehension as measured by knowledge

of formal elements of a story and a criterion-referenced

test. The experimenter is providing teacher training for

those teachers who will implement the treatments in separate

daycare centers. The primary treatment is enacting a series

of four fairy tale stories with teachers taking an active

role in dramatization. The second treatment consists of a

teacher-led discussion after reading the same stories. The

control condition is a situation in which the teacher will

read the same stories.

The question under investigation in regard to story

comprehension is: Does story enactment, in preselected

groups of four children, or teacher-led discussion, facil-

itate the story comprehension of low socioeconomic status

black four year olds (N=45) as measured by a CRT and formal

elements of a story?











The formal story elements to be used in scoring the

children's story retellings are those used by Applebee

(1978), Isbell (1979), and Milner (1982): formal opening

(i.e., once upon a time), formal closing (i.e., the end),

and number of characters, number of incidents, number of

times conversational quotations are used and story unity.

The adult-led discussion treatment utilizes a questioning

mode developed by Sadow (1982) which is based on Rumelhart's

story grammar. The questions investigate these areas: set-

ting; initiating event, reaction, action, and consequence.

The control group is hearing the same fairy tales read aloud

and participating in their regular curriculum.

All three groups are hearing the same four fairy tales.

They are Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs, The

Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Bears. Fairy tales

are chosen as the genre of literature because they have

simple plots and thematic development. Fairy tales possess

special appeal to children who identify with the conflicts

and problems dealt with in the stories as well as the regu-

lated pattern inherent in the tale, i.e., use of repetition,

causal relations, formal opening and closing (Favat, Note 3).



Significance of the Study


This study is significant because it will develop a

curriculum model for teachers at the early childhood level










and validate its effectiveness for children. This study

also validates the theory that one academic skill area,

holistic reading readiness, can be enhanced either by a

thematic fantasy play curriculum or a more traditional dis-

cussion curriculum. The results of this study indicate

whether low socioeconomic status black children learn best

in a social interactive curriculum, i.e., story enactment,

or the more passive, abstract, discussion curriculum.

A carefully developed daily literature curriculum has

been developed for this study. The children hear one fairy

tale every week for four weeks. Each teacher reads the

story two days a week and audiovisual media presents the

story on two other days during the week. The story enact-

ment group enacts the story immediately after hearing it or

seeing it presented. This type of treatment may be espe-

cially appropriate for low SES black children, since it is

a condition in which social interaction is the focus. This

active treatment, termed story enactment, is contrasted with

the more traditional discussion treatment to determine which

condition is best for this population.

Another important facet of this study lies in its con-

tribution to new theories about reading readiness. Theories

about reading readiness have changed in recent years. The

theory of readiness as visual and auditory discrimination,

letter identification, and copying letters is being rede-

fined with research findings by psycholinguistic theorists











(Downing, 1979; Goodman, 1981; Smith, 1978). Clay (1972)

says there are certain language concepts children need to

master before they are ready to learn to read. These lan-

guage concepts involve exposure and interaction with books,

inventing stories, using book talk and memorizing stories

(Clay, 1972; McDonell & Osburn, 1978). The story enactment

treatment in this study is aimed at facilitating these lan-

guage concepts. Inventing stories and talking in book lan-

guage are practiced while enacting the stories and speaking

dialogue. Memorizing stories develops with exposure to the

same stories over a period of time (Schickedanz, 1978).

The significance of this study, then, lies in its potential

for giving us information about which kind of curriculum is

most beneficial with this particular population in regard

to story comprehension, which is the central component of

holistic reading readiness.



Limitations of the Study


One limitation of this study was that the quality of

the literature intervention is dependent on the training,

abilities and interests of the teachers. Attempting to re-

mediate this, the experimenter divided the teachers by edu-

cational level before randomly assigning them to treatments.

Also, teacher training was provided to standardize implemen-

tation of the treatments. Nevertheless, this study was










susceptible to teacher effects. Possibly more teacher

training is needed for successful implementation of the en-

actment treatment.

Two other factors which limited the study were small

sample size and the short length of the treatments. The

total sample size was 45, after 17 subjects were lost because

of attrition and absenteeism. Six centers were used because

that was the maximum the experimenter could site visit per

week. Only the four year olds in the six centers were sub-

jects. This limits the number of students in the study.

The experiment .was scheduled for four weeks. This might

be too short a time span to see changes in the dependent

measures.

Another limitation of the study was that a federal day-

care audit took place during the second week of the experi-

ment. The audit affected the morale of the teachers, di-

rectors and students. Also loss of some subjects was due to

the audit.

Because subjects could not be randomly assigned to

treatments, analysis of covariance was chosen for the analy-

sis to adjust for initial differences between subjects.

The covariate consisted of a language quotient score on the

Test of Early Language (Note 6).














Definition of Terms


Schema. In this study a schema is defined as a mental

construct which includes information about events or happen-

ings which must be met before a situation may qualify as a

particular type of event or action. Schemata guide the as-

sumptions human beings make while comprehending, learning,

and remembering. Schemata may also be called scripts or

frames. A specific script involves a group of concepts or

events. For example, a birthday party schema would include

a mental script of what events will take place at a birth-

day party, who will attend, etc. Schemata help us organize

knowledge to better understand incoming information about

the world (Bransford, 1979).

Story schema. In order to connect the ideas and events

to one another in a story, a story schema develops to help

the reader establish continuity between events in the story

(Rumelhart, 1975).

Story grammar. These have been developed by authors

and consist of a setting and a number of episodes which are

related to one another in a meaningful way.

Story representation. A mental representation in the

mind of the reader concerning the actions or events in a

story and how they are connected to one another. Assessment










of how well a reader comprehends the story is usually done

by asking the reader to retell the story and by analyzing

how many connections are made.

Story enactment. Children are read a story, are as-

signed roles and then enact the story in groups of four

with active participation by the teacher.

Thematic fantasy play. A situation in which children

enact a role and theme not related to their personal expe-

rience.

Self-directive dramatization. The pupil's own orig-

inal, imaginative, spontaneous interpretation of a charac-

ter of his/her own choosing in a story.

Teacher-led discussion. An activity in which teacher,

after reading to the students, utilizes a questioning mode

to go over the important elements of a story.

Reading readiness. Visual and language concepts devel-

oped over time with exposure to literature and print. The

reading readiness area that relates to this study involves

story comprehension specifically memorizing telling and in-

venting stories, and using book talk (Clay, 1972).

CRT. A test to measure recall (Appendix A).



Formal Story Elements


Formal opening. A designated beginning to the story,

i.e., once upon a time.










Formal closing. A designated ending to the story, i.e.,

The end.

Number of incidents. A count of the number of inci-

dents recounted in the retelling, i.e., He jumped on his back.

Number of conversational quotations. A numerical count

of the times characters speak dialogue, i.e., He said, Hello."

Number of characters mentioned. A numerical count of

how many different characters are mentioned in the retelling.

Unity. A measure of the child's skill in retelling the

story with a sense of thematic development, i.e., If the

child brings in incidents not related to the story, unity

was not scored.



Summary


The overall purpose of this study is to investigate

the usefulness of a story enactment treatment or a teacher-

led discussion treatment on the story comprehension of black

low socioeconomic status four year olds as measured by for-

mal elements of a story included in two retelling tasks and

scores on a criterion-referenced task.













CHAPTER TWO
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE



Introduction


Experience with literature has a significant effect on

a child's literacy development (Teale, 1978). Interaction

with adults and literature in the home environment influ-

ences the interest children have in books and other areas

related to reading, i.e., language development and vocabu-

lary development (Durkin, 1981; Levenstein, 1970). Studies

show that the home environments of early readers included the

following: printed materials were present, reading was'done

in the environment, the environment facilitated contact with

paper and pencil, and adults in the environment responded

to the child's efforts with quality interaction (Teale,

1978). This description of home environments producing

children who will read early and love to read would not

characterize the homes of low socioeconomic black children

(Levenstein, 1970). Studies show that there was a lack of

printed materials in low SES homes, that books were infre-

quently read to children in these homes, and these parents

wereless sophisticated verbally (Deutsch, 1967; Templin,

1957). These factors have a profound effect on the language

development and potential reading readiness of the children










from low SES environments. This studywas designed to en-

hance the literature experiences that low SES children may

lack at home, but which can be provided at a day care center.

It has been accepted that young children need the ex-

perience of hearing stories read. Schickedanz (1978) stated

that therewere specific skills children learn during the

story reading experience, one of which is memorizing the

story. The ability to remember and tell a story serves the

purpose of helping the child develop a story schema, a set

of expectations about what is contained in a story. The

best teaching method to help low SES black children develop

a story schemawas the focus of this study.

There are varying views concerning the best teaching

methods to use with low SES preschoolers. Becker and Engel-

man (ote 4)of the Oregon Direct Instruction model emphasized

individual and group classroom drill on basic skills as the

best teaching method. They pointed out the positive overall

performance of the didactic direct instruction models in the

Follow Through Evaluations. Bereiter and Engelman (1966) as-

serted that direct instructionwas the best teaching tech-

nique for low SES children. Programs like DISTAR did raise

scores on reading readiness skill tests, but these same

children fell below the national average on the reading

comprehension test of the Metropolitan Achievement Test

(Becker, 1977; Bruner, 1968). It seems obvious that direct

instructionwas the best method for teaching skill










hierarchies but probably not for teaching higher order

thought. The focus of the present studywas a higher order

mental process, story comprehension.

Comprehension of stories develops through quality ex-

periences with literature. The development of a young

child's total language, syntax, semantics, phonology, and

vocabulary enables the child to be a better reader

(Livo, 1972). One theorist stated that the best precursor

to reading achievement was a program of total language de-

velopment which was filled with interverbal communication

(Livo, 1972). The two treatments in this study,

story enactment and teacher-led discussion, were aimed at

immersing the child in verbal interaction in order to facil-

itate the development of a story schema. This mental idea

of story elements help the child to better understand

stories when read (Rumelhart, 1975).

This review will begin by discussing reading readiness

and how a story schema develops through exposure and memor-

ization, and this aids story comprehension. Research stud-

ies which have utilized formal elements of a story as a de-

pendent measure will be reviewed next. The teaching meth-

ods used to teach low SES children reading readiness in the

past will be reviewed with particular attention to language

deficits and difficulty in reading. Finally, the two meth-

ods which have been helpful in teaching children story com-

prehension, story enactment and teacher-led discussion

will be discussed.










Reading Readiness


Ideas about what reading is fall into two camps. One

states that reading is a hierarchy of skills which can best

be taught by direct instruction (Becker, 1977; Bruner, 1968).

The other camp states that reading is an interactive process

between reader and whole text in which meaning is the cen-

tral element (Downing, 1979; Goodman, 1981; Smith, 1978).

The holistic concept of reading is more learner-centered

than the skill hierarchy approach. Ideas about reading

readiness differ according to which side of the reading

argument one accepts. The authors who advocate holistic

meaning approach to reading emphasize the gestalt of the

reading episode, for example, knowing that books tell stor-

ies, knowing that book talk is different from conversation,

memorizing and inventing stories (Clay, 1972; Schickedanz,

1978; Smith, 1978). These are broad language concepts which

develop over time with exposure to literature. This study

examined two methods of teaching children how to

approach the reading experience with these broad language

concepts needed for comprehending print. Preparing chil-

dren to be holistically ready to readwas a broad goal of

this study.

The ability to tell a story has been highly correlated

with reading readiness. In one study children were read

"Peter Rabbit" 10 times. Then they were asked to state as










many incidents as they could recall about the story. There

was a .78 correlation with the Lee-Clark Reading Readiness

Test (Livo, 1972). The knowledge children gain by experienc-

ing literature helps them develop the mental scaffolding

needed to comprehend when they read in later years (Livo,

1972).) The two most important resources children bring to

the reading experience are competence in oral language and

the knowledge that reading is the expression of and compre-

hension of meaning (Goodman, 1981). The meaning approach to

reading and reading readiness emphasizes the communicative

nature of the reading act. Reading is getting information

from books and gaining an understanding of what is contained

in books constitutes reading readiness (Downing, 1979).

This orientation is the view adopted by this research study.

Cognitive psychologists state that human beings inter-

pret experience through existing mental structures, schemata,

which aid human comprehension. It is important for children

to develop story schemata to enable them to better compre-

hend the stories they read or are read to them (Durkin,

1981; Rumelhart, 1975).



Story Comprehension


John Bransford (1979) in his book Human Cognition ex-

plores the relationship between schema theory and comprehen-

sion. The concept of schemata is derived from the work of










Piaget and Kant (Bransford, 1979). Schemata are also called

scripts or frames. Schemata characterize the way in which

conceptual structures are built. A story schema helps or-

ganize the information in the story in a logical, coherent

manner. A restaurant schema would include a sequence of

events which occur in a restaurant. Human comprehension de-

pends upon these schemata and subschemata (the sequence in-

herent in the entire script) to make sense of what will be

read and understood (Bransford, 1979).

We all depend on our prior knowledge of the world and

prior experience to help us reason about events or situations.

Bransford (1979) states that


Comprehension consists of: (1) finding a
schema that fits a particular input [i.e.,
at a birthday party, or that sequence of
events which constitute a birthday party.]
(2) discovering those entities that corres-
pond to particular roles required in the
schema, (3) making inferences to fill in
the gaps in the story. (p. 185)


Bransford (1979) discusses the role of inference in compre-

hension. Comprehension depends on one's ability to think

inferentially and make assumptions based on general knowl-

edge. Understanding stories requires one to make assump-

tions concerning relations between events. People make

sense of what is heard or read by connecting the events of

a story in some logical way. Readers or listeners "fill in

the gaps" of a story based on their experience level.










The holistic model of teaching reading,which the the-

ories of story schema fit into, states that reading compre-

hension is an interactive process in which both text and

world knowledge play key roles (Durkin, 1981; Rumelhart,

1975). Low SES children need quality experiences with lit-

erature to develop story schemata for better understanding

and integration of what is read.



Formal Elements of a Story


In an attempt to discover how children think about

stories, some researchers have analyzed stories told by

children. This analysis has revealed there are certain

elements of a story. Three studies will be reviewed in

this section. The first study is by Applebee (1978), who

analyzed the 360 stories collected by Pitcher and Prelinger

(1963). The stories were told by middle class American

two, three and four year olds in response to the question,

"Tell me a story." Applebee scored these stories for for-

mal elements: formal opening, formal closing, the use of

consistent past tense. All three conventions showed a

steady rise from two-five years. Applebee also found that

number of words, number of T-units, number of characters,

number of incidents, and average number of words per T-unit

all showed a consistent and significant rise with age

whether considered individually or as a set.











Table 1.
Use of Formal Elements of a Story
by Applebee (1978) p. 163


Age 2 Age 3 Age 4 Age 5 Chi-Square

Formal 30.0 43.3 76.7 86.7 26.87 (significant)
Beginning

Formal 0.0 13.3 13.3 46.7 23.82 (significant)
Ending

Consistent 63.3 80.0 93.3 86.7 9.63 (significant)
Past Tense



Isbell (1979) used a story reading and storytelling

condition with 12 middle class subjects who were four and

five years old. Contemporary children's stories were used.

Isbell studied the same dependent measures that Applebee de-

veloped. She found that the storytelling group included

more incidents in the retelling, more formal endings, and

conversational quotations. One weakness of Isbell's study

was the small number of subjects. It is difficult to draw

conclusions about a treatment with only six subjects in each

treatment, but her findings do correspond to those of Apple-

bee.

Milner (1982) conducted a study utilizing an eight

week story enactment treatment with four year olds at Baby

Gator Research Center, in Gainesville, Florida. Milner meas-

ured the effect of her fairy tale curriculum with several

outcome measures of oral language, formal story elements










[similar to Applebee (1978) and Isbell (1979)] empathy, and

reading readiness. She found significant effects for condi-

tion on the empathy measure, formal opening, number of char-

acters mentioned and total score for the use of formal story

elements. Milner's subjects completed a retelling task and

tapes were analyzed by the experimenter. The control group

in Milner's study were read contemporary children's stories

instead of fairy tales. Milner's curriculum was a total in-

tegration of the fairy tale story throughout the entire pre-

school curriculum. Since she was a teacher in the school

where the treatment was held, she planned numerous activities

every day which related to that week's story. Milner's re-

sults are limited in that they can only be generalized to a

small population -preschoolrchildren of college students.

The research on formal story elements concludes that

children's concept of a story grows from age two to five in

formal elements of a story included in a retelling task

(Applebee, 1978). Milner's (1982)study demonstrated that

middle income children of student parents can grow in story

comprehension as measured on total formal elements of a

story through exposure to thematic-fantasy play.



Low Socioeconomic Status Black Children:
Language Development and Reading Readiness


The language of a low income child differs from the lan-

guage of a middle income child. These differences have been










researched thoroughly concluding that the crucial differ-

ence between lower-class children and middle-class children

is not in the quality of language but in its use (Deutsch,

1967). Low SES children generally have scores on language

tests which are below their mental ages. Deutsch (1967)

stated that "being lower class, black or white, makes for

lower language scores."

Research has paid specific attention to the language

of low SES children drawing the following conclusions:

(1) they have limited language ability;

(2) they possess syntactic inferiority;

(3) they use more simple sentences;

(4) they use more mispronounced words;

(5) they have deficits in auditory attention and in-

terpretation skills;

(6) they lack some communication skills;

(7) they lack adequate adult models in the environ-

ment;

(8) they have a restricted vocabulary (Dunn, Neville,

Pfost, Pochanart, & Bruininks, 1968, page 8).

Low SES children generally understand more language than

they use. The school setting may be particularly difficult

for them to adjust to because school language is so differ-

ent from the low income child's language.

Language proficiency is highly correlated to reading

achievement (Livo, 1972). Because of the limited language










proficiency lower-class children possess, they are 4 to 10

times more likely to be poor readers in comparison to the

entire school population (Dunn et al., 1968). Low SES chil-

dren enter school less ready to learn to read in comparison

to advantaged children (Dunn et al., 1968). For this reason

the low SES population has been the focus of a great deal of

reading readiness research.

The reading readiness skills identified 10 to 20 years

ago as the best predictors of reading achievement were the

isolated skills of knowing letter sounds and names, auditory

blending and visual discrimination. Facilitating the read-

ing achievement of low SES children in school settings was

the focus of such programs as DISTAR. The Follow Through

Evaluations show that direct instructionwas the best method

for teaching low SES children the hierarchy of reading readi-

ness skills mentioned above (Bereiter & Engelman, 1966).

The DISTAR program did raise achievement to one standard de-

viation above the national norm on the WRAT (word recogni-

tion subtest). However, on the reading comprehension test

of the MAT, these same students fell below the national norm

(Becker, 1977). This research points out the weakness of

the Direct Instruction Model for teaching a complex global

ability like reading comprehension.

New ideas about reading readiness emphasize the impor-

tance of understanding the meaning behind an author's mes-

sage (Smith, 1978). Theorists now assert that low-income










children need teaching strategies which enable them to ver-

balize with peers and use motor abilities (Dunn et al.,

1968). The story enactment treatment in this study seems

ideal, then, for this population to facilitate story compre-

hension, a very important reading readiness skill for pre-

readers. Story enactment was derived from the developmental

theory of play and its value for young children as their

natural mode of learning.



Play and Young Children


What is the value of play? Many theories have stated

that adaptive intelligence involves both differentiation and

integration. Piaget (1962) called this accommodation and

assimilation. The value of play rests in the process of in-

tegrating and consolidating recent learning and conceptual-

ization. Play develops from a self-directed activity in

which children imitate actions to an other-directed activity

which includes social interaction and language. Play can be

defined as voluntary, pleasurable activity which is not goal-

directed or dependent on the restraints of time and space.

In play elements of reality are incorporated into the imag-

ination. Play is active, structured, symbolic activity in-

volving mental processes which develop adaptive intelligence.

The preschool child makes use of a new psychological

process upon arrival at Piaget's preoperational stage,










symbolic play (Piaget, 1962). Symbolic ability allows the

child to call up objects or actions which are not present,

but have been observed. Play is the fusion of reality and

fantasy. Through use of symbols and signs (language), the

child begins to think abstractly.


In play, thought is separated from objects
and action arises from ideas rather than
things: a piece of wood becomes a doll and
a stick becomes a horse. . It is ter-
ribly difficult for a child to sever thought
(the meaning of a word) from object.(Vygot-
sky, 1978, p. 97)

The very young child is bound to every ac-
tion by situational constraints . it is
impossible for very young children to sepa-
rate the field of meaning from the visual
field because there is such intimate fusion
between meaning and what is seen. (Vygot-
sky, 1978, pp. 96-97)


The preschooler can call up mental images of objects,

actions, and situations. Play allows manipulation of reality

through fantasy. Young children who are developing symbolic

ability need specific objects for play. However, as the

child grows older, fewer props are needed and words suffice

as symbols. Abstract thought has arrived. Play provides the

meaningful context in which children can develop competent

language use. Stern, Bragdon, and Gordon (1976) identified

three cognitive areas directly related to symbolic play.

These are the use of symbolic representation, involvement

(focus of attention), and language.










During symbolic play, small groups of children pretend,

verbalize, problem-solve and use their primitive conceptions

of the reality of meaning. Verbalization during play is cru-

cial to the development of linguistic meaning and thought

(Jurkovic, 1978; Vygotsky, 1978).


The relation of thought to word is not a
thing but a process, a continual movement
back and forth from thought to word and
from word to thought. . Thought is not
merely expressed in words; it comes into
existence through them. Every thought
tends to connect something with something
else, to establish a relationship between
things. Every thought moves, grows, and
develops, fulfills a function, solves a
problem. (Vygotsky, 1962, p. 125)


The basis of all cognition is flexibility and fluency with

symbols. This develops in young children through the mean-

ingful experience of play.

The development of symbolic language and thought compe-

tence in children has its roots in late infancy with the

emergence of representational, symbolic ability (Piaget,

1962). Piaget (1962) stated that in the fourth stage of the

six sensori-motor schemes, an infant will search for an ob-

ject that has been placed out of the child's visual field,

i.e., under a blanket. This searching on the part of the in-

fant demonstrates that the child has a mental image of an ab-

sent object. This is the beginning of symbolic activity.

The gradual freeing of the symbol from what it represents

leads to symbolic behavior as an autonomous medium, such as

language.










Gowen (Note 5) has defined and identified the important

elements of symbolic play. She defined symbolic play as

using inanimate objects as animate, performing everyday ac-

tivities in the absence of materials (i.e., drinking out of

an empty cup), substitution of one object for another, role-

playing, and novel or unusual endings to play activities.

Seventy-eight percent of the children in her study did play

symbolically. Gowen identified three structural elements to

symbolic play: the signifier (child or object), the signi-

fied (objects or beings), and the mode of representation.

She found that three-four year olds used objects more often

to pretend and four-five year old children used more verbal

communication without objects and actions. This supports

Vygotsky's assertion that meaning is derived from action and

objects, and that verbal symbols become adequate for convey-

ing meaning with maturity.

The two major theorists who have contributed most to

discussions of playwereVygotsky and Piaget. Their orien-

tations were similar in some ways, yet very different in oth-

ers. Piaget believed playwas intelligent behavior involving

processes of assimilation over accommodation (Piaget, 1962).

By encoding symbols, the egocentric preschool child has a

method of rethinking the reality of past experience and as-

similating these experiences into existing mental structures

(Fein, 1979). Vygotsky, in contrast, saw play as an emo-

tional process in which the child seeks to reduce tension










and understand the social meaning of the world. To Piaget

child's play was an egocentric experience, to Vygotsky it was

a social experience in learning the social code of the cul-

ture, language (Fein, 1979).

The story enactment treatment in this study incorpo-

rated all the benefits of play as a social experience in

learning. The structure of a story provided the conceptual

framework for the play episode. The roles of characters in

the story provided the vehicle for peer-peer interaction with

dialogue, actions and appropriate props. This researcher

hypothesized that the social interactive mode of learning,

story enactment, may be a good way to teach low SES black

children to appreciate and comprehend literature which, in

turn, may make them better readers.

Theories state that play facilitates symbolic develop-

ment. Acting "as if" objects or actions are real helps young

children develop representational ability (Vygotsky, 1978).

Story enactment may be especially appropriate for low SES

children to help them develop their skills with symbol ma-

nipulation. Story enactment may be the mental mediation

necessary for young children who are not verbally precocious

to develop complex mental abilities like story comprehension.



Story Enactment and Story Comprehension


There are six studies which have used a story enactment

treatment as an independent variable to facilitate story






Table 2.
Studies which Relate to the Proposed Study


Pelligrini Silvern Silvern Milner Saltz Carlton Proposed
& Galda et al. et al. (1982) et al. & Moore Study
(1982) (Note 4) (Note 5) (1977) (1968)


Age of
Subjects

Number of
Subjects

Treatment
Length

Levels of the
independent
Variable


Types of
Stories Used



Who imple-
mented
treatments

Results


5-9


505


8 weeks


5-8


340


8 weeks


5-7


108


1 treatment
2 trng ses.

teacher-led
discussion
*TFP and
drawing

fairy tales




researcher



TFP signifi-
cant for story
comprehension


4 years


60


8 weeks


3-4 years 6-10 years 4 years


80


1 year


TFP and TFP, socio-
control dramatic play,
discussion, &
control

fairy tales fairy tales


teachers one
of which was
researcher

TFP significant
for total ele-
ments of story
& empathy


Dependent 1-two factor 1-story recall 1-story recall 1-story recall
Measures criterion ref- Steins 12 Steins 12 task 2-empathy
erenced test propositions propositions measure 3-read-
2-retelling 2-Borke's IPT 2-Borke's IPT ing readiness

4-oral language


SES rural low SES rural low SES rural

*Thematic Fantasy Play


middle income


120 100 approx.


14 weeks 4 weeks


self-directed story enactment,
dramatization teacher-led
discussion


children
self-selected
stories


fairy tales


self-directed dramatization
and control & teacher-led
discussion
control

contemporary 6 unfamiliar
children's stories, and
stories 6 familiar
fairy tales

teachers teachers
were were
trained trained

dramatization significant
for story comprehension


teachers some teachers teachers
of which were were were trained
researchers trained

TFP signifi- self-directed
cant for gains dramatization
in IQ & sequen-treatment sig-
tial memory & nificant for
empathy reading gains

1-PPVT 2-se- Gray-Votaw- formal elements
quential mem- Rogers Achieve-of a story on 2
ory 3-fantasy ment test on stories and CRT
judgment test vocabulary

4-empathy for primary
5-story in- & intermediate
terprctation grades
test 6-impulse
control

low SES low SES low SES










comprehension. These studies all indicate story enactment

has a significant effect on story comprehension even though

story comprehension was measured in different ways. A chart

which summarizes the data of these studies follows.



Play Training


Saltz, Dixon and Johnson (1977) conducted a study in

which low SES preschoolers were trained in one of three

types of fantasy activities during a school year. The 80

subjects were randomly assigned to four groups. The exper-

imental sessions were 15 minutes three days per week for

each group. The treatments were thematic-fantasy play,

(acting out fairy tales), socio-dramatic play, fantasy dis-

cussion, and a control condition which was a regular pre-

school curriculum. Subjects were pretested on the PPVT.

An alternate form of the PPVT was one posttest. Subjects

were given another posttest, the story interpretation test,

which measured their ability to relate events to one another

and to measure causal relations. Sequential memory was mea-

sured by telling the child a story with five simple pictures

After hearing the story the child was given the pictures in

random order and asked to put them in their correct order to

tell the story. This procedure was repeated with a second

story. Also measured in this study were empathy and impulse

control (Saltz, Dixon, & Johnson, 1977).










This study isolated the elements of the socio-dramatic

play and thematic fantasy play which were important for the

development of cognitive processes. One important element

seemed to be the play enactment and the use of symbols. An-

other important element was the motoric component inherent

in the treatment. Children moved when acting out situations

or stories. The role changes required for more complex pat-

terns of behavior in response to changes in situations and

people in the episode were important. Thematic fantasy play,

in particular, seemed to facilitate the ability to perceive

causal relationships. This study has consistently had im-

pressive results: an average gain of 23 IQ points for the

play-training groups versus an average gain of 16 IQ points

for the control groups.

The present study examined the utilization of a play-

training model similar to that used by Saltz, Dixon, and

Johnson (1977). Three groups were utilized, one in which

stories were enacted, one in which the teacher led

a discussion after reading the story, and a control condi-

tion in which the children just beard the same stories

read.

Pelligrini and Galda (1982) did a similar study with 108

low SES black children, 54 boys and 54 girls, in kindergar-

ten, first and second grade. The children were randomly as-

signed to one of three treatment conditions, thematic fantasy

play, adult-led discussion or drawing. The children in the










thematic fantasy play group enacted roles in fairy tales.

The adult-led discussion group did not participate in fan-

tasy reconstruction with peers, but after hearing the fairy

tale read discussed the story with the teacher. Children

in the drawing condition were read the fairy tale and given

blank paper and crayons and asked to draw as much about the

story as they could.

The three treatment conditions were carried out with

nine groups of four children within each grade. Each group

consisted of two boys and two girls. A researcher carried

out all the treatment conditions. One of the dependent mea-

sures in this study was performance on a criterion-referenced

test of 10 questions about the last story which was read.

The total number and sequence of events recalled about the

story in a retelling task was the other dependent measure.

The story retellings were broken down into nine main constit-

uents, setting, seven episodes and conclusion. Retellings

were scored as including the constituent if the "gist" was

included irrespective of order. Retellings were also scored

for sequence.

ANOVA analysis revealed that the play group in this

study (x = 5.888) scored significantly higher for condition

than both the discussion (x = 4.722) and drawing (x = 3.666)

groups. The discussion group scored higher than the drawing

group as evidenced by the means. The significant effect for

grade indicated that older children did better than younger










children. Second graders x = 6.361) scored significantly

higher than first graders (x = 4.611). First graders

scored higher than kindergarteners (x = 3.305).

The results of this study indicate that story compre-

hensionwas a function of two factors, age and training in

verbally reconstructing the story. Second graders outper-

formed the younger children. On the criterion-referenced

test measuring story comprehension, children who were ex-

posed to thematic-fantasy play or adult led discussion an-

swered correctly more story related comprehension ques-

tions. For kindergarteners and first graders, thematic-

fantasy play provided the most effective means of understand-

ing stories.

This study was similar in several ways to the Pelligrini

and Galda study. This study included a thematic fantasy

play treatment and a teacher-led discussion treatment. The

third group was a drawing group, but a condition in

which the children heard the same stories read. The popula-

tion was younger, i.e., four year olds. Therewas a similar-

ity in one dependent measure, the retelling task, although

the tapes were analyzed according to formal elements of

a story originated by Applebee (1978).

Pelligrini and Galda (1982) provide support for two

methods of encoding language to promote story comprehension,

thematic fantasy play and adult-led discussion. More re-

search is needed with younger children, though, in order to










conclude that younger children are incapable of understand-

ing stories as well as older children.

Carlton and Moore (1968) studied children in first

through fifth grade over a period of eight years. They

used a story enactment treatment called self-directive dram-

atization. The authors defined self-directive dramatization

of stories as referring to the pupil's own original, imag-

inative, spontaneous interpretation of a character of his/

her own choosing in the story which is selected and read co-

operatively with other pupils in his group. It wasnot chil-

dren putting on plays or dramatics. Of particular interest

to this research was the chapter on the use of self-directive

dramatization with 120 culturally disadvantaged pupils. The

school population used in this part of the study was 85 per-

cent black. Children in grades one through four were in-

cluded in the treatment. Experimental subjects who received

exposure to self-directive dramatization were matched with

control subjects who did not receive the training but partic-

ipated in a basal reading program.

The children were exposed to the self-directive ap-

proach. They began by learning how to select stories they

wanted to read. They read to each other in groups of two.

They dramatized parts of stories that the teacher read to

them and by acting out a character for the other children

to guess. The classroom teachers carried out the treatment










which lasted for 14 weeks. Usually self-directive drama-

tization took place two or three times a week.

The dependent measure used in this study was the Gray-

Votaw-Rogers Achievement Test (vocabulary and paragraph

meaning section) to ascertain reading gains. Although not

familiar to this researcher, this dependent measure seemed

highly related to story comprehension. The results of this

study show that the experimental group scored significantly

better than the control group in all grades. Self-concept

was also improved through self-directive dramatization.

This study supports other studies in the following conclu-

sion; whether called self-directive dramatization, thematic-

fantasy play or just story enactment, children taking roles

and acting out stories with some teacher participation was

facilitative for promoting conceptual growth such as story

comprehension. Although used with older children, it will

be possible to adapt the self-directed approach outlined by

Carlton and Moore with the following changes. The choice of

stories was decided by the researcher. Since children

are younger the story enactment groups need to be four

to a group. Teachers may take a

more active role, either by taking a role or narrating the

enactment.

The self-directed dramatization method was used by Sil-

vern, Williamson, Taylor, Surbeck andKelley (Note 1), a

group of researchers at Auburn. They have done two studies











utilizing a play treatment to facilitate story comprehen-

sion. The first study involved self-directed dramatization.

Thirteen teachers near Auburn, Alabama, conducted the self-

directive dramatization treatment and control conditions.

There were 505 children, aged five to nine years, 266 boys

and 239 girls, from a rural environment, in 26 intact,

rural public and private school classrooms participating in

the study. The population was low to middle SES with no

racial information given. The same six stories were used

as stimuli in treatment and control conditions. They were

contemporary children's books chosen by the investigators.

Teachers reviewed the books to insure that the books were

unfamiliar to the children. To be sure that the children's

actions were not based on past experience with the stories,

teachers read from typed copies with no pictures as stimuli.

Teachers were trained in how to carry out self-directed

dramatization. The researchers found that the children in

the treatment group had significant increases in story re-

call. Story recall in this study was measured according to

Stein's (1980) 12 propositions formed into 10 multiple

choice questions.

Silvern, Williamson, Taylor, and Kelley (Note 2) con-

ducted another study measuring children's story recall as a

product of play, story familiarity and adult intervention.

There were 340 children in this study in 20 intact classrooms,

in kindergarten through third grade. There was no information








on sex, race or SES given in the article. The same multi-

ple choice test was used as in the previous study. Teach-

ers were trained in the self-dramatization process. Teach-

ers in the treatment group read the class a story and imme-

diately the children acted out the story. In the control

group the teacher read a story to the class and conducted

a discussion. The treatment group did significantly better

on story recall.

Two separate sets of stimuli were used, one set was

unfamiliar, one was familiar. The unfamiliar set included

the contemporary stories used in the first study reviewed

by Silvern et al. (Note 1). The familiar group of stories

were the classic fairy tales, i.e., Three Pigs, Three Bears.

Teachers read from typed copies of the content of the stor-

ies.

Five of the cooperating teachers in the treatment con-

dition volunteered to take a facilitative role in the play,

and five took a directive role in the play. The teachers

were trained in self-directive dramatization techniques.

The play treatment did significantly better on story recall.

These results support the other studies in this section

which have found significant results with story enactment.

The teachers stated that novel stories should be used if

children are not playing them out.

In summary, the studies utilizing a story enactment

treatment have consistently had impressive positive results.

With older children, story enactment facilitated better










reading comprehension. With young children, story enact-

ment helped children recall story elements as measured in

a retelling task.



Teacher-led Discussion


The teacher questioning technique is a widely used

method to teach reading comprehension. When teachers ask

the right questions, experience and research support the

value of this technique (Guszak, 1967). Pure recall ques-

tioning is deemed trivial and not very useful by reading

specialists (Guszak, 1967; Hare, 1982). Reading is a reason-

ing process which involves inferential thinking, evaluation,

explanation, prediction and conjecture (Downing, 1969).

Guszak (1967) did a study of teachers in second, fourth and

sixth grade. They asked 70 percent literal questions con-

cerned with the factual makeup of stories. Questioning

techniques which help children exercise higher order thought

processes stimulated better reading comprehension.

Pearson and Johnson (1978) developed a taxonomy for

evaluating the entire comprehension question-response se-

quence. The three classes of question-response sequences

were: (1) textually explicit--this requires no inferential

thinking, just literal recall; (2) textually implicit--this

requires reading between the lines and making inferences;

(3) scriptally implicit--this requires reading beyond the










lines and relying on story schema--and prior knowledge--to

integrate story material. Reading approaches which empha-

size meaning tend to stress more scriptally implicit ques-

tion information to develop comprehension (Hare, 1982). In

preparing young children in reading readiness, teachers

need to be aware of the value of developing story schemata

to help children comprehend reading material.

Teacher-led discussion designed to develop story sche-

mata in young children was chosen as a treatment in this

study. The questions the teachers used were developed from

elements of a story by Applebee (1978) and Rumelhart's

(1975) story grammar. Rumelhart's (1975) grammar waschosen

as a basis for discussion method in this study because of

its simplicity. The first part of the story grammar is the

setting. Then the initiating event sets the story in mo-

tion. The main character then reacts with some feeling,

thought, desire or goal which motivates action. Finally,

the action is responsible for some consequence, (Sadow,

(1982).

In this study a discussion wasused as an alternate

method to teach children the elements of stories. Discus-

sion may prove as effective or more effective than the story

enactment treatment. If both methods of teaching are effec-

tive, teachers could alternate methods or use discussion

only if it proves as good as story enactment. Fairy tales

are chosen as the most appropriate type of literature to










use because of structure, characters and appeal to chil-

dren.



Fairy Tales


The magic of fairy tales and their appeal to children

have been addressed by several authors. Bettleheim (1977)

states that fairy tales are important for healthy emotional

development of the child. Children's identification with

the conflicts and problems dealt with in these stories pro-

vides motivation for role-playing during play. Fairy tales

are full of fantasy situations. Children identify with the

central hero/heroine of the tale. Interest in the fairy

tale emerges in the pre-reading age and declines at about

10 years of age (Favat, Note 3).

Why do children like fairy tale literature? Piaget

(1962) has described the thought processes of the young

child in great detail. His beliefs about children and the

elements of the fairy tale help form the rationale for us-

ing a fairy tale curriculum with preschool children. The

child's belief in magic, animism, the morality of constraint,

and the transformations the child performs in play correlate

well with the content of the fairy tale (Favat, Note 3).

Animism, giving human characteristics to objects and animals,

is present in fairy tales. Moral justice in fairy tales

usually entails punishment for evil doings. This is










the morality of constraint. The fairy tale is a stable men-

tal construction of magic, animism, and authority. Fairy

tales appeal to the preschooler because of these qualities

(Favat, Note 3).

Children respond to the form of the fairy tale: its

regulated patterns (beginning and ending,) use of repetition,

patterned contrastive repetition, the simple nature of the

plot, cause and effect and short length. Saltz, Dixon

and Johnson (1977) attributed the benefits of thematic-fan-

tasy play training to several components of acting out fairy

tales. First, fairy tale enactment allowed children to deal

with events and themes extremely remote from their personal

experiences. Secondly, the strong plots in fairy tales and

their inherent cause and effect relationship improved chil-

dren's comprehension of causal relations. Third, the mo-

toric aspect of acting out fairy tales facilitated the par-

ticipation of children. Vygotsky (1962) stated that behav-

ing toward an object as if it were something other than what

it actually is is a basic factor in the development of mean-

ing and cognition of the child.

A fairy tale curriculum was chosen for this study

because of its appeal to preschool children for the reasons

discussed (Favat, Note 3). The plots of the storieswere strong

and simple, easy to understand, and there were causal rela-

tions inherent in the stories which facilitate comprehension

skills like cause and effect and sequencing.









Summary


Young children need quality experiences with litera-

ture to develop reading readiness skills, such as story com-

prehension. A method of enhancing story comprehension is

to develop a story schema, a set of expectations about how a

story fits together in a coherent, meaningful whole (Rumel-

hart, 1975). Low SES preschoolers have been the target of

research concerning reading readiness as defined by know-

ing letter sounds and names, visual and auditory discrimina-

tion. The best method for teaching this population these

reading readiness skills was direct instruction (Becker,

1977; Bruner, 1968). However, the same children who devel-

oped isolated reading readiness skills did poorly on compre-

hension tests (Bereiter & Engelman, 1966). This led

to the conclusion that direct instruction in phonics and

isolated skills does not enhance story comprehension. The

best method for teaching young children story schema for

the development of story comprehension is in the process of

being researched. Studies which have utilized a story en-

actment treatment have concluded that story enactment is

helpful for developing story comprehension. Teacher-led

discussion, the traditional method of teaching comprehen-

sion, has proved effective for developing story schema if

inferential questions are used. The treatments in this

study, story enactment of fairy tales and teacher-led dis-






44



cussion of fairy tales, were chosen because they seem most

appropriate for helping young children develop story sche-

mata which will, in turn, help them comprehend stories bet-

ter.














CHAPTER THREE
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY



This study extended the knowledge about how low income

black low socioeconomic status four year olds recalled

story information. The treatments in this study repre-

sented two teaching modes, a structured yet abstract dis-

cussion led by the teacher and a structured, active treat-

ment in which children were read a story, assigned roles,

and then enacted the story in groups of four with active par-

ticipation by the teacher. The control group in this study

heard the same stories but did not participate in discussion

or enactment.

Subjects


Subjects were 45 four year old children in six Alachua

County Coordinated Child Care centers which are funded by

Title XX federal funds. Title XX is a federal program

which subsidizes the cost of daycare for parents who are

working or in training for employment in some institution.

The children who attend these centers are from low socio-

economic status homes. All of the children who participated

in this study were black and four years old (3.5 4.5

years). Seventeen children were lost from the study.







Sample Selection

Eight teacher volunteers were solicited through the

administrative office of Alachua County Coordinated Child

Care. Treatments were randomly assigned to these volun-

teers. The use of volunteers makes this study susceptible

to external validity threats. The sample of 45 low income

black children was chosen in order to broaden the general-

ization of the results of this study. Research has shown

story enactment facilitates middle income children's cogni-

tion of formal elements of a story (Milner, 1982).


Variables

There were three levels of one independent variable,

the story enactment treatment, the teacher-led discussion

treatment, and the control condition in which the teacher

read to the group and there was no enactment or discussion.

The dependent variables were formal elements in two stories

told by children: formal opening, formal closing, story

unity, number of characters mentioned, number of incidents,

and number of conversational quotations. The recall section

of the story comprehension was a criterion-referenced test.


Instrumentation

The Test of Early Language, by Hresko, Reid and Ham-

mill (Note 6), is a new test of receptive and expressive

language. The test gives information by item










related to the content and form aspects of language. The

TELD was impressive in reference to reliability and valid-

ity. This will be reported in detail.

The TELD was normed on 1184 children in 11 states and

1 Canadian province. Norms are provided for every six month

interval from 3-0 to 7-11 years. Since this test will be

used for a black population, it should be stated that 8 per-

cent of the norming population for the TELD was black. This

corresponds to a comparable 11 percent of the nation which

is black.

Reliability of the TELD has been computed in two areas,

content and time. Internal consistency, or the degree of

homogeneity among the items within the test, yielded a coef-

ficient alpha of .91 for the four year old group. The stan-

dard error of measure spanned 1.75 to 2.0 for ages three to

seven and was 2.10 for four year olds. Coefficient alpha

for all ages averaged to .90. Test retest reliability with

two weeks between tests was computed using 177 children in

Dallas who were three to seven years old. Correlations were:

three year old group = .84, four year old group = .72, five

year old group = .86, six year old group = .85, and seven

year old group = .87. The correlation on the total 177 was

.90.

Validity reported included criterion-related and con-

struct. For criterion-related validity, correlations were

done with other valued measures of performance established











tests. Results are reported for each age level except four

years. Scores on TELD by three year olds were correlated

with the Zimmerman Preschool Language Scale equalling .46.

The correlation of TELD with TOLD for five year olds was

.66. The authors state that all tests run are significant

beyond the .01 level of significance and are large enough

to support the TELD's criterion-related validity. Construct

validity is reported in two ways. Age of child and mean raw

scores ascend developmentally as evidenced by the following

figures:


Mean Raw Score

3 years 8.7

4 years 14.9

5 years 22.4

6 years 26.3

7 years 31.5


Information on construct validity was computed by relating

the TELD scores at different ages to tests of intellectual

development, reading and school readiness. For four year

olds, the correlation with the Test of Early Reading was .54.

For five year olds the correlation with the Slosson Intelli-

gence Test was .75.

The CRT was developed by the experimenter. Teachers

participating in the study were asked to write down the ques-

tions which they thought were important for recall on Little










Red Riding Hood. From these questions the experimenter com-

piled a list of factual and inferential questions. Ques-

tions four and nine were the only inferential questions

asked. The other questions were factual (Appendix A). Cor-

rect answers and a distractor were provided for the ques-

tions. Since different versions of the story were used,

some questions had several answers which were counted cor-

rect. The procedure was that the teacher asked the question

and paused four or five seconds. Then the child was given

the correct answer and the distractor.

Formal elements of a story to be used in this study

were taken from The Child's Concept of a Story by Applebee

(1978). Audiotapes were recorded of children in the two

treatments and control group retelling two stories, after

the curriculum was completed. One story was the last in

the series of four and one was a less familiar story which

was not included in the curriculum. These tapes were num-

bered and coded by the experimenter. Formal elements will

be treated as separate dependent variables. Treatment and

control groups were compared as to whether the element was

included or not. The elements are: formal opening, formal

closing, unity. Number of incidents, number of characters

and number of conversational quotations were counted. There

were a total of eight dependent variables for each story.









Design


A three group pretest/posttest quasiexperimental de-

sign was utilized. Analysis of covariance was used for the

data analysis. The covariate was the pretest TELD score.


0 X O O

0 X O O

O X O O


TELD Retelling CRT
pretest tasks

X1 = story enactment treatment

X2 = teacher-led discussion treatment

X = control group--teacher reads only


C T, T,


I I I I


C = control group

T1 = story enactment group

T2 = teacher-led discussion group



Data Collection


Volunteer teachers were solicited through the Alachua

County Coordinated Child Care administrative office. Treat-

ments were randomly assigned to eight teachers, and workshops










were provided for them. Four year old students of the vol-

unteer teachers were the subjects of this study.

A site visit schedule was formulated. The site visits

were scheduled at least once a week for each participating

teacher. Each teacher was visited a minimum of four times.

Records were kept on the progress of the treatments.



Hypotheses


Little Red Riding Hood

All hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance.

Hypothesis 1. There will be no difference between four

year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion

or control group in frequency of including a formal opening

in the first retelling task.

Hypothesis 2. There will be no difference between four

year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion

or control group in frequency of including formal closing in

the first retelling task.

Hypothesis 3. There will be no difference between four

year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion

or control group in unity of thematic development in the

first retelling task.

Hypothesis 4. There will be no significant difference

in mean scores on the pretest between four year old children










in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or teacher reads

only group.

Hypothesis 5. There will be no interaction between

treatment level and pretest score on total formal elements

of a story.

Hypothesis 6. Adjusting for differences on the pretest,

there will be no difference in mean scores for total formal

story elements between four year olds in the story enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or teacher reads only group.

Hypothesis 7. There will be no pretest by treatment

interaction on number of characters.

Hypothesis 8. There will be no difference between four

year old children in the enactment treatment, teacher-led

discussion or control group in number of characters mentioned

in the story retelling task.

Hypothesis 9. There will be no pretest by treatment

interaction on number of incidents mentioned.

Hypothesis 10. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment treatment, the

teacher-led discussion treatment or control group in number

of incidents mentioned in a story retelling task.

Hypothesis 11. There will be no pretest by treatment

interaction on number of conversational quotations.

Hypothesis 12. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment treatment, the









teacher-led discussion treatment or control group in the

number of times conversational quotations are used in a

story retelling task.

Hypothesis 13. There will be no pretest by treatment

interaction on the total score of characters, incidents,

and conversational quotations.

Hypothesis 14. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment treatment, teacher-

led discussion and control group in total score on charac-

ters, incidents and conversational quotations.

Hypothesis 15. There will be no interaction between

treatment level and pretest score on the criterion-refer-

enced test.

Hypothesis 16. Adjusting for differences on the pre-

test, there will be no difference in mean scores on a cri-

terion-referenced test in four year olds in the story enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or teacher reads only story.


Gingerbread Man

Hypothesis 17. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment group, the teacher-

led-discussion group and the control group in the frequency

of including a formal opening in the story retelling task.

Hypothesis 18. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discus-

sion and control group in frequency of including a formal

closing in the story retelling task.










Hypothesis 19. There will be no differences between

four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discus-

sion and control group in unity or thematic development in

the story retelling task.

Hypothesis 20. There will be no interaction between

treatment level and pretest score on formal elements of a

story score.

Hypothesis 21. Adjusting for differences on the pre-

test, there will be no difference in the mean scores for

total formal elements used in the retelling task between

four year old children in the enactment group, the teacher-

led discussion group and the control group.

Hypothesis 22. There will be no treatment by pretest

interaction on number of characters.

Hypothesis 23. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discus-

sion treatment or control group in number of characters men-

tioned in the story retelling task.

Hypothesis 24. There will be no treatment by pretest

interaction on number of incidents.

Hypothesis 25. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discus-

sion and control group in number of incidents mentioned in

the retelling task.

Hypothesis 26. There will be no treatment by pretest

interaction on number of conversational quotations.










Hypothesis 27. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led dis-

cussion and control group in number of times conversational

quotations were used in the retelling task.

Hypothesis 28. There will be no pretest by treatment

interaction on total score on characters, incidents and

conversational quotations.

Hypothesis 29. There will be no difference between

four year old children in the enactment treatment, teacher-

led discussion and control group in total score on charac-

ters, incidents and conversational quotations.


Assumptions

The experimenter assumed that the teachers could carry

out the treatments, children could tell stories, and the co-

variate would be highly related to storytelling ability.

The assumptions for analysis of covariance were that scores

were independent, variances were equal and scores were nor-

mally distributed at each level of the covariate, that there

was no interaction between pretest and posttest, and that

there was a linear relationship between the covariate and

the dependent variable.


Procedure

There were two phases to this study, teacher training

and curriculum implementation. Separate workshops were










conducted by the experimenter for teachers in each treat-

ment, teacher-led discussion, story enactment and the con-

trol group. Teachers in the enactment treatment were pro-

vided information on these topics: (1) the importance of

developing a sense of story in the young child, (2) setting

up the environment to facilitate pretend play, i.e., props,

toys, and time during the day for pretend play, (3) how

teachers can take an active role and model appropriate be-

havior for children in pretend play situations, (4) how to

facilitate peer-peer social interaction in groups of four

children, and (5) role playing of these techniques. The

workshops for the enactment treatment were approximately

two hours total. The teachers in the discussion treatment

received training in these areas: (1) the importance of de-

veloping a sense of story in the young child, (2) the use of

questioning to help children better understand formal ele-

ments of a story, and (3) role playing of techniques. The

control teachers were taught the Reading Aloud to Children

Scale (Appendix B).

The second phase of this study was the implementation

of one of three conditions by the trained teachers. The

teacher in each condition was provided a complete kit with

everything he or she needed. The enactment group received

a kit containing props and the book. The teacher-led dis-

cussion group received a book, a script and a list of ques-

tions to use during the discussion time after reading the

story. The control group received the book only.










Teacher Training Workshops


Story Enactment Workshop

Teachers were instructed on why story enactment was a

valuable activity. Play and its importance for facilitat-

ing the young child's intellectual growth, creativity and

social skills and as the child's natural mode of learning

were discussed. Language and its link to the process of

play were also discussed. A brief review of the studies

which have utilized story enactment with positive effects

for children was presented.

The purpose of a story enactment treatment is to ex-

tend children's use of language and concept of a story.

Language competence is basic to school progress. If the

language of these children can grow in vocabulary and mean-

ing, it will be beneficial for reading achievement and

achievement in other areas. Knowledge of story structure

will also help these children with reading achievement and

general comprehension as a mental exercise in encoding in-

formation for retrieval.

The classroom environment, how it is set up and how it

operates, greatly influences the development of language ex-

tension and play. Time during the day must be allocated for

play, either with or without teacher involvement. Props are

essential to embellish play in the preschool years because

these children are just beginning to use symbols. Also,










teachers can stifle or enrich the play environment by model-

ing play behavior or setting up structured situations for

play, i.e., acting out stories. The teacher's attitude

toward play will greatly influence the outcome of the play

experiences.

The procedure to be followed was presented. Teachers

role-played the enactment procedure. Teachers read the

story before any enacting by the children. The teacher

randomly divided the class into groups of four. These same

four children enacted the stories together over the four

week treatment. The props were distributed. Groups were

invited to watch each other enact and chant the dialogue

with the speakers. The teacher might be the narrator or

might take a role. It was all right for a child to be the

leader.

After the story enactment, the teacher gave children

feedback about how they did and prepared for the next enact-

ment group. Teachers worked with two groups per day in

story enactment. One story was to be enacted each week.

Two versions of each story were given to the teacher. Mon-

day through Thursday were official days for enactment.

Friday were utilized if children were absent or for some

reason the treatment was missed one day.











Teacher-Led Discussion Workshop

The teachers in this workshop were introduced to ma-

terial on the importance of story structure and story com-

prehension. The training focused on how to carry out the

questioning technique. The importance of wait-time when

teaching through discussion was explored. Teachers were

instructed about how the questions were developed from

story schema theory. The experimenter emphasized the im-

portance of planning discussion by constructing questions

with goals in mind, i.e., formal elements of a story. An-

swers to the questions were provided in the lesson plan.

These were discussed with the teachers. Teachers were

given a set of questions for each story with specific ques-

tions for each day. The lesson plans are shown in Appen-

dices F, G, H, and I. Teachers were asked for comments and

suggestions.


Control Group Workshop

Teachers in the control group were trained in methods

of reading aloud to groups of children. The following tech-

niques were discussed: reading with expression, pointing

to words and pictures, choosing appropriate books for young

children. The Reading Aloud to Children Scale (Appendix B)

was discussed with the teachers.










Curriculum Implementation


Treatments occurred simultaneously in all centers dur-

ing the 30 minute morning story hour time. The curriculum

was implemented for four weeks. Following the four week

curriculum, children were posttested on three measures, two

retelling tasks (one familiar and one unfamiliar) and a re-

call measure, a criterion-referenced test. Children were

randomly asked to retell the last story of the literature

curriculum, Little Red Riding Hood. These retellings were

coded for formal elements of a story included by the child.

The child was asked 10 questions about Little Red Riding

Hood before retelling it. The child was read a less fa-

miliar story and asked to retell that story also. It was

also coded for formal elements of a story included by the

child. Data were analyzed and recommendations were made

for teachers on the effectiveness of each literature cur-

riculum carried out by the daycare center teachers.













CHAPTER FOUR
RESULTS



This study investigated the effects of two story treat-

ments, enactment and teacher-led discussion, on preschool

children's story comprehension. The control group listened

to the same stories read. There were 17 dependent variables

included in the posttests, two retelling tasks and one cri-

terion-referenced test designed to measure recall. The

children were asked to retell two stories, Little Red Riding

Hood and The Gingerbread Man. Little Red Riding Hood was

familiar because it was the last in the series of four in

the treatment. The other story, The Gingerbread Man, was

a less familiar story which the children in all three groups

heard read only one time. The purpose of a retelling task

with an unfamiliar story was to ascertain if the benefits

of enactment or teacher-led discussion transfer to other

situations. The criterion-referenced test was administered

on Little Red Riding Hood, which was the last in the lit-

erature curriculum for all subjects.

The three treatments did not have an equal number of

subjects. The enactment group had 25, the discussion group

had 11, and the control group had 9 subjects. The existence

of an unequal number of subjects does not seriously affect

the analysis of covariance results as long as the assump-

tions of ANCOVA are not violated.

61











Six dependent variables were analyzed by chi-square

because of the yes/no nature of the responses. The total

sample of 45 individuals was used to test these hypotheses

which concerned formal opening, formal closing and unity on

both stories. The other 11 dependent variables were ana-

lyzed by analysis of covariance. In the enactment group,

the same four children enacted the stories over the four

week period. The individuals in these groups were not in-

dependent of each other, so the means of eight groups were

used as scores for the enactment group only. Individual

scores were used for the discussion and control groups.

The sample size for all of the ANCOVA analyses was 28.

The experimenter did two analyses, one using individual

scores for all three groups (N=45) and one using the eight

group means for the subjects in the enactment group (N=28).

There was no difference in the outcome of the analysis, so

only the analysis using group means for the enactment treat-

ment was reported.



Little Red Riding Hood
Formal Elements of a Story


Formal Opening

Formal opening was defined by whether the child made

it clear a story was beginning.

Hypothesis 1: There will be no difference be-

tween four year old children in the enactment,










teacher-led discussion or control group in

frequency of including a formal opening in

the first retelling task.

The chi-square statistic was 6.229. The p value was

.0444. Hypothesis 1 was rejected at a=.05. There was a

statistically significant difference between children in the

three groups in the use of a formal opening in the retelling

task. Twenty-one out of 25 subjects in the enactment group

did not use a formal opening. Significantly fewer children

in the enactment group did not use formal opening.

Results for formal opening are shown in Table 3.



Table 3.
Chi-Square for Formal Opening
Little Red Riding Hood


Did Use Did Not Use
Group Formal Opening Formal Opening Total

Enactment 4 21 25

Discussion 6 5 11

Control 4 5 9

Total 14 31 45


N = 45

X = 6.229










Formal Closing

Formal closing was defined by whether the child made

it clear in the retelling that the story was ending.

Hypothesis 2: There will be no difference be-

tween four year old children in the enactment,

teacher-led discussion or control group in fre-

quency of including a formal closing in the first

story retelling task.

The chi-square statistic was 3.410. The p value was

.1818. Hypothesis 2 was not rejected at a=.05. There was

no statistically significant difference between the groups

on use of a formal closing. There was no relationship be-

tween group and use of formal closing.

Results for this variable are shown in Table 4.



Table 4.
Chi-Square for Formal Closing
Little Red Riding Hood


Did Use Did Not Use
Group Formal Closing Formal Closing Total

Enactment 11 14 25

Discussion 5 6 11

Control 1 8 9

Total 17 28 45


N = 45

2 = 3.410
x = 3.410










Unity

Unity was defined as a measure of the child's skill in

retelling the story using a sense of thematic development.

Hypothesis 3: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control

group in frequency of using unity in the

first retelling task.

The chi-square statistic was .739. The p value was

.6910. Hypothesis 3 was not rejected at a=.05. There was

no statistically significant difference between the groups

on unity. Similar proportions of children in each group did

not use unity.

Results for unity are shown in Table 5.



Table 5.
Chi-Square for Unity
Little Red Riding Hood


Group Did Use Unity Did Not Use Unity Total

Enactment 15 10 25

Discussion 8 3 11

Control 5 4 9

Total 28 17 45


N = 45
2 = .739
x = .739










Pretest

A one-way analysis of variance was done on the TELD

pretest to ascertain if there were differences between the

three groups.

Hypothesis 4: There will be no significant

difference in mean scores on the pretest be-

tween four year old children in the enactment,

teacher-led discussion or control group.

The F statistic was .28. The p value was .76. Hypoth-

esis 4 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no statistically

significant difference between the three groups at a=.05.

The language abilities of the three groups were similar prior

to the experiment.

The results for the ANOVA on the pretest are shown in

Table 6.



Table 6.
TELD Pretest Data


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 2 29.679 14.83 .28

Error 42 2256.230 52.47


N = 45











Total Score: Use of Formal Story Elements

A total score of use of formal story elements was cal-

culated scoring one point for each, formal opening, formal

closing, and story unity. A high score of three was pos-

sible.

Hypothesis 5: There will be no interaction

between treatment level and pretest score on

formal elements of a story score.

The F statistic was 1.59. The p value was .2273. Hy-

pothesis 5 was not rejected. There was no pretest by treat-

ment interaction at a=.05.

Hypothesis 6: Adjusting for differences on

the pretest, there will be no significant

difference in the mean scores for total for-

mal story elements between four year old

children in the enactment, teacher-led dis-

sion or control group.

The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 1.49;

Discussion, 1.82; Control, 1.09. The F statistic was 1.38.

The p value was .2715. There was no statistically signif-

icant difference between the three groups on this variable.

The results for this variable are shown in Table 7.










Table 7.
Total Formal Elements of a Story Score
Little Red Riding Hood


Variable Df SS MS F

Pretest 1 .202 .2020 .21

Treatment 2 2.610 1.3000 1.38

Error 24 22.810 .9504


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 1.49

Discussion 1.82

Control 1.09


N = 28



Number of Characters

The total number of characters each child mentioned in

the story retelling was counted ou.t of a possible five.

Hypothesis 7: There will be no pretest

by treatment interaction on number of

characters.

The F statistic was .48. The p value was .6233. Hy-

pothesis 7 was not rejected. There was no interaction at

a=.05.


Hypothesis 8: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control










group in number of characters mentioned in

the story retelling task.

The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 4.18;

Discussion, 4.17; Control, 3.67. The computed F statistic

was 1.48. The p value was .2475. Hypothesis 8 was not re-

jected. There was no statistically significant difference

between the three groups on number of characters mentioned

in the retelling task.

Results for this variable are shown in Table 8.



Table 8.
Number of Characters
Little Red Riding Hood


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 .010 .010 .02

Treatment 2 1.550 .775 1.48

Error 24 12.560 .523


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 4.18

Discussion 4.17

Control 3.67


N = 28











Number of Incidents

The total number of incidents mentioned by the child

in the retelling was counted.

Hypothesis 9: There will be no pretest by

treatment interaction on number of incidents

mentioned.

The F statistic was .81. The p value was .4586 at

a=.05. Hypothesis 9 was not rejected. There was no inter-

action.

Hypothesis 10: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control

group in regard to number of incidents men-

tioned in the retelling.

The adjusted means on this variable were Enactment,

6.56; Discussion, 8.20; Control, 7.17. The F statistic was

1.28. The p value was .2973. There was no statistically

significant difference between the three groups in regard

to number of incidents.

Results for this variable are shown in Table 9.


Number of Conversational Quotations

The number of times conversational quotations were

used by the child in the retelling task was counted.










Table 9.
Number of Incidents
Little Red Riding Hood


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 1.19 1.19 .23

Treatment 2 13.09 6.54 1.28

Error 24 123.10 5.12


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 6.56

Discussion 8.20

Control 7.17


N = 28



Hypothesis 11: There will be no pretest

by treatment interaction on number of con-

versational quotations.

The computed F statistic was 12.66. The p value was

.0002. There was a pretest by treatment interaction. Hy-

pothesis 11 was rejected.

The slope for the enactment group was -.43. The slope

for the discussion group was -.033. The slope for the con-

trol group was 1.03. The regression equations for this

variable are


Y1 = 45.4 .43x










Y2 = 2.03 .033x

Y3 = -93.42 + 1.03x

The pretest by treatment interaction on this variable

indicates that scores on the pretest by subjects in the en-

actment group were negatively related to the number of con-

versational quotations as a dependent variable.

For subjects in the control group, there was a positive re-

lationship between pretest score and number of conversa-

tional quotations.

Hypothesis 12: There will be no differ-

ence between four year old children in

the enactment, teacher-led discussion or

control group in regard to number of times

conversational quotations were used.

The adjusted means for this variable were Enactment,

3.75; Discussion, 4.42; Control, 7.08.

The F statistic was 1.38. The p value was .2715.

There was no statistically significant difference at a=.05

between the three groups. The ANCOVA analysis results

should not be interpreted, because there was a pretest by

treatment interaction.

Results of the pretest by treatment interaction are

shown in Figure 1.








2


o
In /

0

80 90 100 110
Pretest

Figure 1.

Total Score on Characters, Incidents and
Conversational Quotations

For each category, a percentage was computed in regard

to number of characters, number of incidents and number of

conversational quotations. These percentages were added to

get a total score. For example, the highest score possible

on number of characters was 5. If a child used three in the

retelling, a percentage, 3 out of 5, was calculated for that

variable. The same process was used for number of incidents

and number of conversational quotations. Then the percen-

tages were added.

Hypothesis 13: There will be no pretest by

treatment interaction on total score on char-

acters, incidents and conversational quotations.

The computed F statistic was 2.88. The p value was

.0775. Hypothesis 13 was not rejected at a=.05.

Hypothesis 14: There will be no differ-

ence between four year old children in

the enactment, teacher-led discussion or











control group in regard to a total score

of characters, incidents and conversa-

tional quotations mentioned in the retell-

ing task.

The adjusted means for the group were Enactment, 1.59,

Discussion, 1.76; Control, 1.72. The F statistic was .55.

The p value was .5847. There was no statistically signif-

icant difference between groups in total score on charac-

ters, incidents and conversational quotations.

The results for total score on these variables are

shown in Table 10.



Table 10.
Total Score of Characters, Incidents, and
Conversational Quotations
Little Red Riding Hood


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 .3143 .3143 2.36

Treatment 2 .1461 .0730 .55

Error 24 3.1900 .1330


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 1.59

Discussion 1.76

Control 1.72


N = 28










Criterion-Referenced Test


A 10 item test was administered orally to each child.

Hypothesis 15: There will be no interaction

between pretest and treatment on a criterion-

referenced test.

The F statistic was .55. The p value was .5872. Hy-

pothesis 15 was not rejected. There was no interaction at

a=.05.

Hypothesis 16: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control group

in mean scores on criterion-referenced test.

The adjusted means on the CRT were Enactment, 8.75;

Discussion, 8.13; Control, 5.56.

The F statistic was 43.08. The p value was .0001.

There was a statistically significant difference between the

enactment and discussion groups and the control group on re-

call of story information. Hypothesis 16 was rejected at

t=.05.

Results are shown in Table 1i.

The computed t for group one versus group two was 1.78.

The p value was .0883. This indicated there was not a sta-

tistically significant difference between the enactment and

discussion groups. The computed t for group one versus

group three was 8.59. The p value was .0001. This indicates










a statistically significant difference when comparing the

enactment and control groups. The computed t for group two

versus group three was 7.46. The p value was .0001. This

indicates a statistically significant difference between the

discussion group and the control group. The enactment and

discussion groups did significantly better than the control

group on recall of story information.

Results are shown in Table 12.



Table 11.
Chart for Criterion-Referenced Test
Little Red Riding Hood


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 6.63 6.63 11.43

Treatment 2 49.99 24.90 43.08*

Error 24 13.92 .58


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 8.76

Discussion 8.13

Control 5.56


N = 28

* Significant at .05










Table 12.
Estimates for the CRT
Estimates

Parameter Estimate T for Ho P

1 vs 2 .628 1.78 .0883

1 vs 3 3.200 8.59 .0001

2 vs 3 2.570 7.46 .0001




The Gingerbread Man
Formal Elements of a Story


The first three dependent variables, formal story ele-

ments, formal opening, formal closing and unity, were ana-

lized by chi-square.


Formal Opening

Hypothesis 17: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control group

in frequency of including a formal opening in

the story retelling task.

The computed chi-square statistic was 2.881. The p

value was .2452. Hypothesis 17 was not rejected at a=.05.

There was no statistically significant difference between

the groups or use of a formal opening when retelling The

Gingerbread Man.

The results for formal opening are shown in Table 13.










Table 13.
Formal Opening
The Gingerbread Man


Did Use Did Not Use
Group Formal Opening Formal Opening Total

Enactment 4 21 25

Discussion 3 8 11

Control 0 9 9

Total 7 38 45


N = 45
2
X2= 2.811



Formal Closing

Hypothesis 18: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control group

in frequency of including a formal closing in

the story retelling task.

The chi-square statistic was 3.740. The p value was

.1541. Hypothesis 18 was not rejected at a=.05. There was

no statistically significant difference between the groups

in regard to formal closing.

The results for this variable are shown in Table 14.










Table 14.
Formal Closing
The Gingerbread Man


Did Use Did Not Use
Group Formal Closing Formal Closing Total

Enactment 6 19 25

Discussion 6 5 11

Control 2 7 9

Total 14 31 45


N = 45
2
X = 3.740



Unity

Hypothesis 19: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control group

in unity or thematic development in the story

retelling task.

The chi-square statistic was 13.073. The p value was

.0014.

Hypothesis 19 was rejected at a=.05. There was a sig-

nificant difference between the enactment treatment, teacher-

led discussion and control group in regard to unity or the-

matic development as a formal story element. One hundred

percent of the teacher-led discussion group, 64 percent of











the enactment and 22 percent of the control group demon-

strated unity in their retelling of The Gingerbread Man.

Results for unity are shown in Table 15.



Table 15.
Unity
The Gingerbread Man


Did Use Did Not Use
Group Unity Unity Total

Enactment 16 9 25

Discussion 11 0 11

Control 2 7 9

Total 29 16 45


N = 45
2
X = 13.073



Total Score for Formal Elements of a Story

Hypothesis 20: There will be no interaction

between treatment level and pretest score on

formal elements of a story score.

The F statistic was .81. The p value was .4591. Hy-

pothesis 20 was not rejected. There was no treatment by pre-

test interaction.

Hypothesis 21: Adjusting for differences on

the pretest, there will be no difference in










the mean score for total formal elements

used in the retelling task between four

year old children in the enactment, teacher-

led discussion or control group.

The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 1.10;

Discussion, 1.81; Control, .44.

The F statistic was 11.91. The p value was .0003.

There was a statistically significant difference between

the three groups in regard to total score on formal elements

of a story. Hypothesis 21 was rejected at a=.05.

The computed t for group one versus group two was

-2.47. The p value was .0209. The discussion group did

better than the enactment group on this variable. The com-

puted t for group one versus group three was 2.15. The p

value was .0415. There was a statistically significant dif-

ference favoring the enactment group over the control group.

The computed t for group two versus group three was 4.86.

The p value was .0001. This indicates a statistically sig-

nificant difference between the discussion group and the con-

trol group. The enactment and discussion groups did signif-

icantly better than the control group in total formal ele-

ments of a story score. And the discussion group did better

than the enactment group on this variable. When looking at

formal story elements as a total score, the two treatments

were effective in developing an awareness of formal elements

in four year old children.










Results for total score on formal elements of a story

are given in Tables 16 and 17.



Table 16.
Total Formal Elements
The Gingerbread Man


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 .013 .013 .04

Treatment 2 9.160 4.580 11.91*

Error 24 9.220 .384


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 1.10

Discussion 1.81

Control .44


N = 28
*Significant at a .05


Table 17.
Estimates for Total Formal Elements
The Gingerbread Man
Estimates

Parameter Estimate T for Ho P

1 vs 2 .71 -2.47 .0209

1 vs 3 .65 2.15 .0415

2 vs 3 1.36 4.86 .0001










Number of Characters

Hypothesis 22: There will be no pretest by treat-

ment interaction on number of characters.

The F statistic was 1.62. The p value was .2208.

This hypothesis was not rejected. There was no interaction

at a=.05.

Hypothesis 23: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control group

in the number of characters mentioned in the

story retelling task.

The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 4.62;

Discussion, 4.37; Control, 4.85. The computed F statistic

was .41. The p value was .5586. Hypothesis 23 was not re-

jected at a=.05. There was no statistically significant

difference between the three groups.

Results for number of characters are shown in Table 10.


Number of Incidents

Hypothesis 24: There will be no treatment

by pretest interaction for number of incidents.

The F statistic was .49. The p value was .6195. This

hypothesis was not rejected at a=.05. There was no treat-

ment by pretest interaction.











Table 18.
Number of Characters
The Gingerbread Man


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 .8358 .8358 .63

Treatment 2 1.0900 .5450 .41

Error 24 31.9300 1.3300


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 4.62

Discussion 4.37

Control 4.85


N = 28



Hypothesis 25: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control group

in number of incidents mentioned in the re-

telling task.

The adjusted means on this variable were Enactment,

5.84; Discussion, 6.10; Control, 5.41.

The F statistic was .62. The p value was .5461. Hy-

pothesis 25 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no dif-

ference between the three groups in number of incidents.

Results for number of incidents are given in Table 19.











Table 19.
Number of Incidents
The Gingerbread Man


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 .439 .439 .24

Treatment 2 2.29 1.145 .62

Error 24 44.46 1.85


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 5.84

Discussion 6.10

Control 5.41


N = 28

Number of Conversational Quotations

Hypothesis 26: There will be no treatment by pretest

interaction on number of conversational quotations.

The F statistic was 1.35. The p value was .2789. Hy-

pothesis 26 was not rejected. There was no treatment by

pretest interaction.

Hypothesis 27: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control group

in number of times conversational quotations

were used in the retelling task.

The adjusted means on this variable were Enactment,

5.84; Discussion, 6.10; Control, 5.41.










The F statistic was 1.88. The p value was .1750. Hy-

pothesis 27 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no statis-

tically significant difference between the three groups on

number of conversational quotations.

Results for number of conversational quotations are

given in Table 20.



Table 20.
Number of Conversational Quotations
The Gingerbread Man


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 5.45 5.45 .67

Treatment 2 30.35 15.17 1.88

Errov 24 194.20 8.09


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 4.79

Discussion 6.23

Control 3.76


N = 28



Total Score on Characters, Incidents and
Conversational Quotations

For each category a percentage was computed of number

of characters, number of incidents, and number of conversa-

tional quotations. These percentages were added to get a

total score.









Hypothesis 28: There will be no pretest by

treatment interaction on total score on char-

acters, incidents and conversational quotations.

The F statistic was 2.19. The p value was .1358. Hy-

pothesis 28 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no pre-

test by treatment interaction.

Hypothesis 29: There will be no difference

between four year old children in the enact-

ment, teacher-led discussion or control group

in regard to a total score on characters, in-

cidents and conversational quotations.

The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 1.68;

Discussion, 1.80; Control, 1.57.

The F statistic was .71. The p value was .5032. There

was no statistically significant difference between the

groups in total score on characters, incidents, and conver-

sational quotations. Hypothesis 29 was not rejected.

Results for total score of characters, incidents and

conversational quotations are shown in Table 21.

Tables 22 and 23 summarize the results of this study.

Post hoc analysis on teacher effects is presented next.



Post Hoc Analyses


The analysis described in the previous section tested

hypotheses concerning treatment effects. The assumption was

made that teachers were equally effective within groups.




















Table 21.
Total Score of Characters, Incidents and
Conversational Quotations
The Gingerbread Man


Variable df SS MS F

Pretest 1 .0002 .0001 .000

Treatment 2 .2503 .1250 .710

Error 24 4.2500 .1770


Adjusted means for groups

Enactment 1.68

Discussion 1.80

Control 1.57


N = 28














Table 22.
Summary of Results for Little Red Riding Hood


Hypothesis
Hypothesis Statistically
Dependent Variable Number Significant

A. Formal Opening 1 *S at a.05

B. Formal Closing 2 NS

C. Unity 3 NS

D. Total Score 5-6 NS
Formal Elements

E. Number of Characters 7-8 NS

F. Number of Incidents 9-10 NS

G. Number of Conversa- 11-12 Pretest by
tional Quotations treatment in-
teraction (Hy-
pothesis 11)

H. Total Score Characters, 13-14 NS
Incidents and Conversa-
tional Quotations

Criterion-Referenced Test 15-16 *S ata.05
Hypothesis 16


NS = Not Significant

*S = Statistically Significant












Table 23.
Summary of Results for The Gingerbread Man


Hypothesis
Hypothesis Statistically
Dependent Variable Number Significant

A. Formal Opening 17 NS

B. Formal Closing 18 NS

C. Unity 19 *S ata.05

D. Total Score 20-21 *S ata.05
Formal Elements Hypothesis 21

E. Number of Characters 22-23 NS

F. Number of Incidents 24-25 NS

G. Number of Conversa- 26-27 NS
tional Quotations

H. Total Score Characters, 28-29 NS
Incidents and Conversa-
tional Quotations


NS = Not Significant

*S = Statistically Significant











After examining group means, the experimenter suspected the

existence of teacher effects. Further analyses were needed

to test the assumption of teacher effects on the pretest and

11 continuous variables of the total 17 dependent variables.

The post hoc analysis first tested the hypothesis that

teachers were equally effective within groups. If the hy-

pothesis was rejected, the effect of the treatment was re-

analyzed using teachers nested within programs as the error

term. In reanalysis only five of the variables indicated a

significant teacher effect. The results of these analyses

and the reanalysis of the treatment effect are reported be-

low. A summary table for these analyses on the dependent

variables follows at the end of the presentation of these

results.



Little Red Riding Hood


A total score on characters, incidents and conversa-

tional quotations was calculated by the method described

earlier in this chapter. The hypothesis tested for this

variable was: teachers are equally effective within each

treatment group on a total score on characters, incidents

and conversational quotations.

The computed F statistic was 5.03. The p value was

.0013. This hypothesis was rejected. There was a teacher

effect on this variable. Teachers were not equally effective




Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID EUKF7QDJF_P2H2WW INGEST_TIME 2017-07-14T22:54:43Z PACKAGE UF00099601_00001
AGREEMENT_INFO ACCOUNT UF PROJECT UFDC
FILES



PAGE 1

EFFECTS OF STORY ENACTMENT AND TEACHER-LED DISCUSSION ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S STORY COMPREHENSION BY TERESA C. BENNETT A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1983

PAGE 2

Copyright 1983 by Teresa C. Bennett

PAGE 3

This work is dedicated to my son and my father. "The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I wish to extend my thanks to the following people: Dr. Linda Lamme, who was demanding, insightful, helpful, interested, and enthusiastic; Dr. Steve Olejnik, my teacher, who helped me with the analysis and spent time critiqueing my writing; Dr. Dorene Ross, who critiqued my writing, helped me revise and provided support; Dr. Pat Ashton, who was a good listener and counselor; Dr. Bob Algozinne, who provided feedback on my writing and humor at important moments . My thanks extend to other members of my family and friends, my mother, Lolly and Chip, Gussie and Bob Mautz, Sharen Halsall. My thanks also go to Lois Rudloff, my typist, who did such a great job. I want to express my appreciation to an unofficial member of my committee, Dr. Anthony Pelligrini, of the University of Georgia, who is an authority on play and young children. He helped me formulate the framework of this study.

PAGE 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS IV ABSTRACT viii CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1 Introduction 1 Need for the Study 4 Statement of the Problem 6 Significance of the Study 8 Limitations of the Study 9 Definition of Terms 10 Formal Story Elements 12 Summary 13 TWO REVIEW OF LITERATURE 14 Introduction 14 Reading Readiness 17 Story Comprehension 18 Formal Elements of a Story 2 Low Socioeconomic Status Black Children: Language Development and Reading Readiness 22 Play and Young Children 2 5 Story Enactment and Story Comprehension . 29 Play Training 31 Teacher-Led Discussion 39 Fairy Tales 41 Summary 4 3 THREE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY 45 Subjects 45 Sample Selection 46 Variables 46 Instrumentation 46 Design 5 Data Collection 50 Hypotheses 51 Assumptions 55

PAGE 6

Page Procedure 55 Teacher Training Workshops 57 Curriculum Implementation 59 FOUR RESULTS 62 Little Red Riding Hood : Formal Elements of a Story 62 The Gingerbread Man : Formal Elements of a Story 77 Post Hoc Analyses 87 Little Red Riding Hood 91 The Gingerbread Man 97 FIVE SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS . 10 6 Factors Affecting Results of the Study . . 106 Criterion-Referenced Test: Little Red Riding Hood 113 Story Retelling 114 Broad Implications for Future Research . . 122 Practical Implications for Future Research 123 Enactment Treatment Observations 124 Implications for Day Care Teachers .... 127 Conclusions 134 APPENDIX A CRT LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, 4th FAMILIAR STORY 137 B READING ALOUD TO CHILDREN SCALE (REVISED) . 138 C BOOKS USED IN THIS STUDY 141 D INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS ON THE STUDY ABOUT HOW CHILDREN UNDERSTAND STORIES . . 14 2 E SCHEDULE FOR STORIES 145 F QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE BEARS BY PAUL GALDONE 14 6 G QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE LITTLE PIGS ILLUSTRATED BY AURELIUS BATTAGLIA 14 9 H QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF 152

PAGE 7

Page I TEACHER-LED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS TO BE USED FOR THE STORY LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD BY JACOB AND WILHELM GRIMM 155 J SAMPLE STORIES 158 K PROCEDURES 168 L SUMMARY FOR TREATMENT EFFECTS WITH TEACHERS NESTED WITHIN TREATMENTS USED AS THE ERROR TERM 169 REFERENCE NOTES 170 REFERENCES 171 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 175

PAGE 8

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EFFECTS OF STORY ENACTMENT AND TEACHERLED DISCUSSION ON PRESCHOOL CHILDREN'S STORY COMPREHENSION By Teresa C. Bennett April 1983 Chairperson: Linda Leonard Lamme Major Department: Curriculum and Instruction The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of story enactment and teacher-led discussion on low income black preschool children's story comprehension as measured by a criterion-referenced test and two retelling tasks which were analyzed for formal elements of a story. The study involved 45 preschoolers (3 1/2 to 4 1/2 years old) in six Title XX (federally funded) daycare centers in Gainesville, Florida. The pretest administered by graduate students in the Speech Department was the Test of Early Language. The posttest data, the criterion-referenced test and two retelling tasks were collected by the teachers who carried out the four-week curriculum and by the experimenter.

PAGE 9

Analysis of covariance was used to test for treatment effects on 11 dependent variables. Chi-square analysis was done on 6 variables which were dichotomous . The significance level was set at a=.05. The four-week literature curriculum was carried out by volunteer teachers in six daycare centers. The enactment group was provided books, filmstrips, cassettes, instructions and props for each story. The teacher-led discussion group was provided books, filmstrips, cassettes, instructions and specific questions and appropriate answers for each story. The control group was provided books, filmstrips and cassettes for each story. The enactment and teacher-led discussion treatments had a significant positive effect on the criterion-referenced test on Little Red Riding Hood , total formal elements score and unity on The Gingerbread Man . These results suggest that a literature curriculum utilizing enactment or teacher-led discussion can significantly improve preschool children's story comprehension, particularly in regard to recall.

PAGE 10

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION Introduction Psycholinguistic theories of how children learn to read suggest that reading is above all a thinking process, a "psycholinguistic guessing game" in which children test hypotheses about how to derive meaning from print (Downing, 1979; Goodman, 1981; Smith, 1978) . Rather than learning a series of hierarchical skills, children learn to read by interacting with whole texts while reading (Smith, 1978) . If reading is an integrated semantic process in which meaning is paramount, children need to be given experiences in problem-solving and making inferences to "fill in the gaps" in reading materials such as stories (Bransford, 1979) . A story is a stable and organized body of knowledge and in order to understand it a child must comprehend the continuity and connectedness of the story's events and structure (Stein, 1980). Through exposure to stories, children develop an internal representation, a set of expectations about what comprises a story, called a story schema. A story schema helps children integrate and understand what they read (Durkin, 1981; Stein, 1980) . Language proficiency helps children understand and remember stories that are read to them. Story comprehension

PAGE 11

is enhanced by good language skills and consistent exposure to stories. Low income black children come from environments where they may not be exposed to literature and their language development may be termed delayed (Deutsch, 1967; Templin, 1975) . Children from this population who are in daycare centers might benefit from a program which emphasizes a holistic literature approach. Reading many stories over a period of time facilitates the reading readiness of these children through listening, memorizing, and inventing stories using book language (Levenstein, 1970) . Better comprehension is possible when children understand stories and their plots. The ability to comprehend the relationship of events in a story helps children be more ready to read (Stein, 1980) . Research with low income black children and reading falls into two categories. Research which used isolated skills as outcome measures found that direct instruction in these skills most benefitted the children (Bereiter & Engelman, 1966). The use of higher order measures, like overall language development and comprehension with children taught by direct instruction, indicates that these children are not as successful in comprehending what they read as children taught by a meaning approach (Becker, 1977; Bruner, 1968). The goals of this study are not involved with skill hierarchies, since comprehension cannot be broken down into skills (Mason, Osborn, & Rosenshine, 1977) . This study has

PAGE 12

a much broader goal, the integration and understanding of story material. One theory about the learning style of low income black children terms their learning style, social interactive (Gordon, 19 82) . Play, which is social interactive, is identified as a powerful means for developing the language of young children (Piaget, 1962; Vygotsky, 1978). Play, an intellectual process, helps the young child assimilate new information into present mental structures (Piaget, 1962) . Language and meaning grow through play as the child becomes aware of symbols and the relationship between the signifier and the signified (Wolfgang, 1974) . A special type of play treatment, story enactment, may be ideal for facilitating the language growth and story comprehension of this population, because it is social interactive. Also previous research has shown that story enactment has had positive effects on the story comprehension of low income children who are five years of age (Pelligrini & Galda, 1982) . The traditional teaching method used to help children listen to and understand stories is a questioning or classroom discussion technique (Pearson & Johnson, 1978) . Teacher-led discussion, one treatment in this study, is more direct than the other treatment, story enactment. This study seeks to juxtapose a dynamic, interactive treatment, story enactment, with the more direct method, teacher-led discussion, to determine which condition enhances the story

PAGE 13

comprehension and language of four year old black children. Story comprehension and language, in turn, are important aspects of reading readiness in a holistic approach to literacy. Need for the Study Theories abound as to why low socioeconomic status black children do poorly in school settings. Whether the problem is lack of adequate stimulation at home, biased tests or biased teachers, the fact remains that children in this population have difficulty academically (Gordon, 19 82) . It seems important to do research on these children before school entry to ascertain the most appropriate teaching methods for facilitating their learning. This research is needed to extend the generalizability of previous research in the area of story comprehension to low socioeconomic status black four year olds. Six known studies utilizing a small group enactment treatment have found significant results on story comprehension measures (Milner, 1982, Pelligrini & Galda, 1982; Saltz, Dixon, & Johnson, 1977; Saltz & Johnson, 1974; Silvern, Williamson, Taylor, Surbeck, & Kelley, Note 1; Silvern, Williamson, Taylor, & Kelley, Note 2). This research shows that story enactment does facilitate story comprehension in older children. There has not been enough research on children under five years of age to know how they understand stories.

PAGE 14

Nancy Stein (1980) , a major researcher in the area of story comprehension, states that more research is needed with young children below the age of five to complete our understanding of how children think about stories. The present study is similar to Milner's (1982) study and a study by Pelligrini and Galda (1982) . Milner used a story enactment treatment with middle income white four year olds and found significant results on total formal elements of a story included in a retelling task. Milner's results can only be generalized to similar populations, preschool children of college students. The proposed study extends the generalizability of Milner's results to low SES black four year olds. The second treatment in this study, teacher-led discussion, is similar to a treatment used by Pelligrini and Galda (19 82) . The discussion group in the Pelligrini and Galda study did facilitate story comprehension, but the primary treatment, story enactment, facilitated better story comprehension for low SES black five year olds. Another reason this study is needed is to develop a literature program of fairy tales for daycare staff using story enactment and teacher-led discussion. This study will broaden our knowledge of the best teaching methods to use while involving children with literature. There is little research data on the impact of children's experiences with literature in the daycare curriculum. The

PAGE 15

effectiveness of the training provided for the teachers is assessed by determining its impact upon the students. Statement of the Problem Research is needed on low socioeconomic status four year old black children in daycare settings to determine the best methods for promoting conceptual learning, such as story comprehension. This study seeks to investigate the effects of two treatment conditions, story enactment of fairy tales and teacher-led discussion about fairy tales on preschoolers' story comprehension as measured by knowledge of formal elements of a story and a criterion-referenced test. The experimenter is providing teacher training for those teachers who will implement the treatments in separate daycare centers. The primary treatment is enacting a series of four fairy tale stories with teachers taking an active role in dramatization. The second treatment consists of a teacher-led discussion after reading the same stories. The control condition is a situation in which the teacher will read the same stories. The question under investigation in regard to story comprehension is: Does story enactment, in preselected groups of four children, or teacher-led discussion, facilitate the story comprehension of low socioeconomic status black four year olds (N=45) as measured by a CRT and formal elements of a story?

PAGE 16

The formal story elements to be used in scoring the children's story retellings are those used by Applebee (1978) , Isbell (1979) , and Milner (1982) : formal opening (i.e., once upon a time), formal closing (i.e., the end), and number of characters, number of incidents, number of times conversational quotations are used and story unity. The adult-led discussion treatment utilizes a questioning mode developed by Sadow (1982) which is based on Rumelhart's story grammar. The questions investigate these areas: setting; initiating event, reaction, action, and consequence. The control group is hearing the same fairy tales read aloud and participating in their regular curriculum. All three groups are hearing the same four fairy tales. They are Little Red Riding Hood , The Three Little Pigs , The Three Billy Goats Gruff , and The Three Bears . Fairy tales are chosen as the genre of literature because they have simple plots and thematic development. Fairy tales possess special appeal to children who identify with the conflicts and problems dealt with in the stories as well as the regulated pattern inherent in the tale, i.e., use of repetition, causal relations, formal opening and closing (Favat, Note 3). Significance of the Study This study is significant because it will develop a curriculum model for teachers at the early childhood level

PAGE 17

and validate its effectiveness for children. This study also validates the theory that one academic skill area, holistic reading readiness, can be enhanced either by a thematic fantasy play curriculum or a more traditional discussion curriculum. The results of this study indicate whether low socioeconomic status black children learn best in a social interactive curriculum, i.e., story enactment, or the more passive, abstract, discussion curriculum. A carefully developed daily literature curriculum has been developed for this study. The children hear one fairy tale every week for four weeks. Each teacher reads the story two days a week and audiovisual media presents the story on two other days during the week. The story enactment group enacts the story immediately after hearing it or seeing it presented. This type of treatment may be especially appropriate for low SES black children, since it is a condition in which social interaction is the focus. This active treatment, termed story enactment, is contrasted with the more traditional discussion treatment to determine which condition is best for this population. Another important facet of this study lies in its contribution to new theories about reading readiness. Theories about reading readiness have changed in recent years. The theory of readiness as visual and auditory discrimination, letter identification, and copying letters is being redefined with research findings by psycholinguistic theorists

PAGE 18

(Downing, 1979; Goodman, 1981; Smith, 1978). Clay (1972) says there are certain language concepts children need to master before they are ready to learn to read. These language concepts involve exposure and interaction with books, inventing stories, using book talk and memorizing stories (Clay, 1972; McDonell & Osburn, 1978). The story enactment treatment in this study is aimed at facilitating these language concepts. Inventing stories and talking in book language are practiced while enacting the stories and speaking dialogue. Memorizing stories develops with exposure to the same stories over a period of time (Schickedanz , 1978). The significance of this study, then, lies in its potential for giving us information about which kind of curriculum is most beneficial with this particular population in regard to story comprehension, which is the central component of holistic reading readiness. Limitations of the Study One limitation of this study was that the quality of the literature intervention is dependent on the training, abilities and interests of the teachers. Attempting to remediate this, the experimenter divided the teachers by educational level before randomly assigning them to treatments. Also, teacher training was provided to standardize implementation of the treatments. Nevertheless, this study was

PAGE 19

10 susceptible to teacher effects. Possibly more teacher training is needed for successful implementation of the enactment treatment. Two other factors which limited the study were small sample size and the short length of the treatments. The total sample size was 45, after 17 subjects were lost because of attrition and absenteeism. Six centers were used because that was the maximum the experimenter could site visit per week. Only the four year olds in the six centers were subjects. This limits the number of students in the study. The experiment -.was scheduled for four weeks. This might be too short a time span to see changes in the dependent measures. Another limitation of the study was that a federal daycare audit took place during the second week of the experiment. The audit affected the morale of the teachers, directors and students. Also loss of some subjects wa_s due to the audit. Because subjects could not be randomly assigned to treatments, analysis of covariance was chosen for the analysis to adjust for initial differences between subjects. The covariate consisted of a language quotient score on the Test of Early Language (Note 6) .

PAGE 20

11 Definition of Terms Schema . In this study a schema is defined as a mental construct which includes information about events or happenings which must be met before a situation may qualify as a particular type of event or action. Schemata guide the assumptions human beings make while comprehending, learning, and remembering. Schemata may also be called scripts or frames. A specific script involves a group of concepts or events. For example, a birthday party schema would include a mental script of what events will take place at a birthday party, who will attend, etc. Schemata help us organize knowledge to better understand incoming information about the world (Bransford, 1979) . Story schema . In order to connect the ideas and events to one another in a story, a story schema develops to help the reader establish continuity between events in the story (Rumelhart, 1975) . Story grammar . These have been developed by authors and consist of a setting and a number of episodes which are related to one another in a meaningful way. Story representation . A mental representation in the mind of the reader concerning the actions or events in a story and how they are connected to one another. Assessment

PAGE 21

12 of how well a reader comprehends the story is usually done by asking the reader to retell the story and by analyzing how many connections are made. Story enactment. Children are read a story, are assigned roles and then enact the story in groups of four with active participation by the teacher. Thematic fantasy play . A situation in which children enact a role and theme not related to their personal experience. Self-directive dramatization . The pupil's own original, imaginative, spontaneous interpretation of a character of his/her own choosing in a story. Teacher-led discussion . An activity in which teacher, after reading to the students, utilizes a questioning mode to go over the important elements of a story. Reading readiness . Visual and language concepts developed over time with exposure to literature and print. The reading readiness area that relates to this study involves story comprehension specifically memorizing telling and inventing stories, and using book talk (Clay, 1972). CRT . A test to measure recall (Appendix A) . Formal Story Elements Formal opening . A designated beginning to the story, i.e., once upon a time.

PAGE 22

13 Formal closing . A designated ending to the story, i.e., The end. Number of incidents . A count of the number of incidents recounted in the retelling, i.e., He jumped on his back. Number of conversational quotations . A numerical count of the times characters speak dialogue, i.e., He said, Hello." Number of characters mentioned . A numerical count of how many different characters are mentioned in the retelling. Unity . A measure of the child's skill in retelling the story with a sense of thematic development, i.e., If the child brings in incidents not related to the story, unity was not scored. Summary The overall purpose of this study is to investigate the usefulness of a story enactment treatment or a teacherled discussion treatment on the story comprehension of black low socioeconomic status four year olds as measured by formal elements of a story included in two retelling tasks and scores on a criterion-referenced task.

PAGE 23

CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction Experience with literature has a significant effect on a child's literacy development (Teale, 1978). Interaction with adults and literature in the home environment influences the interest children have in books and other areas related to reading, i.e., language development and vocabulary development (Durkin, 1981; Levenstein, 1970) . Studies show that the home environments of early readers included -the following: printed materials were present , reading was done in the environment, the environment facilitated contact with paper and pencil, and adults in the environment responded to the child's efforts with quality interaction (Teale, 1978) . This description of home environments producing children who will read early and love to read would not characterize the homes of low socioeconomic black children (Levenstein, 1970). Studies show that there was a lack of printed materials in low SES homes, that books were infrequently read to children in these homes, and these parents wereJLess sophisticated verbally (Deutsch, 1967; Templin, 1957) . These factors have a profound effect on the language development and potential reading readiness of the children 14

PAGE 24

15 from low SES environments. This study was designed to enhance the literature experiences that low SES children may lack at home, but which can be provided at a day care center. It has been accepted that young children need the experience of hearing stories read. Schickedanz (1978) stated, that there were specific skills children learn during the story reading experience, one of which is memorizing the story. The ability to remember and tell a story serves the purpose of helping the child develop a story schema, a set of expectations about what is contained in a story. The best teaching method to help low SES black children develop a story schema was the focus of this study. There are varying views concerning the best teaching methods to use with low SES preschoolers. Becker and Engelman (Mote 4) of the Oregon Direct Instruction model emphasized individual and group classroom drill on basic skills as the best teaching method. They pointed out the positive overall performance of the didactic direct instruction models in the Follow Through Evaluations. Bereiter and Engelman (1966) asserted that direct instruction wa-s the best teaching technique for low SES children. Programs like DISTAR did raise scores on reading readiness skill tests, but these same children fell below the national average on the reading comprehension test of the Metropolitan Achievement Test (Becker, 1977; Bruner, 1968). It seems obvious that direct instruction was the best method for teaching skill

PAGE 25

16 hierarchies but probably not for teaching higher order thought. The focus of the present study was a higher order mental process, story comprehension. Comprehension of stories develops through quality experiences with literature. The development of a young child's total language, syntax, semantics, phonology, and vocabulary enables the child to be a better reader (Livo, 1972) . One theorist stated that the best precursor to reading achievement was a program of total language development which was filled with interverbal communication (Livo, 1972) . The two treatments in this study-,, story enactment and teacher-led discussion, were aimed at immersing the child in verbal interaction in order to facilitate the development of a story schema. This mental idea of story elements help the child to better understand stories when read (Rumelhart, 1975) . This review will begin by discussing reading readiness and how a story schema develops through exposure and memorization, and this aids story comprehension. Research studies which have utilized formal elements of a story as a dependent measure will be reviewed next. The teaching methods used to teach low SES children reading readiness in the past will be reviewed with particular attention to language deficits and difficulty in reading. Finally, the two methods which have been helpful in teaching children story comprehension, story enactment and teacher-led discussion will be discussed.

PAGE 26

17 Reading Readiness Ideas about what reading is fall into two camps. One states that reading is a hierarchy of skills which can best be taught by direct instruction (Becker, 1977; Bruner, 1968). The other camp states that reading is an interactive process between reader and whole text in which meaning is the central element (Downing, 1979; Goodman, 1981; Smith, 1978). The holistic concept of reading is more learner-centered than the skill hierarchy approach. Ideas about reading readiness differ according to which side of the reading argument one accepts. The authors who advocate holistic meaning approach to reading emphasize the gestalt of the reading episode, for example, knowing that books tell stories, knowing that book talk is different from conversation, memorizing and inventing stories (Clay, 19 72; Schickedanz, 1978; Smith, 1978) . These are broad language concepts which develop over time with exposure to literature. This study examined two methods of teaching children how to approach the reading experience with these broad language concepts needed for comprehending print. Preparing children to be holistically ready to read was a broad goal of this study. The ability to tell a story has been highly correlated with reading readiness. In one study children were read "Peter Rabbit" 10 times. Then they were asked to state as

PAGE 27

18 many incidents as they could recall about the story. There was a .78 correlation with the Lee-Clark Reading Readiness Test (Livo, 1972) . The knowledge children gain by experiencing literature helps them develop the mental scaffolding needed to comprehend when they read in later years (Livo, ) 1972) ./ The two most important resources children bring to the reading experience are competence in oral language and the knowledge that reading is the expression of and comprehension of meaning (Goodman, 1981) . The meaning approach to reading and reading readiness emphasizes the communicative nature of the reading act. Reading is getting information from books and gaining an understanding of what is contained in books constitutes reading readiness (Downing, 1979) . This orientation is the view adopted by this research study. Cognitive psychologists state that human beings interpret experience through existing mental structures, schemata, which aid human comprehension. It is important for children to develop story schemata to enable them to better comprehend the stories they read or are read to them (Durkin, 1981; Rumelhart, 1975). Story Comprehension John Bransford (1979) in his book Human Cognition explores the relationship between schema theory and comprehension. The concept of schemata is derived from the work of

PAGE 28

19 Piaget and Kant (Bransford, 1979) . Schemata are also called scripts or frames. Schemata characterize the way in which conceptual structures are built. A story schema helps organize the information in the story in a logical, coherent manner. A restaurant schema would include a sequence of events which occur in a restaurant. Human comprehension depends upon these schemata and subschemata (the sequence inherent in the entire script) to make sense of what will be read and understood (Bransford, 1979) . We all depend on our prior knowledge of the world and prior experience to help us reason about events or situations. Bransford (1979) states that Comprehension consists of: (1) finding a schema that fits a particular input [i.e., at a birthday party, or that sequence of events which constitute a birthday party.] (2) discovering those entities that correspond to particular roles required in the schema, (3) making inferences to fill in the gaps in the story. (p. 185) Bransford (1979) discusses the role of inference in comprehension. Comprehension depends on one's ability to think inferentially and make assumptions based on general knowledge. Understanding stories requires one to make assumptions concerning relations between events. People make sense of what is heard or read by connecting the events of a story in some logical way. Readers or listeners "fill in the gaps" of a story based on their experience level.

PAGE 29

20 The holistic model of teaching reading, which the theories of story schema fit into, states that reading comprehension is an interactive process in which both text and world knowledge play key roles (Durkin, 19 81; Rumelhart, 1975) . Low SES children need quality experiences with literature to develop story schemata for better understanding and integration of what is read. Formal Elements of a Story In an attempt to discover how children think about stories, some researchers have analyzed stories told by children. This analysis has revealed there are certain elements of a story. Three studies will be reviewed in this section. The first study is by Applebee (1978) , who analyzed the 360 stories collected by Pitcher and Prelinger (1963) . The stories were told by middle class American two, three and four year olds in response to the question, "Tell me a story." Applebee scored these stories for formal elements: formal opening, formal closing, the use of consistent past tense. All three conventions showed a steady rise from two-five years. Applebee also found that number of words, number of T-units, number of characters, number of incidents, and average number of words per T-unit all showed a consistent and significant rise with age whether considered individually or as a set.

PAGE 30

21 Table 1. Use of Formal Elements of a Story by Applebee (1978) p. 163 Formal Ending Age 2 Age 3 Age 4 Age 5 Chi-Square Formal 30.0 43.3 76.7 86.7 26.87 (significant) Beginning 0.0 13.3 13.3 46.7 23.82 (significant) Consistent 63.3 80.0 93.3 86.7 9.63 (significant) Past Tense Isbell (1979) used a story reading and storytelling condition with 12 middle class subjects who were four and five years old. Contemporary children's stories were used. Isbell studied the same dependent measures that Applebee developed. She found that the storytelling group included more incidents in the retelling, more formal endings, and conversational quotations. One weakness of Isbell' s study was the small number of subjects. It is difficult to draw conclusions about a treatment with only six subjects in each treatment, but her findings do correspond to those of Applebee. Milner (1982) conducted a study utilizing an eight week story enactment treatment with four year olds at Baby Gator Research Center, in Gainesville, Florida. Milner measured the effect of her fairy tale curriculum with several outcome measures of oral language, formal story elements

PAGE 31

22 [similar to Applebee (1978) and Isbell (1979)] empathy, and reading readiness. She found significant effects for condition on the empathy measure, formal opening, number of characters mentioned and total score for the use of formal story elements. Milner's subjects completed a retelling task and tapes were analyzed by the experimenter. The control group in Milner's study were read contemporary children's stories instead of fairy tales. Milner's curriculum was a total integration of the fairy tale story throughout the entire preschool curriculum. Since she was a teacher in the school where the treatment was held, she planned numerous activities every day which related to that week's story. Milner's results are limited in that they can only be generalized to a small population preschool ^children of college students. The research on formal story elements concludes that children's concept of a story grows from age two to five in formal elements of a story included in a retelling task (Applebee, 1978). Milner's (19 82) study demonstrated that middle income children of student parents can grow in story comprehension as measured on total formal elements of a story through exposure to thematic-fantasy play. Low Socioeconomic Status Black Children : Language Development and Reading Readiness The language of a low income child differs from the language of a middle income child. These differences have been

PAGE 32

23 researched thoroughly concluding that the crucial difference between lower-class children and middle-class children is not in the quality of language but in its use (Deutsch, 1967) . Low SES children generally have scores on language tests which are below their mental ages. Deutsch (1967) stated that "being lower class, black or white, makes for lower language scores . " Research has paid specific attention to the language of low SES children drawing the following conclusions: (1) they have limited language ability; (2) they possess syntactic inferiority; (3) they use more simple sentences; (4) they use more mispronounced words; (5) they have deficits in auditory attention and interpretation skills; (6) they lack some communication skills; (7) they lack adequate adult models in the environment ; (8) they have a restricted vocabulary (Dunn, Neville, Pfost, Pochanart, & Bruininks , 1968, page 8). Low SES children generally understand more language than they use. The school setting may be particularly difficult for them to adjust to because school language is so different from the low income child's language. Language proficiency is highly correlated to reading achievement (Livo, 1972) . Because of the limited language

PAGE 33

24 proficiency lower-class children possess, they are 4 to 10 times more likely to be poor readers in comparison to the entire school population (Dunn et al., 1968). Low SES children enter school less ready to learn to read in comparison to advantaged children (Dunn et al., 1968). For this reason the low SES population has been the focus of a great deal of reading readiness research. The reading readiness skills identified 10 to 20 years ago as the best predictors of reading achievement were the isolated skills of knowing letter sounds and names, auditory blending and visual discrimination. Facilitating the reading achievement of low SES children in school settings was the focus of such programs as DISTAR. The Follow Through Evaluations show that direct instruction was the best method for teaching low SES children the hierarchy of reading readiness skills mentioned above (Bereiter & Engelman, 1966) . The DISTAR program did raise achievement to one standard deviation above the national norm on the WRAT (word recognition subtest) . However, on the reading comprehension test of the MAT, these same students fell below the national norm (Becker, 1977) . This research points out the weakness of the Direct Instruction Model for teaching a complex global ability like reading comprehension. New ideas about reading readiness emphasize the importance of understanding the meaning behind an author's message (Smith, 1978) . Theorists now assert that lowincome

PAGE 34

25 children need teaching strategies which enable them to verbalize with peers and use motor abilities (Dunn et al., 1968) . The story enactment treatment in this study seems ideal, then, for this population to facilitate story comprehension, a very important reading readiness skill for prereaders. Story enactment was derived from the developmental theory of play and its value for young children as their natural mode of learning. Play and Young Children What is the value of play? Many theories have stated that adaptive intelligence involves both differentiation and integration. Piaget (1962) called this accommodation and assimilation. The value of play rests in the process of integrating and consolidating recent learning and conceptualization. Play develops from a self-directed activity in which children imitate actions to an other-directed activity which includes social interaction and language. Play can be defined as voluntary, pleasurable activity which is not goaldirected or dependent on the restraints of time and space. In play elements of reality are incorporated into the imagination. Play is active, structured, symbolic activity involving mental processes which develop adaptive intelligence. The preschool child makes use of a new psychological process upon arrival at Piaget' s preoperational stage,

PAGE 35

26 symbolic play (Piaget, 1962) . Symbolic ability allows the child to call up objects or actions which are not present, but have been observed. Play is the fusion of reality and fantasy. Through use of symbols and signs (language) , the child begins to think abstractly. In play, thought is separated from objects and action arises from ideas rather than things: a piece of wood becomes a doll and a stick becomes a horse. ... It is terribly difficult for a child to sever thought (the meaning of a word) from object. (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 97) The very young child is bound to every action by situational constraints . . . it is impossible for very young children to separate the field of meaning from the visual field because there is such intimate fusion between meaning and what is seen. (Vygotsky, 1978, pp. 96-97) The preschooler can call up mental images of objects, actions, and situations. Play allows manipulation of reality through fantasy. Young children who are developing symbolic ability need specific objects for play. However, as the child grows older, fewer props are needed and words suffice as symbols. Abstract thought has arrived. Play provides the meaningful context in which children can develop competent language use. Stern, Bragdon, and Gordon (1976) identified three cognitive areas directly related to symbolic play. These are the use of symbolic representation, involvement (focus of attention) , and language.

PAGE 36

27 During symbolic play, small groups of children pretend, verbalize, problem-solve and use their primitive conceptions of the reality of meaning. Verbalization during play is crucial to the development of linguistic meaning and thought (Jurkovic, 1978; Vygotsky, 1978). The relation of thought to word is not a thing but a process, a continual movement back and forth from thought to word and from word to thought. . . . Thought is not merely expressed in words; it comes into existence through them. Every thought tends to connect something with something else, to establish a relationship between things. Every thought moves, grows, and develops, fulfills a function, solves a problem. (Vygotsky, 1962, p. 125) The basis of all cognition is flexibility and fluency with symbols. This develops in young children through the meaningful experience of play. The development of symbolic language and thought competence in children has its roots in late infancy with the emergence of representational, symbolic ability (Piaget, 1962) . Piaget (1962) stated that in the fourth stage of the six sensori-motor schemes, an infant will search for an object that has been placed out of the child's visual field, i.e., under a blanket. This searching on the part of the infant demonstrates that the child has a mental image of an absent object. This is the beginning of symbolic activity. The gradual freeing of the symbol from what it represents leads to symbolic behavior as an autonomous medium, such as language.

PAGE 37

28 Gowen (Note 5) has defined and identified the important elements of symbolic play. She defined symbolic play as using inanimate objects as animate, performing everyday activities in the absence of materials (i.e., drinking out of an empty cup) , substitution of one object for another, roleplaying, and novel or unusual endings to play activities. Seventy-eight percent of the children in her study did play symbolically. Gowen identified three structural elements to symbolic play: the signifier (child or object) , the signified (objects or beings) , and the mode of representation. She found that three-four year olds used objects more often to pretend and four-five year old children used more verbal communication without objects and actions. This supports Vygotsky's assertion that meaning is derived from action and objects, and that verbal symbols become adequate for conveying meaning with maturity. The two major theorists who have contributed most to discussions of play were Vygotsky and Piaget. Their orientations were similar in some ways, yet very different in others. Piaget believed play was intelligent behavior involving processes of assimilation over accommodation (Piaget, 1962) . By encoding symbols, the egocentric preschool child has a method of rethinking the reality of past experience and assimilating these experiences into existing mental structures (Fein, 1979) . Vygotsky, in contrast, saw play as an emotional process in which the child seeks to reduce tension

PAGE 38

29 and understand the social meaning of the world. To Piaget child's play was an egocentric experience, to Vygotsky it was a social experience in learning the social code of the culture, language (Fein, 1979) . The story enactment treatment in this study incorporated all the benefits of play as a social experience in learning. The structure of a story provided the conceptual framework for the play episode. The roles of characters in the story provided the vehicle for peer-peer interaction with dialogue, actions and appropriate props. This researcher hypothesized that the social interactive mode of learning, story enactment, may be a good way to teach low SES black children to appreciate and comprehend literature which, in turn, may make them better readers. Theories state that play facilitates symbolic development. Acting "as if" objects or actions are real helps young children develop representational ability (Vygotsky, 1978) . Story enactment may be especially appropriate for low SES children to help them develop their skills with symbol manipulation. Story enactment may be the mental mediation necessary for young children who are not verbally precocious to develop complex mental abilities like story comprehension. Story Enactment and Story Comprehension There are six studies which have used a story enactment treatment as an independent variable to facilitate story

PAGE 39

30 w CO o a o a) .c • +j a) +j ! CD +J ITS cu cj •H X! en CD •H 4-> C/3 iJ

PAGE 40

31 comprehension. These studies all indicate story enactment has a significant effect on story comprehension even though story comprehension was measured in different ways. A chart which summarizes the data of these studies follows. Play Training Saltz, Dixon and Johnson (1977) conducted a study in which low SES preschoolers were trained in one of three types of fantasy activities during a school year. The 80 subjects were randomly assigned to four groups. The experimental sessions were 15 minutes three days per week for each group. The treatments were thematic -fantasy play, (acting out fairy tales) , socio-dramatic play, fantasy discussion, and a control condition which was a regular preschool curriculum. Subjects were pretested on the PPVT. An alternate form of the PPVT was one posttest. Subjects were given another posttest, the story interpretation test, which measured their ability to relate events to one another and to measure causal relations. Sequential memory was measured by telling the child a story with five simple pictures. After hearing the story the child was given the pictures in random order and asked to put them in their correct order to tell the story. This procedure was repeated with a second story. Also measured in this study were empathy and impulse control (Saltz, Dixon, & Johnson, 1977).

PAGE 41

32 This study isolated the elements of the socio-dramatic play and thematic fantasy play which were important for the development of cognitive processes. One important element seemed to be the play enactment and the use of symbols. Another important element was the motoric component inherent in the treatment. Children moved when acting out situations or stories. The role changes required for more complex patterns of behavior in response to changes in situations and people in the episode were important. Thematic fantasy play, in particular, seemed to facilitate the ability to perceive causal relationships. This study has consistently had impressive results: an average gain of 23 IQ points for the play-training groups versus an average gain of 16 IQ points for the control groups. The present study examined the utilization of a playtraining model similar to that used by Saltz, Dixon, and Johnson (1977) . Three groups were utilized, one in which stories were enacted, one in which the teacher led a discussion after reading the story, and a control condition in which the children just heard the same stories read. Pelligrini and Galda (1982) did a similar study with 108 low SES black children, 54 boys and 54 girls, in kindergarten, first and second grade. The children were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions, thematic fantasy play, adult-led discussion or drawing. The children in the

PAGE 42

3 3 thematic fantasy play group enacted roles in fairy tales. The adult-led discussion group did not participate in fantasy reconstruction with peers, but after hearing the fairy tale read discussed the story with the teacher. Children in the drawing condition were read the fairy tale and given blank paper and crayons and asked to draw as much about the story as they could. The three treatment conditions were carried out with nine groups of four children within each grade. Each group consisted of two boys and two girls. A researcher carried out all the treatment conditions. One of the dependent measures in this study was performance on a criterion-referenced test of 10 questions about the last story which was read. The total number and sequence of events recalled about the story in a retelling task was the other dependent measure. The story retellings were broken down into nine main constituents, setting, seven episodes and conclusion. Retellings were scored as including the constituent if the "gist" was included irrespective of order. Retellings were also scored for sequence. ANOVA analysis revealed that the play group in this study (x = 5.888) scored significantly higher for condition than both the discussion (x = 4.722) and drawing (x = 3.666) groups. The discussion group scored higher than the drawing group as evidenced by the means. The significant effect for grade indicated that older children did better than younger

PAGE 43

34 children. Second graders x = 6.361) scored significantly higher than first graders (x = 4.611). First graders scored higher than kindergarteners (x = 3.305). The results of this study indicate that story comprehension was a function of two factors, age and training in verbally reconstructing the story. Second graders outperformed the younger children. On the criterion-referenced test measuring story comprehension, children who were exposed to thematicfantasy play or adult led discussion answered correctly more story related comprehension questions. For kindergarteners and first graders, thematicfantasy play provided the most effective means of understanding stories. This study was similar in several ways to the Pelligrini and Galda study. This study included a thematic fantasy play treatment and a teacherled discussion treatment. The third group was. a drawing group, but a condition in which the children heard the same stories read. The population was younger , i.e., four year olds. There was a similarity in one dependent measure, the retelling task, although the tapes were analyzed according to formal elements of a story originated by Applebee (1978) . Pelligrini and Galda (1982) provide support for two methods of encoding language to promote story comprehension, thematic fantasy play and adult-led discussion. More research is needed with younger children, though, in order to

PAGE 44

35 conclude that younger children are incapable of understanding stories as well as older children. Carlton and Moore (1968) studied children in first through fifth grade over a period of eight years. They used a story enactment treatment called self-directive dramatization. The authors defined self-directive dramatization of stories as referring to the pupil's own original, imaginative, spontaneous interpretation of a character of his/ her own choosing in the story which is selected and read cooperatively with other pupils in his group. It was not children putting on plays or dramatics. Of particular interest to this research was the chapter on the use of self-directive dramatization with 120 culturally disadvantaged pupils. The school population used in this part of the study was85 percent black. Children in grades one through four were included in the treatment. Experimental subjects who received exposure to self-directive dramatization were matched with control subjects who did not receive the training but participated in a basal reading program. The children were exposed to the self-directive approach. They began by learning how to select stories they wanted to read. They read to each other in groups of two. They dramatized parts of stories that the teacher read to them and by acting out a character for the other children to guess. The classroom teachers carried out the treatment

PAGE 45

36 which lasted for 14 weeks. Usually self-directive dramatization took place two or three times a week. The dependent measure used in this study was the GrayVotaw-Rogers Achievement Test (vocabulary and paragraph meaning section) to ascertain reading gains. Although not familiar to this researcher, this dependent measure seemed highly related to story comprehension. The results of this study show that the experimental group scored significantly better than the control group in all grades. Self-concept was also improved through self -directive dramatization. This study supports other studies in the following conclusion; whether called self-directive dramatization, thematicfantasy play or just story enactment, children taking roles and acting out stories with some teacher participation was facilitative for promoting conceptual growth such as story comprehension. Although used with older children, it will be possible to adapt the self-directed approach outlined by Carlton and Moore with the following changes. The choice of stories was decided by the researcher. Since children are younger the story enactment groups . need to be four to a group. Teachers may take a more active role, either by taking a role or narrating the enactment. The self-directed dramatization method was used by Silvern, Williamson, Taylor, Surbeck and Kelley (Note 1), a group of researchers at Auburn. They have done two studies

PAGE 46

37 utilizing a play treatment to facilitate story comprehension. The first study involved self-directed dramatization. Thirteen teachers near Auburn, Alabama, conducted the selfdirective dramatization treatment and control conditions. There were 505 children, aged five to nine years, 266 boys and 239 girls, from a rural environment, in 26 intact, rural public and private school classrooms participating in the study. The population was low to middle SES with no racial information given. The same six stories were used as stimuli in treatment and control conditions. They were contemporary children's books chosen by the investigators. Teachers reviewed the books to insure that the books were unfamiliar to the children. To be sure that the children's actions were not based on past experience with the stories, teachers read from typed copies with no pictures as stimuli. Teachers were trained in how to carry out self-directed dramatization. The researchers found that the children in the treatment group had significant increases in story recall. Story recall in this study was measured according to Stein's (1980) 12 propositions formed into 10 multiple choice questions. Silvern, Williamson, Taylor, and Kelley (Note 2) conducted another study measuring children's story recall as a product of play, story familiarity and adult intervention. There were 340 children in this study in 20 intact classrooms, in kindergarten through third grade. There was no information

PAGE 47

38 on sex, race or SES given in the article. The same multiple choice test was used as in the previous study. Teachers were trained in the self-dramatization process. Teachers in the treatment group read the class a story and immediately the children acted out the story. In the control group the teacher read a story to the class and conducted a discussion. The treatment group did significantly better on story recall. Two separate sets of stimuli were used, one set was unfamiliar, one was familiar. The unfamiliar set included the contemporary stories used in the first study reviewed by Silvern et al. (Note 1) . The familiar group of stories were the classic fairy tales, i.e., Three Pigs , Three Bears , Teachers read from typed copies of the content of the stories. Five of the cooperating teachers in the treatment condition volunteered to take a facilitative role in the play, and five took a directive role in the play. The teachers were trained in self-directive dramatization techniques. The play treatment did significantly better on story recall, These results support the other studies in this section which have found significant results with story enactment. The teachers stated that novel stories should be used if children are not playing them out. In summary, the studies utilizing a story enactment treatment have consistently had impressive positive results. With older children, story enactment facilitated better

PAGE 48

39 reading comprehension. With young children, story enactment helped children recall story elements as measured in a retelling task. Teacher-led Discussion The teacher questioning technique is a widely used method to teach reading comprehension. When teachers ask the right questions, experience and research support the value of this technique (Guszak, 1967) . Pure recall questioning is deemed trivial and not very useful by reading specialists (Guszak, 1967; Hare, 1982). Reading is a reasoning process which involves inferential thinking, evaluation, explanation, prediction and conjecture (Downing, 1969) . Guszak (1967) did a study of teachers in second, fourth and sixth grade. They asked 70 percent literal questions concerned with the factual makeup of stories. Questioning techniques which help children exercise higher order thought processes stimulated better reading comprehension. Pearson and Johnson (1978) developed a taxonomy for evaluating the entire comprehension question-response sequence. The three classes of question-response sequences were: (1) textually explicit — this requires no inferential thinking, just literal recall; (2) textually implicit — this requires reading between the lines and making inferences; (3) scriptally implicit — this requires reading beyond the

PAGE 49

40 lines and relying on story schema — and prior knowledge — to integrate story material. Reading approaches which emphasize meaning tend to stress more scriptally implicit question information to develop comprehension (Hare, 1982) . In preparing young children in reading readiness, teachers need to be aware of the value of developing story schemata to help children comprehend reading material. Teacher-led discussion designed to develop story schemata in young children was chosen as a treatment in this study. The questions the teachers used were developed from elements of a story by Applebee (1978) and Rumelhart's (1975) story grammar. Rumelhart's (1975) grammar was chosen as a basis for discussion method in this study because of its simplicity. The first part of the story grammar is the setting . Then the initiating event sets the story in motion. The main character then reacts with some feeling, thought, desire or goal which motivates action . Finally, the action is responsible for some consequence , (Sadow, (1982) . In this study a discussion was used as an alternate method to teach children the elements of stories. Discussion may prove as effective or more effective than the story enactment treatment. If both methods of teaching are effective, teachers could alternate methods or use discussion only if it proves as good as story enactment. Fairy tales are chosen as the most appropriate type of literature to

PAGE 50

41 use because of structure, characters and appeal to children. Fairy Tales The magic of fairy tales and their appeal to children have been addressed by several authors. Bettleheim (1977) states that fairy tales are important for healthy emotional development of the child. Children's identification with the conflicts and problems dealt with in these stories provides motivation for role-playing during play. Fairy tales are full of fantasy situations. Children identify with the central hero/heroine of the tale. Interest in the fairy tale emerges in the pre-reading age and declines at about 10 years of age (Favat, Note 3) . Why do children like fairy tale literature? Piaget (1962) has described the thought processes of the young child in great detail. His beliefs about children and the elements of the fairy tale help form the rationale for using a fairy tale curriculum with preschool children. The child's belief in magic, animism, the morality of constraint, and the transformations the child performs in play correlate well with the content of the fairy tale (Favat, Note 3) . Animism, giving human characteristics to objects and animals, is present in fairy tales. Moral justice in fairy tales usually entails punishment for evil doings. This is

PAGE 51

42 the morality of constraint. The fairy tale is a stable mental construction of magic, animism, and authority. Fairy tales appeal to the preschooler because of these qualities (Favat, Note 3) . Children respond to the form of the fairy tale: its regulated patterns (beginning and ending,) use of repetition, patterned contrastive repetition, the simple nature of the plot, cause and effect and short length. Saltz , Dixon and Johnson (1977) attributed the benefits of thematic-fantasy play training to several components of acting out fairy tales. First, fairy tale enactment allowed children to deal with events and themes extremely remote from their personal experiences. Secondly, the strong plots in fairy tales and their inherent cause and effect relationship improved children's comprehension of causal relations. Third, the motoric aspect of acting out fairy tales facilitated the participation of children. Vygotsky (1962) stated that behaving toward an object as if it were something other than what it actually is is a basic factor in the development of meaning and cognition of the child. A fairy tale curriculum was chosen for this study because of its appeal to preschool children for the reasons discussed (Favat, Note 3). The plots of the stories were strong and simple, easy to understand, and there were causal relations inherent in the stories which facilitate comprehension skills like cause and effect and sequencing.

PAGE 52

43 Summary Young children need quality experiences with literature to develop reading readiness skills, such as story comprehension. A method of enhancing story comprehension is to develop a story schema, a set of expectations about how a story fits together in a coherent, meaningful whole (Rumelhart, 1975) . Low SES preschoolers have been the target of research concerning reading readiness as defined by knowing letter sounds and names, visual and auditory discrimination. The best method for teaching this population these reading readiness skills was direct instruction (Becker, 1977; Bruner, 1968) . However, the same children who developed isolated reading readiness skills did poorly on comprehension tests (Bereiter & Engelman, 1966). This led to the conclusion that direct instruction in phonics and isolated skills does not enhance story comprehension. The best method for teaching young children story schema for the development of story comprehension is in the process of being researched. Studies which have utilized a story enactment treatment have concluded that story enactment is helpful for developing story comprehension. Teacher-led discussion, the traditional method of teaching comprehension, has proved effective for developing story schema if inferential questions are used. The treatments in this study, story enactment of fairy tales and teacher-led dis-

PAGE 53

44 cussion of fairy tales, were chosen because they seem most appropriate for helping young children develop story schemata which will, in turn, help them comprehend stories better.

PAGE 54

CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY This study extended the knowledge about how low income black low socioeconomic status four year olds recalled story information. The treatments in this study represented two teaching modes, a structured yet abstract discussion led by the teacher and a structured, active treatment in which children were read a story, assigned roles, and then enacted the story in groups of four with active participation by the teacher. The control group in this study heard the same stories but did not participate in discussion or enactment . Subjects Subjects were 45 four year old children in six Alachua County Coordinated Child Care centers which are funded by Title XX federal funds. Title XX is a federal program which subsidizes the cost of daycare for parents who are working or in training for employment in some institution. The children who attend these centers are from low socioeconomic status homes. All of the children who participated in this study were black and four years old (3.5 4.5 years) . Seventeen children were lost from the study. 45

PAGE 55

46 Sample Selection Eight teacher volunteers were solicited through the administrative office of Alachua County Coordinated Child Care. Treatments were randomly assigned to these volunteers. The use of volunteers makes this study susceptible to external validity threats. The sample of 45 low income black children was chosen in order to broaden the generalization of the results of this study. Research has shown story enactment facilitates middle income children's cognition of formal elements of a story (Milner, 19 82) . Variables There were three levels of one independent variable, the story enactment treatment, the teacher-led discussion treatment, and the control condition in which the teacher read to the group and there was no enactment or discussion. The dependent variables were formal elements in two stories told by children: formal opening, formal closing, story unity, number of characters mentioned, number of incidents, and number of conversational quotations. The recall section of the story comprehension was a criterion-referenced test. Instrumentation The Test of Early Language, by Hresko, Reid and Hammill (Note 6) , is a new test of receptive and expressive language. The test gives information by item

PAGE 56

47 related to the content and form aspects of language. The TELD was impressive in reference to reliability and validity. This will be reported in detail. The TELD was normed on 1184 children in 11 states and 1 Canadian province. Norms are provided for every six month interval from 3-0 to 7-11 years. Since this test will be used for a black population, it should be stated that 8 percent of the norming population for the TELD was black. This corresponds to a comparable 11 percent of the nation which is black. Reliability of the TELD has been computed in two areas, content and time. Internal consistency, or the degree of homogeneity among the items within the test, yielded a coefficient alpha of .91 for the four year old group. The standard error of measure spanned 1.75 to 2.0 for ages three to seven and was 2.10 for four year olds. Coefficient alpha for all ages averaged to .90. Test retest reliability with two weeks between tests was computed using 177 children in Dallas who were three to seven years old. Correlations were: three year old group = .84, four year old group = .72, five year old group = .86, six year old group = .85, and seven year old group = .87. The correlation on the total 177 was .90. Validity reported included criterion-related and construct. For criterion-related validity, correlations were done with other valued measures of performance established

PAGE 57

48 tests. Results are reported for each age level except four years. Scores on TELD by three year olds were correlated with the Zimmerman Preschool Language Scale equalling .46. The correlation of TELD with TOLD for five year olds was .66. The authors state that all tests run are significant beyond the .01 level of significance and are large enough to support the TELD's criterion-related validity. Construct validity is reported in two ways. Age of child and mean raw scores ascend developmentally as evidenced by the following figures : Mean Raw Score 3 years 8.7 4 years 14.9 r 5 years 22.4 6 years 26.3 7 years 31.5 Information on construct validity was computed by relating the TELD scores at different ages to tests of intellectual development, reading and school readiness. For four year olds, the correlation with the Test of Early Reading was .54. For five year olds the correlation with the Slosson Intelligence Test was .75. The CRT was developed by the experimenter. Teachers participating in the study were asked to write down the questions which they thought were important for recall on Little

PAGE 58

49 Red Riding Hood . From these questions the experimenter compiled a list of factual and inferential questions. Questions four and nine were the only inferential questions asked. The other questions were factual (Appendix A) . Correct answers and a distractor were provided for the questions. Since different versions of the story were used, some questions had several answers which were counted correct. The procedure was that the teacher asked the question and paused four or five seconds. Then the child was given the correct answer and the distractor. Formal elements of a story to be used in this study were taken from The Child's Concept of a Story by Applebee (1978) . Audiotapes were recorded of children in the two treatments and control group retelling two stories, after the curriculum was completed. One story was the last in the series of four and one was a less familiar story which was not included in the curriculum. These tapes were numbered and coded by the experimenter. Formal elements will be treated as separate dependent variables. Treatment and control groups were compared as to whether the element was included or not. The elements are: formal opening, formal closing, unity. Number of incidents, number of characters and number of conversational quotations were counted. There were a total of eight dependent variables for each story.

PAGE 59

50 Design A three group pretest/posttest quasiexperimental design was utilized. Analysis of covariance was used for the data analysis. The covariate was the pretest TELD score.

PAGE 60

51 were provided for them. Four year old students of the volunteer teachers were the subjects of this study. A site visit schedule was formulated. The site visits were scheduled at least once a week for each participating teacher. Each teacher was visited a minimum of four times. Records were kept on the progress of the treatments. Hypotheses Little Red Riding Hood All hypotheses were tested at .05 level of significance. Hypothesis 1 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the .enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in frequency of including a formal opening in the first retelling task. Hypothesis 2 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in frequency of including formal closing in the first retelling task. Hypothesis 3 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in unity of thematic development in the first retelling task. Hypothesis 4 . There will be no significant difference in mean scores on the pretest between four year old children

PAGE 61

52 in the enactment, teacherled discussion or teacher reads only group. Hypothesis 5 . There will be no interaction between treatment level and pretest score on total formal elements of a story. Hypothesis 6 . Adjusting for differences on the pretest, there will be no difference in mean scores for total formal story elements between four year olds in the story enactment, teacher-led discussion or teacher reads only group. Hypothesis 7 . There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on number of characters. Hypothesis 8 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment treatment, teacher-led discussion or control group in number of characters mentioned in the story retelling task. Hypothesis 9 . There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on number of incidents mentioned. Hypothesis 10 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment treatment, the teacher-led discussion treatment or control group in number of incidents mentioned in a story retelling task. Hypothesis 11 . There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on number of conversational quotations. Hypothesis 12 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment treatment, the

PAGE 62

53 teacher-led discussion treatment or control group in the number of times conversational quotations are used in a story retelling task. Hypothesis 13 . There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on the total score of characters, incidents, and conversational quotations. Hypothesis 14 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment treatment, teacherled discussion and control group in total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. Hypothesis 15 . There will be no interaction between treatment level and pretest score on the criterion-referenced test. Hypothesis 16 . Adjusting for differences on the pretest, there will be no difference in mean scores on a criterion-referenced test in four year olds in the story enactment, teacher-led discussion or teacher reads only story. Gingerbread Man Hypothesis 17 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment group, the teacherled-discussion group and the control group in the frequency of including a formal opening in the story retelling task. Hypothesis 18 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion and control group in frequency of including a formal closing in the story retelling task.

PAGE 63

54 Hypothesis 19 . There will be no differences between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion and control group in unity or thematic development in the story retelling task. Hypothesis 20 . There will be no interaction between treatment level and pretest score on formal elements of a story score. Hypothesis 21 . Adjusting for differences on the pretest, there will be no difference in the mean scores for total formal elements used in the retelling task between four year old children in the enactment group, the teacherled discussion group and the control group. Hypothesis 22 . There will be no treatment by pretest interaction on number of characters. Hypothesis 23 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion treatment or control group in number of characters mentioned in the story retelling task. Hypothesis 24 . There will be no treatment by pretest interaction on number of incidents. Hypothesis 25 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion and control group in number of incidents mentioned in the retelling task. Hypothesis 26 . There will be no treatment by pretest interaction on number of conversational quotations.

PAGE 64

55 Hypothesis 27 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion and control group in number of times conversational quotations were used in the retelling task. Hypothesis 28 . There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. Hypothesis 29 . There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment treatment, teacherled discussion and control group in total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. Assumptions The experimenter assumed that the teachers could carry out the treatments, children could tell stories, and the covariate would be highly related to storytelling ability. The assumptions for analysis of covariance were that scores were independent, variances were equal and scores were normally distributed at each level of the covariate, that there was no interaction between pretest and posttest, and that there was a linear relationship between the covariate and the dependent variable. Procedure There were two phases to this study, teacher training and curriculum implementation. Separate workshops were

PAGE 65

56 conducted by the experimenter for teachers in each treatment, teacher-led discussion, story enactment and the control group. Teachers in the enactment treatment were provided information on these topics: (1) the importance of developing a sense of story in the young child, (2) setting up the environment to facilitate pretend play, i.e., props, toys, and time during the day for pretend play, (3) how teachers can take an active role and model appropriate behavior for children in pretend play situations, (4) how to facilitate peer-peer social interaction in groups of four children, and (5) role playing of these techniques. The workshops for the enactment treatment were approximately two hours total. The teachers in the discussion treatment received training in these areas: (1) the importance of developing a sense of story in the young child, (2) the use of questioning to help children better understand formal elements of a story, and (3) role playing of techniques. The control teachers were taught the Reading Aloud to Children Scale (Appendix B) . The second phase of this study was the implementation of one of three conditions by the trained teachers. The teacher in each condition was provided a complete kit with everything he or she needed. The enactment group received a kit containing props and the book. The teacher-led discussion group received a book, a script and a list of questions to use during the discussion time after reading the story. The control group received the book only.

PAGE 66

57 Teacher Training Workshops Story Enactment Workshop Teachers were instructed on why story enactment was a valuable activity. Play and its importance for facilitating the young child's intellectual growth, creativity and social skills and as the child's natural mode of learning were discussed. Language and its link to the process of play were also discussed. A brief review of the studies which have utilized story enactment with positive effects for children was presented. The purpose of a story enactment treatment is to extend children's use of language and concept of a story. Language competence is basic to school progress. If the language of these children can grow in vocabulary and meaning, it will be beneficial for reading achievement and achievement in other areas. Knowledge of story structure will also help these children with reading achievement and general comprehension as a mental exercise in encoding information for retrieval. The classroom environment, how it is set up and how it operates, greatly influences the development of language extension and play. Time during the day must be allocated for play, either with or without teacher involvement. Props are essential to embellish play in the preschool years because these children are just beginning to use symbols. Also,

PAGE 67

58 teachers can stifle or enrich the play environment by modeling play behavior or setting up structured situations for play, i.e., acting out stories. The teacher's attitude toward play will greatly influence the outcome of the play experiences. The procedure to be followed was presented. Teachers role-played the enactment procedure. Teachers read the story before any enacting by the children. The teacher randomly divided the class into groups of four. These same four children enacted the stories together over the four week treatment. The props were distributed. Groups were invited to watch each other enact and chant the dialogue with the speakers. The teacher might be the narrator or might take a role. It was all right for a child to be the leader. After the story enactment, the teacher gave children feedback about how they did and prepared for the next enactment group. Teachers worked with two groups per day in story enactment. One story was to be enacted each week. Two versions of each story were given to the teacher. Monday through Thursday were official days for enactment. Fridays were utilized if children were absent or for some reason the treatment was missed one day.

PAGE 68

59 Teacher-Led Discussion Workshop The teachers in this workshop were introduced to material on the importance of story structure and story comprehension. The training focused on how to carry out the questioning technique. The importance of wait-time when teaching through discussion was explored. Teachers were instructed about how the questions were developed from story schema theory. The experimenter emphasized the importance of planning discussion by constructing questions with goals in mind, i.e., formal elements of a story. Answers to the questions were provided in the lesson plan. These were discussed with the teachers. Teachers were given a set of questions for each story with specific questions for each day. The lesson plans are shown in Appendices F, G, H, and I. Teachers were asked for comments and suggestions. Control Group Workshop Teachers in the control group were trained in methods of reading aloud to groups of children. The following techniques were discussed: reading with expression, pointing to words and pictures, choosing appropriate books for young children. The Reading Aloud to Children Scale (Appendix B) was discussed with the teachers.

PAGE 69

60 Curriculum Implementation Treatments occurred simultaneously in all centers during the 30 minute morning story hour time. The curriculum was implemented for four weeks. Following the four week curriculum, children were posttested on three measures, two retelling tasks (one familiar and one unfamiliar) and a recall measure, a criterion-referenced test. Children were randomly asked to retell the last story of the literature curriculum, Little Red Riding Hood . These retellings were coded for formal elements of a story included by the child. The child was asked 10 questions about Little Red Riding Hood before retelling it. The child was read a less familiar story and asked to retell that story also. It was also coded for formal elements of a story included by the child. Data were analyzed and recommendations were made for teachers on the effectiveness of each literature curriculum carried out by the daycare center teachers.

PAGE 70

CHAPTER FOUR RESULTS This study investigated the effects of two story treatments, enactment and teacher-led discussion, on preschool children's story comprehension. The control group listened to the same stories read. There were 17 dependent variables included in the posttests, two retelling tasks and one criterion-referenced test designed to measure recall. The children were asked to retell two stories, Little Red Riding Hood and The Gingerbread Man . Little Red Riding Hood was familiar because it was the last in the series of four in the treatment. The other story, The Gingerbread Man , was a less familiar story which the children in all three groups heard read only one time. The purpose of a retelling task with an unfamiliar story was to ascertain if the benefits of enactment or teacher-led discussion transfer to other situations. The criterion-referenced test was administered on Little Red Riding Hood , which was the last in the literature curriculum for all subjects. The three treatments did not have an equal number of subjects. The enactment group had 25, the discussion group had 11, and the control group had 9 subjects. The existence of an unequal number of subjects does not seriously affect the analysis of covariance results as long as the assumptions of ANCOVA are not violated. 61

PAGE 71

62 Six dependent variables were analyzed by chi-square because of the yes/no nature of the responses. The total sample of 45 individuals was used to test these hypotheses which concerned formal opening, formal closing and unity on both stories. The other 11 dependent variables were analyzed by analysis of covariance. In the enactment group, the same four children enacted the stories over the four week period. The individuals in these groups were not independent of each other, so the means of eight groups were used as scores for the enactment group only. Individual scores were used for the discussion and control groups. The sample size for all of the ANCOVA analyses was 28. The experimenter did two analyses, one using individual scores for all three groups (N=45) and one using the eight group means for the subjects in the enactment group (N=28) . There was no difference in the outcome of the analysis, so only the analysis using group means for the enactment treatment was reported. Little Red Riding Hood Formal Elements of a Story Formal Opening Formal opening was defined by whether the child made it clear a story was beginning. Hypothesis 1: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment,

PAGE 72

63 teacher-led discussion or control group in frequency of including a formal opening in the first retelling task. The chi-square statistic was 6.229. The p value was .0444. Hypothesis 1 was rejected at a=.05. There was a statistically significant difference between children in the three groups in the use of a formal opening in the retelling task. Twenty-one out of 25 subjects in the enactment group did not use a formal opening. Significantly fewer children in the enactment group did not use formal opening. Results for formal opening are shown in Table 3. Table 3. Chi-Square for Formal Opening Little Red Riding Hood Group Did Use Formal Opening Did Not Use Formal Opening Total Enactment Discussion Control Total 4 6 4 14 21 5 5 31 25 11 9 45 N = 45 X = 6.229

PAGE 73

64 Formal Closing Formal closing was defined by whether the child made it clear in the retelling that the story was ending. Hypothesis 2: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in frequency of including a formal closing in the first story retelling task. The chi-square statistic was 3.410. The p value was .1818. Hypothesis 2 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups on use of a formal closing. There was no relationship between group and use of formal closing. Results for this variable are shown in Table 4. Table 4. Chi-Square for Formal Closing Little Red Riding Hood Group Did Use Formal Closing Did Not Use Formal Closing Total Enactment Discussion Control Total 11 5 1 17 14 6 25 11 9 45 N = 45 X = 3.410

PAGE 74

65 Unity Unity was defined as a measure of the child's skill in retelling the story using a sense of thematic development. Hypothesis 3: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in frequency of using unity in the first retelling task. The chi-square statistic was .739. The p value was .6910. Hypothesis 3 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups on unity. Similar proportions of children in each group did not use unity. Results for unity are shown in Table 5. Table 5. Chi-Square for Unity Little Red Riding Hood Group Did Use Unity Did Not Use Unity Total Enactment

PAGE 75

66 Pretest A one-way analysis of variance was done on the TELD pretest to ascertain if there were differences between the three groups . Hypothesis 4: There will be no significant difference in mean scores on the pretest between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group. The F statistic was .28. The p value was .76. Hypothesis 4 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the three groups at a=.05. The language abilities of the three groups were similar prior to the experiment. The results for the ANOVA on the pretest are shown in Table 6. Table 6. TELD Pretest Data Variable df SS MS F Pretest 2 29.679 14.83 .28 Error 42 2256.230 52.47 N = 45

PAGE 76

67 Total Score: Use of Formal Story Elements A total score of use of formal story elements was calculated scoring one point for each, formal opening, formal closing, and story unity. A high score of three was possible. Hypothesis 5: There will be no interaction between treatment level and pretest score on formal elements of a story score. The F statistic was 1.59. The p value was .2273. Hypothesis 5 was not rejected. There was no pretest by treatment interaction at a=.05. Hypothesis 6: Adjusting for differences on the pretest, there will be no significant difference in the mean scores for total formal story elements between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led dission or control group. The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 1.49; Discussion, 1.82; Control, 1.09. The F statistic was 1.38. The p value was .2715. There was no statistically significant difference between the three groups on this variable. The results for this variable are shown in Table 7.

PAGE 77

68 Table 7. Total Formal Elements of a Story Score Little Red Riding Hood

PAGE 78

69 group in number of characters mentioned in the story retelling task. The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 4.18; Discussion, 4.17; Control, 3.67. The computed F statistic was 1.48. The p value was .2475. Hypothesis 8 was not rejected. There was no statistically significant difference between the three groups on number of characters mentioned in the retelling task. Results for this variable are shown in Table 8. Table 8. Number of Characters Little Red Riding Hood Variable df SS MS Pretest

PAGE 79

70 Number of Incidents The total number of incidents mentioned by the child in the retelling was counted. Hypothesis 9: There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on number of incidents mentioned. The F statistic was .81. The p value was .4586 at a=.05. Hypothesis 9 was not rejected. There was no interaction. Hypothesis 10: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacherled discussion or control group in regard to number of incidents mentioned in the retelling. The adjusted means on this variable were Enactment, 6.56; Discussion, 8.20; Control, 7.17. The F statistic was 1.28. The p value was .2973. There was no statistically significant difference between the three groups in regard to number of incidents. Results for this variable are shown in Table 9. Number of Conversational Quotations The number of times conversational quotations were used by the child in the retelling task was counted.

PAGE 80

71 Table 9. Number of Incidents Little Red Riding Hood

PAGE 81

72 Y 2 = 2.03 .033x Y 3 = -93.42 + 1.03x The pretest by treatment interaction on this variable indicates that scores on the pretest by subjects in the enactment group were negatively related to the number of conversational quotations as a dependent variable. For subjects in the control group, there was a positive relationship between pretest score and number of conversational quotations. Hypothesis 12: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in regard to number of times conversational quotations were used. The adjusted means for this variable were Enactment, 3.75; Discussion, 4.42; Control, 7.08. The F statistic was 1.38. The p value was .2715. There was no statistically significant difference at a=.05 between the three groups. The ANCOVA analysis results should not be interpreted, because there was a pretest by treatment interaction. Results of the pretest by treatment interaction are shown in Figure 1.

PAGE 82

73 +J en -P 1 -P en O * 80 90 Pretest 100 Figure 1, 110 Total Score on Characters , Incidents and Conversational Quotations For each category, a percentage was computed in regard to number of characters, number of incidents and number of conversational quotations. These percentages were added to get a total score. For example, the highest score possible on number of characters was 5. If a child used three in the retelling, a percentage, 3 out of 5, was calculated for that variable. The same process was used for number of incidents and number of conversational quotations. Then the percentages were added. Hypothesis 13: There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was 2.88. The p value was .0775. Hypothesis 13 was not rejected at a=.05. Hypothesis 14: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or

PAGE 83

74 control group in regard to a total score of characters, incidents and conversational quotations mentioned in the retelling task. The adjusted means for the group were Enactment, 1.59, Discussion, 1.76; Control, 1.72. The F statistic was .55. The p value was .5847. There was no statistically significant difference between groups in total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The results for total score on these variables are shown in Table 10. Table 10. Total Score of Characters, Incidents, and Conversational Quotations Little Red Riding Hood Variable df SS MS F 2.36 .55 Pretest

PAGE 84

75 Criterion-Referenced Test A 10 item test was administered orally to each child. Hypothesis 15: There will be no interaction between pretest and treatment on a criterionreferenced test. The F statistic was .55. The p value was .5872. Hypothesis 15 was not rejected. There was no interaction at a=.05. Hypothesis 16: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in mean scores on criterion-referenced test. The adjusted means on the CRT were Enactment, 8.75; Discussion, 8.13; Control, 5.56. The F statistic was 43.08. The p value was .0001. There was a statistically significant difference between the enactment and discussion groups and the control group on recall of story information. Hypothesis 16 was rejected at a=.05. Results are shown in Table 11. The computed t for group one versus group two was 1.78. The p value was .0883. This indicated there was not a statistically significant difference between the enactment and discussion groups. The computed t for group one versus group three was 8.59. The p value was .0001. This indicates

PAGE 85

76 a statistically significant difference when comparing the enactment and control groups. The computed t for group two versus group three was 7.46. The p value was .0001. This indicates a statistically significant difference between the discussion group and the control group. The enactment and discussion groups did significantly better than the control group on recall of story information. Results are shown in Table 12. Table 11. Chart for Criterion-Referenced Test Little Red Riding Hood

PAGE 86

77 Estimates Table 12Estimates for the CRT Parameter Estimate

PAGE 87

78 Table 13. Formal Opening The Gingerbread Man Group Did Use Formal Opening Did Not Use Formal Opening Total Enactment Discussion Control Total 21 8 9 38 25 11 9 45 N = 45 X = 2.811 Formal Closing Hypothesis 18: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in frequency of including a formal closing in the story retelling task. The chi -square statistic was 3.740. The p value was .1541. Hypothesis 18 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in regard to formal closing. The results for this variable are shown in Table 14.

PAGE 88

79 Table 14. Formal Closing The Gingerbread Man Group Did Use Formal Closing Did Not Use Formal Closing Total Enactment Discussion Control Total 6 6 2 14 19 5 7 31 25 11 9 45 N = 45 X = 3.740 Unity Hypothesis 19: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in unity or thematic development in the story retelling task. The chi-square statistic was 13.073. The p value was .0014. Hypothesis 19 was rejected at ot=.05. There was a significant difference between the enactment treatment, teacherled discussion and control group in regard to unity or thematic development as a formal story element. One hundred percent of the teacher-led discussion group, 64 percent of

PAGE 89

80 the enactment and 22 percent of the control group demonstrated unity in their retelling of The Gingerbread Man . Results for unity are shown in Table 1.5.

PAGE 90

81 the mean score for total formal elements used in the retelling task between four year old children in the enactment, teacherled discussion or control group. The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 1.10; Discussion, 1.81; Control, .44. The F statistic was 11.91. The p value was .0003. There was a statistically significant difference between the three groups in regard to total score on formal elements of a story. Hypothesis 21 was rejected at a=.05. The computed t for group one versus group two was -2.47. The p value was .0209. The discussion group did better than the enactment group on this variable. The computed t for group one versus group three was 2.15. The p value was .0415. There was a statistically significant difference favoring the enactment group over the control group. The computed t for group two versus group three was 4.86. The p value was .0001. This indicates a statistically significant difference between the discussion group and the control group. The enactment and discussion groups did significantly better than the control group in total formal elements of a story score. And the discussion group did better than the enactment group on this variable. When looking at formal story elements as a total score, the two treatments were effective in developing an awareness of formal elements in four year old children.

PAGE 91

82 Results for total score on formal elements of a story are given in Tables 16 and 17. Table 16. Total Formal Elements The Gingerbread Man

PAGE 92

83 Number of Characters Hypothesis 22: There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on number of characters. The F statistic was 1.62. The p value was .2208. This hypothesis was not rejected. There was no interaction at a=.05. Hypothesis 23: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in the number of characters mentioned in the story retelling task. The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 4.62; Discussion, 4.37; Control, 4.85. The computed F statistic was .41. The p value was .5586. Hypothesis 23 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the three groups. Results for number of characters are shown in Table 18. Number of Incidents Hypothesis 24: There will be no treatment by pretest interaction for number of incidents. The F statistic was .49. The p value was .6195. This hypothesis was not rejected at a=.05. There was no treatment by pretest interaction.

PAGE 93

84 Table 18. Number of Characters The Gingerbread Man Variable df SS MS Pretest

PAGE 94

85 Table 19. Number of Incidents The Gingerbread Man Variable df SS MS Pretest

PAGE 95

86 The F statistic was 1.88. The p value was .1750. Hypothesis 27 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no statistically significant difference between the three groups on number of conversational quotations. Results for number of conversational quotations are given in Table 20. Table 20. Number of Conversational Quotations The Gingerbread Man

PAGE 96

87 Hypothesis 28: There will be no pretest by treatment interaction on total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The F statistic was 2.19. The p value was .1358. Hypothesis 28 was not rejected at a=.05. There was no pretest by treatment interaction. Hypothesis 29: There will be no difference between four year old children in the enactment, teacher-led discussion or control group in regard to a total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The adjusted means for the groups were Enactment, 1.68; Discussion, 1.80; Control, 1.57. The F statistic was .71. The p value was .5032. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in total score on characters, incidents, and conversational quotations. Hypothesis 29 was not rejected. Results for total score of characters, incidents and conversational quotations are shown in Table 21. Tables 22 and 23 summarize the results of this study. Post hoc analysis on teacher effects is presented next. Post Hoc Analyses The analysis described in the previous section tested hypotheses concerning treatment effects. The assumption was made that teachers were equally effective within groups.

PAGE 97

88 Table 21. Total Score of Characters, Incidents and Conversational Quotations The Gingerbread Man Variable df SS MS Pretest

PAGE 98

89 Table 22. Summary of Results for Little Red Riding Hood Dependent Variable Hypothesis Number Hypothesis Statistically Significant A. Formal Opening B. Formal Closing C. Unity D. Total Score Formal Elements E. Number of Characters F. Number of Incidents G. Number of Conversational Quotations H. Total Score Characters, Incidents and Conversational Quotations Criterion-Referenced Test 1

PAGE 99

90 Table 23. Summary of Results for The Gingerbread Man Dependent Variable A. Formal Opening B. Formal Closing C. Unity D. Total Score Formal Elements E. Number of Characters F. Number of Incidents G. Number of Conversational Quotations H. Total Score Characters, Incidents and Conversational Quotations Hypothesis Number 28-29 NS = Not Significant *S = Statistically Significant Hypothesis Statistically Significant 17

PAGE 100

91 After examining group means, the experimenter suspected the existence of teacher effects. Further analyses were needed to test the assumption of teacher effects on the pretest and 11 continuous variables of the total 17 dependent variables. The post hoc analysis first tested the hypothesis that teachers were equally effective within groups. If the hypothesis was rejected, the effect of the treatment was reanalyzed using teachers nested within programs as the error term. In reanalysis only five of the variables indicated a significant teacher effect. The results of these analyses and the reanalysis of the treatment effect are reported below. A summary table for these analyses on the dependent variables follows at the end of the presentation of these results. Little Red Riding Hood A total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations was calculated by the method described earlier in this chapter. The hypothesis tested for this variable was: teachers are equally effective within each treatment group on a total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was 5.03. The p value was .0013. This hypothesis was rejected. There was a teacher effect on this variable. Teachers were not equally effective

PAGE 101

92 within groups. One control group teacher had the highest mean on this variable. In regard to the four enactment teachers , teachers one and two were in the same school and had higher means than teachers five and six who were together in another school. The results of this analysis as well as teacher means are shown in Table 24. The next hypothesis tested was: there will be no difference between four year old children in the treatment groups on total score on the three variables, characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was .25. The p value was .7869. This hypothesis was not rejected. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups on * this variable. Thus, on this variable, there was a teacher effect. Teachers were not equally effective within groups. There was no treatment effect on this variable. This finding of no treatment effect was consistent with the finding in the original analysis. Number of conversational quotations was the variable which, in the original analysis, had a pretest by treatment interaction. First, the analysis for teacher effects was carried out. Then treatment effects reanalysis was done. Following that, further analysis on individual teachers within treatment was performed.

PAGE 102

93 Table 24. Total Score on Characters, Incidents and Conversational Quotations Little Red Riding Hood Variable df SS MS Treatment

PAGE 103

94 The first hypothesis tested on this variable was: teachers are equally effective within each treatment group in regard to the variable conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was 12.50. The p value was .0001. This hypothesis was rejected. There was a teacher effect on this variable, number of conversational quotations. One control group teacher had a much higher mean than any other teacher. The results of this analysis and teacher means are shown in Table 25. The second hypothesis tested on this variable was: there will be no difference between four year old children in the three treatment groups in regard to the use of conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was .58. The p value was .5932. This hypothesis was not rejected. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups on this variable. Teachers were not equally effective within groups. There was no treatment effect on this variable. The original analysis results for treatment effect were not reliable because there was an interaction. Since there was a pretest by treatment interaction on this variable, and a teacher effect was also observed, further analysis was done on individual teachers within treatments. This analysis looked at teachers individually and plotted regression lines for teacher and pretest and posttest scores. The three graphs are shown in Figure 2. The

PAGE 104

95 Table 25. Number of Conversational Quotations Little Red Riding Hood Variable df SS MS Treatment

PAGE 105

96 13 4.5 4.0 110 3.2 85 110 18 10 85 100 Figure 2 110

PAGE 106

97 summary of results of the analysis concerning individual teachers within treatment groups and the interaction on conversational quotations is shown in Table 26. Table 26. Results by Teacher on Conversational Quotations Treatment Teacher Slope I i -.4100 1.46 .3141 1 2 +.2600 1.09 .4068 I 5 -.0190 .04 .8431 1 6 +.0750 .96 .3732 2 3 +.0630 .70 .5575 2 4 +.0009 .00 .9948 3 7 +.4440 .94 .4043 3 8 +.7160 2.73 .2405 The Gingerbread Man The number of characters mentioned in the retelling was counted. The first hypothesis tested for this variable was: teachers are equally effective on number of characters within each group. The computed F statistic was 3.75. The p value was .0076. There was a teacher effect on this variable, number of characters, and this hypothesis was rejected. Teachers were not equally effective within groups.

PAGE 107

98 One control group teacher had a high mean. Enactment teachers one and two who were at the same school had higher mean scores than teachers five and six who were together in the same school. The results of this analysis are shown in Table 27. Table 27. Number of Characters The Gingerbread Man Variable df SS MS Treatment

PAGE 108

99 The second hypothesis tested was: there will be no difference between four year old children in the three treatment groups in regard to number of characters. The computed F statistic was .05. The p value was .8346. This hypothesis was rejected. There was no statistically significant difference between children in the treatment groups on this variable. Thus, on number of characters, there was a significant teacher effect. There was no treatment effect on this variable. This finding is consistent with the original analysis finding of no treatment effect. The number of times conversational quotations were used in the retelling task was counted. The first hypothesis tested on this variable was: the teachers are equally effective within each group on number of conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was 2.73. The p value was .0340. There was a significant teacher effect on this variable. Discussion teacher three had the highest mean. Enactment teachers one and two who were at the same school had high scores. One control group teacher had a fairly high score. The results of this analysis are shown in Table 28. The next hypothesis tested was: There will be no difference between four year old children in the three treatment groups in regard to conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was 1.22. The p value was .3691. This hypothesis was not rejected. There was no difference between

PAGE 109

100 Table 28. Number of Conversational Quotations The Gingerbread Man Variable df SS MS Treatment

PAGE 110

101 subjects in the three treatment groups on conversational quotations. Thus, there was a teacher effect on this variable. There was no treatment effect on number of conversational quotations. This finding is consistent with the original analysis which found no treatment effect. A total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations was calculated according to the method explained earlierin this chapter. The hypothesis tested was: teachers are equally effective within each group on a total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was 5.08. The p value was .0012. This hypothesis was rejected. There was a teacher effect on this variable. Teachers were not equally effective in groups. The results of this analysis are shown in Table 29. The next hypothesis tested was: there will be no difference between four year old children in the three treatment groups on total score of characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The computed F statistic was .26. The p value was .7788. This hypothesis was not rejected. There was no significant difference between subjects in the three groups on this variable. Thus on this variable, there was a teacher effect. There was no treatment effect. This is consistent with the original analysis finding of no treatment effects on this variable. Further discussion of the

PAGE 111

102 Table 29. Total Score on Characters, Incidents and Conversational Quotations The Gingerbread Man Variable df SS MS Treatment Teacher (treatment) Error 2 .3853 2 3.6600 37 5.3300 .192

PAGE 112

103 analysis finding teacher effects on five dependent variables is found in Chapter Five. A summary chart follows with the reported F statistics and p levels for the pretest and 11 variables. Appendix L summarizes the treatment effects analysis using teachers nested within treatments as the error term.

PAGE 113

104 Table 30. Summary Table on Teacher Effects .84

PAGE 114

CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this study was to ascertain which method of instruction, story enactment, teacher-led discussion or the teacher reading the story, had a significant impact on the story recall and story retelling ability of four year old black children in a daycare setting. Recall was measured by a criterion-referenced test individually administered to each child. Retelling ability was measured by formal elements present in two stories told by each child (Applebee, 1978) . Two retelling samples from each subject, one a familiar story and one an unfamiliar story, were analyzed. Significant differences were found in favor of both treatments over the control group on the Little Red Riding Hood story recall task (CRT) , and on total formal elements score and unity on The Gingerbread Man . The discussion treatment was the most effective method for facilitating total formal elements and unity. The experimenter suspected the existence of teacher effects, so post hoc analyses were performed to see if teachers were equally effective within groups. Teacher effects were found on 5 of the 11 dependent variables tested. This analysis is important because it supports the statement that the teacher is very important in the learning environment 105

PAGE 115

106 regardless of the method. Because of the small sample size in this study, teacher effects were more apparent. A discussion of the specific results of this analysis is integrated into the discussion of the original analysis results in this chapter. This chapter will begin with a discussion of factors affecting the results of the study. Then the results of the recall task (CRT) on Little Red Riding Hood , the two retelling task results, and teacher effects will be presented. Implications for daycare teachers will be discussed. Implications for future research will conclude this chapter. Factors Affecting the Results of the Study Several factors had an impact on this study's results. The most important factor was the federal investigation of the centers resulting in the loss of 10 subjects from the six daycare centers. Since the teachers carried out the treatments, the teacher influence was an important factor to consider in regard to the study's outcome. Absenteeism, small sample size and a short treatment were other factors which should be considered. These factors will be discussed in this section.

PAGE 116

107 Day Care Audit Alachua County Co-ordinated Child Care faced some trying times during this study. The federal government, which funds the centers, conducted an investigation of admissions policies and an audit of each center's books. This investigation created tension in the centers. Because of changes in admission policies and fees assessed to families, a number of children were lost from each of the centers. A total of 10 children (5 from enactment, 3 from discussion, and 2 from the control group) were lost from this study because of audit attrition. The loss of these subjects did have a negative effect on the outcome of this study. The low morale of the directors and teachers affected their original interest and enthusiasm for the study. The staff was preoccupied with concerns such as keeping the centers at full enrollment and financially solvent rather than curriculum concerns. Teacher Variable The teachers for this study were randomly assigned to treatments after being separated into two groups on the basis of education. There were a total of eight teachers who received two hours of training from the experimenter to carry out the treatments. The education level of these teachers varied from high school diploma to a B.A. degree in early childhood education. Of the control group teachers

PAGE 117

108 one had taken about 20 hours of community college coursework in early childhood and one had an A. A. degree. One particular teacher in the control group had a very strong literature program present in her day care center. Of the four enactment treatment teachers, one had a B.A. in early childhood, one had only inservice workshop training besides a high school diploma, one had a high school diploma and one was working on her A. A. at the community college. The two discussion treatment teachers had taken community college courses in early childhood, and one had CEDA certificate. The effectiveness of the treatments was affected by the teacher's training and skill in the classroom. The post hoc analyses on teacher effects reported in Chapter Four revealed teacher effects on five of the dependent variables analyzed. The two highest and two lowest mean scores for the teachers on the five variables were compared to educational level of the teachers. Generally, more training seems to indicate more effectiveness. The enactment teacher with a high school diploma, who had high mean scores on two variables, also was a very active participant in inservice workshops. She was very enthusiastic about the program. The experimenter's observations found her very effective. The other teachers with high mean scores on the variables had either a B.A. degree of

PAGE 118

109 coursework at the community college level. Training, whether through college coursework or inservice workshops, appears to have had a positive influence on teacher effectiveness in this study. A chart of four mean scores and educational level of teachers is shown in Table 31. Absenteeism Seven children (4 from enactment, 2 from discussion, and 1 from control) who were absent for five days out of the four week treatment were dropped from the study. Particularly in the enactment treatment, a child being absent affected the other children in the enactment group. The teacher would have to substitute another child to role play the absent child's part that day. The experimenter and teachers kept absence records. The assigned group of children acted out stories in the enactment group on an average of three times a week. The study proposed acting out to take place in groups four times a week. Thus, absences were a disruptive factor and affected the consistency of the enactment treatment in the schools. The experimenter analyzed the data using individual scores for the enactment group to check the results. The results were the same as the results when using group means, yet overall absenteeism may have lowered the mean scores for the enactment treatment.

PAGE 119

110 Table 31. Four Means Compared to Teacher Educational level on Five Variables Variable Mean Scores Educational Level Conversational Quotations 14.00 Community college courses 7.60 B.A. 1.55 Community college courses 1.5 7 High school diploma Conversational Quotations 9.00 Community college courses 6.80 B.A. 3.71 High school diploma 2.00 A. A. Number of Characters 6.25 High school diploma plus inservice 6.00 Community college courses 4.00 CEDA certificate 4.00 A. A. 3.85 High school diploma Total score on charac2.2 4 ters, incidents and 1.82 conversational quota1.42 tions 1.35 Community college courses B.A. High school diploma A. A. Total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations 2.11 High school diploma plus inservice 2.00 Community college courses 1.23 A. A. 1.31 High school diploma

PAGE 120

Ill Small Sample Size The total number of subjects who participated in the study was 45 after 17 subjects were lost because of attrition and absenteeism. The total sample size of this study was very small. Results might have been different had the sample been larger. Future studies should try to enroll more schools, teachers and children in research on story enactment and teacher-led discussion. Duration of the Study This study ran for four weeks, four days a week, in each center. Especially with this population, more exposure to the enactment treatment may be desirable. Story enactment is a type of play. It has been hypothesized that lowincome children lack the ability to symbolize and role play. Prolonged exposure to story enactment may be particularly beneficial for this population. Studies which have had positive results with the story enactment treatment with low income children had longer treatments. The Saltz, Dixon and Johnson study (1977) carried on the treatment for one year, three days a week. Children were asked to sequence pictures as a posttest. The Carlton and Moore study (1968) lasted three months. Children were posttested on a standardized test. In both of these studies, the dependent variables were different.

PAGE 121

112 Length of treatment does seem necessary, however, for positive results. In conclusion, there were circumstances which affected the results of this study which could not be controlled. The state of confusion in the daycare centers because of the federal audit was a factor which might have adversely affected the study. The teacher variable must be considered. In the classroom, the teacher makes the difference. The teachers in this study across treatments varied in educational level and consistent implementation of the program. Absenteeism, small sample size and short duration of treatment are factors which must be considered when explaining the results of this study. The posttest results will be discussed in th~e next section. Significance was found in favor of the two treatments on story comprehension as measured by story recall on the criterion-referenced test. These results will be discussed first. The two treatments were not as effective in regard to the story retelling tasks. Significant results were found for treatment only on total formal elements of a story and use of unity in retelling of The Gingerbread Man . Teacher effects were found on 5 out of 11 of the storytelling dependent measures. Teacher effects were not found on the recall dependent measure, the criterion-referenced test. There are two important considerations for teachers and teacher trainers. Teachers need more training in

PAGE 122

113 helping children develop storytelling ability. The classroom environment which develops oral language abilities in children, implemented by teachers who have training, stimulates storytelling ability in children. Facilitating recall is not influenced as much by teacher ability and training. Significant treatment effects were found on the CRT in the original and post hoc analyses (see Appendix L) . Criterion-Referenced Test Little Red Riding Hood Scores on the criterion-referenced test (Appendix A) on Little Red Riding Hood were significant (p=.0001) for enactment versus the control group and (p=.0001) for the discussion group versus the control group. This finding is consistent with research with older children. Pelligrini and Galda (1982) , Silvern et al. (Note 1) and Silvern et al. (Note 2) found enactment facilitated recall with the children in their studies. Recall was defined in this study as retrieval of factual information about the story. This type of recall of story information is certainly the first step in the organization of story events for story retelling. Implications for classroom teachers from the present study were clear and consistent with other research in the area of story enactment and recall. Teachers should do more than just read to individual children or groups of children. Since recall was

PAGE 123

114 significantly improved by enactment or discussion, teachers may choose the teaching method that best suits their classroom and personal style. Story Retelling The significant findings on The Gingerbread Man , the less familiar story, were on unity and total score on formal elements of a story favoring the discussion for unity and the two treatments over the control group on total elements. Why are these variables significant on The Ginger bread Man and not on Little Red Riding Hood ? One possible explanation is that The Gingerbread Man story conformed to expected story grammar in regard to sequence and events. Nancy Stein (19 80) states that stories which conform to a simple expected sequence are easier for young children to remember. The Gingerbread Man had a very simple plot. He is baked by the old woman, he runs away and meets one animal after another, and finally is eaten by the fox. It is possible that the two treatments enabled children to develop story schemata. During the retelling task, Little Red Rid ing Hood may not have been a story which conformed to expected story schema developed by hearing The Three Little Pigs, The Three Bears , and The Three Billy Goats Gruff . The Gingerbread Man did conform to the simple story schema which helps young children understand stories. So, even though

PAGE 124

115 The Gingerbread Man was not as familiar, deeper semantic processing may have occurred prior to the retelling which enabled children to remember The Gingerbread Man . The plot and sequence were better in The Gingerbread Man , and more predictable than in Little Red Riding Hood . There was a significant difference between the groups in regard to formal opening on Little Red Riding Hood . More discussion subjects did use a formal opening. Eighty-four percent of the enactment group did not use a formal opening, i.e., "Once upon a time," in the retelling task. The teachers began the enactment with the words, "Once upon a time," but four year old children are egocentric. This may have affected their ability to listen. No significant difference was found on this variable on The Gingerbread Man . In either story, possibly children were so excited about enacting, they were only egocentrically involved in the story, as "my" part rather than as a totality. Applebee (1978) found that children develop the use of formal opening and formal closing with age. By age five, 86.7 percent of his subjects used formal opening and 46.7 percent used formal closing. It is possible that with exposure to stories and with age an awareness of formal opening and formal closing develops. Unity or thematic development was not significant on Little Red Riding Hood . The story choice may have been a factor influencing the outcome on this variable. Little

PAGE 125

116 Red Riding Hood is a complex story. It is not as predictable in events as The Gingerbread Man . The complexity of Little Red Riding Hood may have affected children's ability to retell it with unity. There were a significant differences among the three groups on unity for The Gingerbread Man story. One hundred percent of the discussion group exhibited unity in their retelling. Sixty-four percent of the enactment group showed unity in their retelling. Twentytwo percent of the control group showed unity in their retelling. The two treatments did help children develop a sense of thematic development according to these results. If The Gingerbread Man is a more cohesive story in terms of plot and sequence, conforming to the ideal story schema, then it may have been easier for children to retell. Discussion is the best method for developing a thematic sense in story retelling for this population. Enactment was also helpful in developing unity on this story. There were no significant differences among the three groups on total score of formal story elements on Little Red Riding Hood . Milner (1982) found significance on total score for formal story elements in her study for the group that acted out the stories. Findings from the present study on Little Red Riding Hood were inconsistent with hers. Her population was middle class and the population of the present study was low income and black. Milner (19 82) used a different story, Cinderella, which may have influenced her

PAGE 126

117 results. Also her curriculum lasted eight weeks and the present study lasted four weeks. Significant differences were found on total formal elements used in the retelling of The Gingerbread Man for the two treatments over the control condition. The adjusted means show that the discussion group did best scoring a mean of 1.81 out of a possible score of 3. Enactment was next with 1.10 out of a possible 3. And the control condition was .44 out of a possible 3. With this population of low income black four year olds, discussion was most facilitative for developing total formal elements. The greatest difference was between the discussion group and the control group. This finding was consistent with Milner* s (1982) finding of significance for her enactment treatment group on total formal elements of a story. Milner did not include a discussion group in her study. There was no teacher effect on this variable for either story. The two treatments, when compared to the control group in this study, did not significantly improve awareness of the number of characters, number of incidents, number of conversational quotations or total score on these variables on both stories. The findings of no significant differences may have been influenced by several factors. The total number of characters in Little Red Riding Hood is four. Each child was shown the pictures for the retelling task so they were cued in to the characters and the action through the pictures. Milner (1982) found a significant difference

PAGE 127

118 between her enactment group and the control group on number of characters. Cinderella had a total of eight characters. There was less room for variation in Little Red Riding Hood , which only had a total of four characters. Number of characters may not be a valid measure on a story like The Ginger bread Man in which there are many versions of the tale with an infinite number of characters. Significant teacher effects were found on the variable, number of characters, on The Gingerbread Man . Teachers who were very effective in reading to children, discussing with children, and helping children to enact developed an awareness of the characters in the story. The post hoc analysis for treatment effect agreed with the original analysis finding of no significant difference between groups on number of characters for The Gingerbread Man . There was a pretest by treatment interaction on conversational quotations on Little Red Riding Hood . In the control group, there was a positive relationship (slope = 1.03) between score on the pretest and score on number of conversational quotations. This is the expected relationship between a pretest and a posttest which are positively related. For the discussion group there was a slightly negative relationship between score on the pretest and the posttest score on this variable. The slope was equal to -.033. The enactment group scores were clustered together in the center of the axis. There was a negative relationship between

PAGE 128

119 the pretest and this variable for the enactment group. The slope was equal to -.43. The children who scored lower on the pretest scored higher on the posttest variable of conversational quotations. The children who scored higher on the pretest scored lower on this posttest variable. Since the enactment treatment consisted of speaking dialogue while acting out the stories, it would be logical that the more verbally proficient children would use more conversational quotations in their retelling. Possibly the less language proficient children benefitted from enactment by using the structure (dialogue) provided by the story to develop their language ability. The children who were already language proficient did not score higher on this variable, but lower. It may be that children in the early stages of language acquisition (scores of 80-85 on the TELD indicate a language of 2.9 to 3.0) benefit from exposure to an enactment treatment where stories are broken down into roles, dialogue and action, and then integrated into a whole (Bransford, 1979) . Teacher effects were found on the variable, number of conversational quotations, for both stories. This variable seems related to verbal ability, since it is a measure of dialogue used in storytelling. Differences in the verbal ability of teachers may help to explain the teacher effect on this variable. A very verbal teacher engages her students in more conversation. Therefore, an awareness of

PAGE 129

120 conversation and dialogue would be heightened in students of teachers of high verbal ability. Since there was a pretest by treatment interaction on number of conversational quotations, as well as differential teacher effects, further analysis was done. From this analysis, regression equations were derived and regression lines were plotted for individual teachers within each treatment group in order to further explain the interaction between treatment and pretest and existence of differential teacher effects. In the enactment group, teacher two had a positive relationship (.26) between pretest and posttest, but teacher one had a negative relationship (-.41). Teacher five had a negative relationship (-.019) and teacher six had a positive relationship (.075). When these regression lines were collapsed to form one regression line (see Chapter Four) , the enactment group showed an overall negative relationship between pretest and posttest. In the discussion treatment, teacher three had a positive relationship (.063) between pretest and posttest, but teacher four had almost no relationship (.0009) between pretest and posttest. When these lines were put together, almost no relationship was evident between pretest and posttest. In the control group, teacher seven had a positive relationship (.444) and teacher eight had a positive relationship (.716). When these lines were collapsed they showed a positive relationship between pretest and posttest.

PAGE 130

121 This analysis further explains the original pretest by treatment interaction. In the original analysis, the enactment group as a whole seemed to have a negative relationship between pretest and posttest. This analysis shows that it was only one teacher within that treatment group. This teacher was also the one who was absent 5 days out of 16 days of the treatment. This may have affected his effectiveness in implementing the curriculum. The analysis on the variable, total score for characters, incidents and conversational quotations revealed no significant differences for the two treatments when compared to the control group. However, there were teacher effects on this variable for both stories. Effective teachers are able to develop in their students an understanding of the three variables, number of characters, number of incidents and number of conversational quotations as a total score. On these same variables, there were no significant differences for treatment found in the post hoc analysis. This finding agrees with the original finding of no significant differences between the groups on total score on characters, incidents and conversational quotations. The covariate, the Test of Early Language (Note 6) was not related to any of the story retelling measures. It was, however, related to the recall measure, the CRT. The only explanation for the absence of a relationship between measures is that counting various elements, i.e., number of characters, is not a good way to assess storytelling ability in children.

PAGE 131

122 Broad Implications for Future Research Storytelling is an important area of study. It is a skill which develops with exposure to appropriate quality literature. Certainly there are classroom practices which help storytelling develop. This study hypothesized that story enactment and teacher-led discussion would facilitate story comprehension as measured by storytelling ability. For reasons previously discussed in this chapter, the two treatments in this study had positive results on story recall, but only on two variables relating to story retelling. We need to collect many stories told by young children, ages four to seven, to understand how storytelling develops. When many stories are collected, researchers need to develop new ways of analyzing the stories and assessing the development of storytelling ability over time. A longitudinal study of children would help us understand the progression of storytelling development. In regard to analysis of stories, Applebee's (1978) formal elements of a story are structural aspects. Content is simply counting, i.e., numbers of characters. A qualitative method of analysis could be developed by future researchers. Also story schema could be adapted to analyze stories of young children. Current theorists about story

PAGE 132

123 schema state that the stories of young children do not conform to story schema as well as the stories of older children (Stein, 1980) . By looking at many stories told by young children, researchers could develop an appropriate schema for beginning storytellers. Another implication for future research is the possibility of doing an observational study of classroom practices and teachers who have students with exceptional storytelling abilities. In conclusion, future researchers need to take an indepth qualitative look at the storytelling of young children by (1) collecting many stories, (2) looking at children and storytelling over time, (3) developing methods of analysis which are more content-related and suitable for the stories of young children, (4) observing teachers and classroom practices which produce exceptional storytellers. Practical Implications for Further Research Researchers should use a retelling task as a pretest instead of an overall language test like the TELD. The assumption was made in this study that a broad language test would be highly related to storytelling ability. However, this was not true with the TELD. The TELD as a covariate was not useful. Milner (1982) found the Peabody a valuable covariate in her study. It is a receptive language test.

PAGE 133

124 The TELD covers all areas of language, receptive and expressive, but was not highly related to the retelling variables in this study. Story grammars could be used to analyze the retelling tasks instead of Applebee's (1978) formal elements. Number of characters, number of incidents and number of conversational quotations seem superficial measures which are not necessarily indicative of story comprehension. The enactment treatment possibly needs to be longer, particularly with low income black children who some researchers say do not have materials or skill at role-taking (Lovinger, 1974; Saltz, Dixon, & Johnson, 1977). Four weeks may be too short to get results from an enactment treatment with these children. Enactment Treatment Observations The following list summarizes the observations made of the enactment treatment centers. 1. Teachers were unfamiliar with this method of teaching. Teachers did not seem comfortable with a role-playing technique. 2. Some teachers were too directive during the enactment, ordering children around. Teachers did not seem to understand the flexibility needed with this teaching method.

PAGE 134

125 3. At times the teachers did not read the story before the enactment. The children needed to hear the story before enactment in order to remember the story. 4. No teacher was observed playing a role in a story. This would have motivated the children. 5. Teachers tended to narrate the story. They did much of the talking while the children were acting out the story. 6. Sometimes teachers had trouble scheduling enactment. It was somewhat time-consuming in the curriculum. The following list summarizes the observations for the discussion treatment. 1. This teaching method was more comfortable to the teachers. It is more directive and oriented toward factual information. The teachers did not need training in this method. They appreciated having the questions and answers written out for each story. 2. Sometimes the teachers made up their own questions and carried on their own kind of discussion. This was fine as long as the same material was covered. 3. Teachers used the book as a teaching tool, very often pointing to a picture and asking a question.

PAGE 135

126 4. Sometimes teachers seemed rushed and did not spend as much time on the discussion as the experimenter requested. The following list summarizes the observations of the control group schools. 1. One teacher found it hard to just read and not do anything else, such as discuss the story. 2. One teacher did not seem very interested in literature in the curriculum. 3. These teachers liked the materials provided. Several conclusions follow from the observations of the treatments. First, daycare teachers needed more training in implementing the enactment treatment. The teachers did not seem at ease with this teaching method. They did not feel comfortable taking a role in the story. Teachers tended to be directive, although this varied among teachers. Children could have chanted the dialogue with the speakers as they watched the enactment. As effective in facilitating recall, the discussion treatment was more effective in developing unity and formal elements of a story. The discussion treatment was more structured and goal-oriented than the enactment. The teachers in this study seemed more comfortable with the structure provided by the discussion treatment design. This study supports teacher-led discussion as an excellent teaching method.

PAGE 136

127 Implications for Day Care Teachers A daily literature curriculum which includes quality literature, stories with simple plots, trips to the library, and activities which promote comprehension is important in the daycare center. Teachers who wish to implement a literature curriculum which fosters story comprehension can choose either method used in this study, story enactment or discussion. Each method is discussed here. Discussion was a useful method for the development of recall, a sense of theme about a story, and an awareness of formal story elements. The discussion treatment in this study was designed with specific goals. The questions used by the teachers were very specific in nature (Appendices F, G, H, and I). Each day the teachers concentrated on one story element. Teachers were instructed to listen to the answers of the children carefully. Listening skills were very important to the discussion method. The discussion method was easy for teachers to implement. Teachers felt it was helpful to have the questions with desired answers written down. This method was not very time-consuming. Usually discussion lasted 10-15 minutes and followed the regular morning story time. Story enactment was also useful for developing recall, unity, and an awareness of formal story elements. Story enactment did not seem as quick or easy to implement as

PAGE 137

128 discussion. Story enactment seemed to require a more organized classroom and more teachers. If story enactment is chosen as a method of developing story comprehension, it is helpful if the teacher takes a role in the story and participates as much as possible. Story enactment is not the teacher telling children what to do. Props are very helpful for getting children involved. The teachers in this study felt that the props were a motivating factor in getting children involved in enactment. Choral speaking of the lines with the speaker is helpful for learning dialogue and keeping the attention of all the children. Story enactment seemed at times a more complicated method to use. Theoretically enactment could serve as a transition curriculum method with this population from the nonverbal to the verbal, the structured to the unstructured, and from direct instruction to responsive instruction. Daycare teachers .need to plan into their daily literature curriculum activities which will facilitate recall and awareness of story elements and will facilitate comprehension. Discussion was wasy to implement and was just as effective as story enactment. Teachers who plan to use story retelling to develop story comprehension in their students should choose stories which meet the following criteria. Appropriate stories for young children should follow a predictable pattern. For example, the pattern in The Gingerbread Man is that the

PAGE 138

129 gingerbread man meets a succession of animals. He says the same jingle to each animal. For a young child the repetition of the jingle helps comprehension. The pattern of the gingerbread man's behavior is predictable and easy to remember. Other folktales which exhibit a pattern and jingle similar to The Gingerbread Man are The Little Red Hen , The Three Little Pigs , and The Three Billy Goats Gruff . Stories other than folk tales are appropriate for young children to retell if they meet the criteria of having a simple plot, a predictable pattern, and repetition. The stories in this study were analyzed for formal elements of a story present in the child's retelling using Applebee's (1978) method. Stories were scored on formal opening, formal closing and unity as present or not. Counts were made of characters, incidents and conversational quotations in the stories. The experimenter questioned formal elements as appropriate for assessing the quality of young children's stories. To help teachers assess the stories their students tell, five retellings of The Gingerbread Man of varying quality are presented here. The stories have been scored on a holistic scale of complex or simple. This scoring will be compared to Applebee's method. Story One 1 One day there was an old man and an old woman. 2 They wanted a Gingerbread Man, so she put into the oven and then he came to an old man. 3. "I have run away from an old man, an old woman, and I can run away from you, too. You can't catch me because I'm the Gingerbread Man."

PAGE 139

130 4. He came to a rabbit and he said as he passed by, "I have run away from an old woman, an old man and I can run away from you, too. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." 5. He came to a bear. 6. He passed by him. 7. He said, "I'm the Gingerbread Man. 8. You can't catch me." 9. He ran faster and faster. 10. And so he couldn't catch the Gingerbread Man. 11. "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man. I ran away from an old man, an old woman, a rabbit and I can run away from you, too." 12. And then he met the fox. 13. "Don't you want to ride across on my tail? 14. I won't eat you. 15. I'm your friend." 16. So they rode across the bridge. 17. "Get on my tail. 18. I won't bite you. 19. Get on my head. " 20. He opened his mouth and closed his mouth and ate the Gingerbread Man. Story Two 1. Little woman, she goin' to make a Gingerbread Man. 2. She couldn't have any children. 3. She popped him in the oven. 4. He came out. 5. He saw a bunny. 6. The bunny said, "Come back, Gingerbread Man." 7. "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man," said the Gingerbread Man. 8 . He came to a bear . 9. "Come back," said the bear. 10. "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread," said the Gingerbread Man. 11. He met the fox. 12. "Come here, Gingerbread Man. Get on my tail before you get wet. 13. Get on my back. 14. Get on my head. He ate him up. Story Three 1. Once upon a time there was a lady baking Gingerbread Man. 2. She put him in the oven. 3. They live in the woods and they don't have any children. 4. He passed the rabbit and the lady said, "Come back." 5. GM: "I'm the Gingerbread Man, you can't catch me." 6. The bear next.

PAGE 140

131 7. He said, "I'm the Gingerbread, you can't catch me." 8. "Oh, yes I can." 9. He met the wolf. 10. "Get on my tail. " 11. "Get on my head. " 12. He had toofies and he had to bit him. Story Four 1. She was cooking the Gingerbread Man. 2. "You can't catch me." 3. "You can't catch me." 4. He ran away from the old lady. 5. "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." 6. "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man, old man." 7. He looked at the rabbit. 8. "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." 9. Then the bear. 10. "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." 11. He met the fox. 12. "Hop on my tail. 13. Hop on my back. 14. Hop on his head, his nose." 15. And then he ate him. Story Five 1. She pushed him down in the plate. 2. He stayed in the plate. 3. He runned out the house. 4. He met the man. 5. "I'm never coming back. 6. I was gonna leave." 7. He saw the old man. 8. If you're happy man. 9. He met the rabbit. 10. "I'm gonna run away from you, rabbit." 11. "I run away from you, fox." 12. "Be careful, Gingerbread Man." 13. We went on his back. 14. He ate him. The stories will be discussed in regard to the holistic scale and Applebee ' s (1978) method of analyzing stories. Stories one and two had no formal opening or closing, but both stories fit together cohesively. The characters were introduced and the dialogue fits into the incidents.

PAGE 141

132 According to Applebee ' s (1978) method, story one had six characters, seven incidents, and six conversational quotations. The story teller of story two elaborated on statements, i.e., lines one and two. Story two mentioned five characters, six incidents, and five conversational quotations. Stories one and two rated complex on the holistic scale because the story teller introduced the speakers of dialogue, provided closure on incidents, elaborated on statements, and mentioned relationships between events in the story. The complex stories used the pattern and repetition as a frame, yet elaborated on the incidents. Stories three, four and five were rated simple on the holistic scale. The quality of these stories differs from stories one and two. Story three, rating between complex and simple, had a formal opening, no formal closing, five characters, five incidents, and six conversational quotations. On Applebee' s (1978) scale, this story would score high. The story begins well, but toward the end, it is an inventory of incidents and dialogue with little introduction or elaboration. Story four had no formal opening and no formal closing. It had six characters, six incidents and seven conversational quotations. Characters are not always introduced and it seems to be an inventory of dialogue. This story would rate fairly high on Applebee' s (1978) scale, but rated simple on the holistic scale.

PAGE 142

133 Story five had no formal opening and formal closing. It had four characters, five incidents and four conversational quotations. This story does not fit together cohesively. The sentences do not always follow each other. There is no elaboration on incidents and dialogue is spoken by speakers who are not identified. Teachers and researchers who are interested in assessing stories of young children may want to look further than the presence or absence of formal opening or formal closing. Stories one and two did not use either formal opening or formal closing, but the stories were complex in nature. Counting characters, incidents and conversational quotations may not indicate storytelling complexity as much as how these three elements fit together in the story. Stories three, four and five were simple stories which mentioned equal numbers of characters, incidents and dialogue in comparison to stories one and two, which were complex. How the story is told may be more important than quantity of characters, incidents or conversational quotations present. Unity was Applebee's (1978) qualitative storytelling variable. More specific criteria for unity may be needed for assessment of stories. In summary the characteristics of a complex story were the following: 1. Relationships were pointed out between events in the story (story two, lines 1 and 2). 2. The dialogue was introduced (story two, lines 5 and 6) .

PAGE 143

134 3. The speaker was identified (story one, lines 12, 13, and 14) . 4. Closure on incidents was present (story two, lines 3 and 4 ) . 5. The characters were introduced (story one, lines 1 and 2) . On the other hand, characteristics of a simple story were the following: 1. The story was an inventory or succession of events with no relationship apparent (story five, lines 1 and 2 ) . 2. The story was an inventory or succession of dialogue with no introduction (story five, line 11). 3. The speaker was not introduced (story five, line 12) . 4. There was lack of elaboration on incidents (story four, line 9) 5. Characters were not introduced (story four, line 1) As researchers and teachers look more closely at the stories of young children, a more elaborate story schema for these stories needs to be developed. Conclusions In conclusion, recall was significantly enhanced by the enactment and discussion treatments. Teachers need to do more than just read to children to facilitate recall. There was little teacher within treatment variation in developing story recall. However, story retelling was susceptible to teacher effects. Future researchers could look at the teacher characteristics that facilitate the story retelling abilities of young children, one of which is probably verbal ability.

PAGE 144

135 Story retelling may be a skill that develops with age (Pelligrini & Galda, 1982) . As evidenced in this study, the nature of the materials used for assessment has an influence on story retelling ability. The Gingerbread Man was a more appropriate story for four year old children to retell because of its simplicity. This study found differences in storytelling results on Little Red Riding Hood and The Gingerbread Man . The Gingerbread Man was less familiar to the children but also less complicated. Children in the discussion group, particularly, did better on unity and total formal elements scores on The Gingerbread Man . For testing purposes in the future, researchers should try to use stories with simple plots like The Gingerbread Man with young children. The experimenter expected story enactment to be more effective than discussion. The results of this study indicate that teacher-led discussion is as effective and, in some cases, more effective than story enactment for this population. Teachers in this study felt more comfortable with the more structured discussion mode of developing story comprehension in children. For low income four year old black children, the results of this study indicate that discussion is the best method for promoting unity or thematic development and knowledge of formal elements, formal opening, formal closing and unity. The enactment and the discussion treatment facilitated better recall (p=.0001), so

PAGE 145

136 either method could be used. More research is needed on story retelling with young children to determine how this important prereading skill develops.

PAGE 146

APPENDIX A CRT RED RIDING HOOD, 4TH FAMILIAR STORY 1. Q. Who was the main character in the story? A. (Little Red Riding Hood) 2. Q. Where did Little Red Riding Hood's mother ask her to go? A. (To visit her grandmother) 3. Q. Who did Little Red Riding Hood meet in the woods? A. (The wolf) 4. Q. How did Little Red Riding Hood feel about the wolf? A. (Scared) (upset) (frightened) 5. Q. What did the wolf do when he got to Grandmother's house? A. (Ate up the Grandmother) 6. Q. What did the wolf do after he ate up Grandmother? A. (He put on her bedclothes and laid in bed and/or waited for Little Red Riding Hood) 7. Q. What happened to Little Red Riding Hood when she got to Grandmother's house? A. (The wolf ate her up) or (she ran away) 8. Q. Who got Grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood out of the wolf? A. (The huntsman) 9. Q. What do you think Little Red Riding Hood learned from her experience with the wolf? A. (to be careful, not to talk to strangers) 10. Q. How did the story end? A. (The huntsman, the Grandmother, and Little Red Riding Hood had a picnic and ate the food) or (she ran home to her mother and father) or (the wolf was put in a cage and taken to the zoo) 137

PAGE 147

APPENDIX B READING ALOUD TO CHILDREN SCALE (REVISED) (for use with picture story books) Rater's Name School Date Grade Level Teacher Title of Story Being Read 1. Does the adult introduce the book to the group: a. None b. Vague, "We're going to read this book." c. More specific introduction, "Look at this book about a dog . " d. Specific introduction relating the book to the ~~ readers, "This book is about a lost dog like the dog in our school yard." 2. Title and Author YES NO a. mentions title b. mentions author ~ c. reads from cover ~ d. reads from title page 3. Can all of the children in the group see the illustrations and hear the story? a. Only a few children can see and/or hear. b. At least half of the children can see and/or hear. c. All but a few in the back or at the sides can see and hear. d. Every child in the group can see and hear. 4. Reader's voice YES NO _ _ a. Volume has variety (not too loud or soft) . b. Speed has variety (not too fast or slow) . _ _ c. Pitch has variety (not too high or low) . d. Enunciation is clear. 5. Does the reader read with expression? Are emotions expressed? a. The reading is monotonous. b. There is some expression and feeling in parts of the story. 138

PAGE 148

139 c. There is expression and emotion evidenced in much of the story. d. There are vivid vocal and facial expressions; emotions appropriate to the story are in evidence (humor, empathy, etc.) Are contents of the book suitable for the audience? a. The book is either too sophisticated or too mun~ dane; only a few children show interest in the book. b. The book is of average appeal; children show some interest in it. c. The book is appealing; most children like it. d. The book is very appropriate for the age-level and interests of the children; it has great appeal. Are pictures visible to the children while the reader is reading? a. The reader does not show the pictures to the group. b. The reader stops to show pictures occasionally. c. The reader pauses after each page to show pictures. d. The reader holds the book so that the children can ~ look at pictures while the story is being read. How familiar is the reader with the story? a. Not at all. The reader must read the story word for word. b. There is some familiarity with the story but most ~~ of the words need to be read; some words are read on every page. c. The reader knows the story but must occasionally refer to the text; at least one page is told rather than read. d. The reader is thoroughly familiar with the story and reads with little or no reference to the book. Is the reader highlighting words and quality of language unique to this selection (noticing rhyming words, unusual words — "curious" George, refrains, repetitions of phrases or words; changing voice or expression for these language elements)? a. There is little notice given to language or vocabulary in the reading. b. There is some notice given to language or vocabulary, c. The language element is evident in the story reading. d. The language element is very evident in the story reading.

PAGE 149

140 10. Further Activities YES NO d. Suggests further student involvement with book or topic. leaves the book where children could return to it. asks an interpretive question about the story (not recall of facts) . returns to the book for a review of the story (shows pictures again, recalls an event, etc.) CODING times reader points to things in pictures times reader points to words times reader demonstrates left-right progression Times teacher initiates student response to story times students initiate response to story times reader looks up from book at audience Copyright — Linda Leonard Lamme

PAGE 150

APPENDIX C BOOKS USED IN THE STUDY 1. The Three Bears by Paul Galdone, Scholastic Books, New York, 1972. 2. Goldilocks and the Three Bears , retold and illustrated by Lorinda Bryan Cauley, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1981. 3. Little Red Riding Hood , by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, pictures by Bernadette, Scholastic Books, New York, 1971. 4. Little Red Riding Hood by Paul Galdone, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1974. 5. The Three Little Pigs by Paul Galdone, Scholastic Books, New York, 1981. 6. The Three Little Pigs by Erik Blegrard, Atheneum, New York, 1982. 7. The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone, Seabury Press, New York, 19 73. 8. The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Susan Blair, Scholastic Books, New York, 1963. 141

PAGE 151

APPENDIX D INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS ON THE STUDY ABOUT HOW CHILDREN UNDERSTAND STORIES By Tess Bennett Ph.D. Candidate Early Childhood Education 2215 Norman Hall University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32603 Phone 378-4963 A. What will be provided : 1. Two hours of Teacher Training about how to help four year old children understand stories will be provided at the teachers convenience. 2. All materials for the teacher to use while carrying on the four week literature curriculum, books, props, discussion questions to use, filmstrips, records, tapes, etc. will be provided. 3. Some books and props will be donated to the center. 4. The four week curriculum will take place at regular morning rugtime and last for 30 minutes. The total time requested will be two hours a week, 30 minutes, Monday through Thursday for four weeks . 5. Children will be asked to take a language test and retell two stories for the experimenter to audiotape. Benefits from the program : 1. Children's story comprehension and language will grow because of the program. 142

PAGE 152

143 2. Teachers will be given training and support about how to use literature in the day care curriculum. 3. Centers will gain materials, books, props.

PAGE 153

APPENDIX E SCHEDULE FOR STORIES

PAGE 155

APPENDIX F QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE BEARS BY PAUL GALDONE Monday Goal: Understand beginning, ending and action of the story. Questions: 1. What words begin the story? Answer: Once upon a time there were three bears who lived together in a house of their own in the woods, a little wee bear, a middle sized bear, and a great big bear. 2. What happened next? Answer: They made porridge for breakfast one morning and went for a walk in the woods until it cooled. While they were gone a little girl named Goldilocks came to their house. 3. What did Goldilocks do at their house? Answer: She went in the door. She looked at the porridge. It smelled so good she began to help herself. She tasted the porridge of the big bear. It was too hot. She tasted the porridge of the middle-sized bear. It was too cold. She tasted the porridge of the wee little bear and it was just right. NOTE: Go through the chairs and beds and include Goldilocks went to sleep in the baby bear's bed. 4. What happened while Goldilocks was asleep? Answer: The three bears came home. 4. What did they notice? Answer: Someone had been eating their porridge. Someone had been sitting in their chairs. Someone had been sleeping in their beds. They found Goldilocks. She ran away as fast as she could. 6. How did -the story end? Answer: Goldilocks ran away and the three bears never saw her again. 146

PAGE 156

147 Tuesday Goal: Develop an understanding of the characters and what they did. Questions: 1. Who were the characters? Answer: Goldilocks and the three bears. 2. What did Goldilocks do? Answer: She went into the three bears' house when they were gone. 3. What did the three bears do? Answer: They went for a walk in the woods. When they came back, they looked first at their bowls, then at their chairs and last at their beds. 4. What did the three bears do when they found Goldilocks in baby bear's bed? Answer: Nothing. She got scared and ran away. Wednesday Goal: Understand the characters and their dialogue. Questions : 1. When the three bears came home, what did they say as they looked at their bowls? Answer: Big bear — "Somebody has been tasting my porridge." Middle sized bear — "Somebody has been tasting my porridge. " Wee bear — "Somebody has been tasting my porridge and has eaten it all up." 2. When the three bears looked at their chairs what did they say? Answer: Big bear — "Somebody has been sitting in my chair." Middle sized bear — "Somebody has been sitting in my chair. " Wee bear — "Somebody has been sitting in my chair and has sat right through it." 3. When the three bears looked at their beds what did they say? Answer: Big bear-"Somebody has been laying in my bed." Middle sized bear-"Somebody has been laying in my bed. "

PAGE 157

143 Wee bear — "Somebody has been laying in my bed and here she is. " Thursday Goal: Develop a concept of the theme, Questions: 1. Who was your favorite character? 2. Do you think it was right for Goldilocks to go into the three bears' house? 3. What did you learn from the story?

PAGE 158

APPENDIX G QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE LITTLE PIGS ILLUSTRATED BY AURELIUS BATTAGLIA Monday Goal: Develop an understanding of the beginning and ending of the story as well as the action in the story. Questions: 1. How did the story begin? Answer: Once there were three little pigs. 2. What did the mother pig say to the three little pigs in the beginning of the story? Answer: It's time for you piglets to go out into the world and make homes for yourselves. 3. What happened next to the first little pig? Answer: The three little pigs went on their way and the first little pig met a man with a load of straw. He asked the man to give him some straw. The man did and the little pig built his house with it. 4 . Who came along then? Answer: The wolf came along, knocked on the door, huffed and puffed, and blew the pig's house in. He ate up the pig. 5. What happened to the second little pig? Answer: The pig met a men with a bundle of sticks. He asked the man to give him some s-cicks to build a house. The man did and the little pig built a house. The wolf came along, knocked on the door, huffed and puffed, blew down the house and ate up the little pig. 6. What happened to the third little pig? Answer: The third little pig saw a man with some bricks. He asked the man if he could have some to build a house. The man gave him some and the little pig built his house. Along came the wolf. He knocked on the door, huffed and puffed and tried to blow the house in. The wolf couldn't blow down the 149

PAGE 159

150 house. He got angry, jumped up on the roof. He was going to come down the chimney and eat up the third little pig. The little pig heard him, filled up a bottle with water, put it on the fire to boil and sat down to wait for the wolf. Down came the wolf into the kettle of water and that was the end of him. 7. What words ended the story? Answer: The little pig lived happily in his little house of brick. Tuesday Goal: Develop an understanding of the characters and their part in the action of the story. Questions : 1. Who were the characters in this story? Answer: Three little pigs; the wolf; the mother pig; the three men with straw, sticks and bricks. 2. What did each of the three little pigs do that was the same? Answer: They all met a man and asked for some straw, sticks or bricks and built a house with it. They all were visited by the wolf. 3. What was different about what happened to each little pig? Answer: The first two pigs were eaten up by the wolf. The third little pig was smarter because he built his house of bricks. The Wolf couldn't blow it down so he went down the chimney and landed in a pot of boiling water. Wednesday Goal: Develop an understanding of characters and their dialogue in the story. Questions: 1. What did the mother pig say to the three little pigs? Answer: "This house is too small for us. It's time for you piglets to go out into the world and make homes for yourselves."

PAGE 160

151 2. What did the wolf say every time he came to a little pig's house? What did the pig say? Answer: (wolf) Little pig, little pig, let me come in? (pig) Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin, (wolf) Then I'll huff and I'll pull and I'll blow your house in. NOTE: Other dialogue can be taken from the book and discussed. Thursday Goal: To develop an understanding of the theme of the story. Questions : 1. What did you learn from this story? Answer: a. Be careful b. Build a strong house 2. Who was your favorite character? 3. How did you feel when the wolf got boiled up at the end of the story?

PAGE 161

APPENDIX H QUESTIONS FOR THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF WITH WOODCUTS BY SUSAN BLAIR Monday Goal: Understand beginning, ending and action. Questions: 1. How did the story begin? Answer: Once upon a time there were three billy goats who were going up to the hillside to make themselves fat. On the way to the hillside the billy goats had to cross a bridge. Under the bridge lived an ugly troll. 2. What happened next? Answer: The first billy goat crossed the bridge. The troll said, "Who's that tripping over my bridge?" The billy goat said, "It's only me, the tiny billy goat gruff. I'm going to the hillside to make myself fat." The troll said, "I'm going to gobble you up." The billy goat said, "Don't eat me, I'm too little. Wait for my big brother. He's much bigger. The troll said, "Well be off with you." The second billy goat gruff crossed the bridge. (Go over the same action and dialogue.) The third billy goat gruff crossed the bridge. (Go over the same action and dialogue EXCEPT that the big billy goat said to the troll, "Come along and fight. I've got two spears, I'll poke your eyeballs out at your ears. I've got besides two great, flat stones. I'll crush you to bits, body and bones . " 3. How did the story end? Answer: The big billy goat beat up the troll and went up to the hillside with his brothers. 152

PAGE 162

153 4. What were the words that ended the story? Answer: "Snip, snap, snout, this tale's told out." Tuesday Goal: Understand the characters in the story. Questions : 1. Who were the characters? Answer: Three Billy Goats Gruff and the Troll. 2. Who was the strongest character in the story who beat up the troll? Answer: The big billy goat. 3. Why was the troll angry when the billy goats went across the bridge? Answer: He thought he owned the bridge. Wednesday Goal: To understand the characters and their dialogue. Questions: 1. What did the troll say first? Answer: "Who's that tripping over my bridge?" 2. What did the first two billy goats say to the troll? Answer: "It's me, little billy goat gruff going up to the hillside to make myself fat." "It's me, the second billy goar gruff going up to the hillside to make myself fat." What did the big billy goat say? Answer: "It's I, the big billy goat gruff." 3. What did the troll say then? Answer: "I'm going to gobble you up." 4. What did the first and second billy goats say to the troll? Answer: "Don't eat me. Wait for my big brother. He's much bigger. "

PAGE 163

154 5. What did the big billy goat say to the troll? Answer: "I've got two spears. I'-l poke your eyeballs out at your ears. I've got besides two great flat stones. I'll crush you to bits, body and bones. " Thursday Goal: Understand the theme of the story Questions : 1. Who was your favorite character? 2. Why did the troll want to scare the billy goats? 3. What did you learn from the story?

PAGE 164

APPENDIX I TEACHERLED DISCUSSION QUESTIONS TO BE USED FOR THE STORY, LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, BY JACOB AND WILHELM GRIMM Monday Goal: Develop an understanding of the concept of the beginning and ending of the story. Also discuss the action of the story by going over the incidents. Question 1: What were words that began the story? Answer: Once upon a time. Question 2: What happened first in the story? Answer: Little Red Riding Hood's mother asked her to go to Grandmother's house and take her food. Question Answer: 3: Tell me what happened next? a. Little Red Riding Hood walked through woods to Grandmother's house. b. She met a wolf. c. The wolf talked to her and she stopped to pick flowers. d. The wolf went to Grandmother's house, knocked on the door, went in, ate Grandmother up, put on her clothes, got in bed. e. Little Red Riding Hood came to Grandmother's house, knocked on the door. f. The wolf said "Come in" and Little Red Riding Hood came in. g. The wolf jumped out of bed and ate her up. h. The wolf went to sleep and started to snore. i. The huntsman heard someone snoring and went to check on the grandmother, j. The huntsman cut open the wolf and Little Red Riding Hood jumped out of the wolf, k. They put stones in the wolf so he couldn't run away. 1. The huntsman, the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood had a picnic. Question 4: Tell me what words ended the story? Answer: The End. 155

PAGE 165

Tuesday 156 Goal: Question Answer: Develop the concept of the characters in a story and their dialogue. 1: Who were the characters in the story? a. Little Red Riding Hood b. The wolf c. Grandmother d. Huntsman, and e. Mother Question 2: What did each character do in the story? Answer: a. Little Red Riding Hood was the little girl who went for a walk in the woods to Grandma's house. b. The wolf was the character who talked to Little Red Riding Hood in the woods and ate up Grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood. c. The Grandmother was sick in bed waiting for Little Red Riding Hood to come and visit. d. The huntsman saved Little Red Riding Hood and Grandmother by cutting open the wolf and getting them out. e. The mother sent Little Red Riding Hood off to Grandmother ' s house . Question 3: Let's talk about what each character said. Answer: a. Wolf: "Good morning, Little Red Riding Hood." b. Little Red Riding Hood: "Good morning, Wolf." c. Wolf: "Where are you going so early?" (Teacher uses text of book here) Wednesday Goal: Develop a sense of story by recounting the action in sequence with the characters, their feelings, and motivation for action. Question 1: Who were the characters in the first event in the story? Answer: Little Red Riding Hood and her mother. Question 2: What did Mother ask Little Red Riding Hood to do? Answer: Take Grandmother some food because she was sick. Question 3 : When Little Red Riding Hood walked through the woods who did she meet? Answer: The wolf. He asked her questions and delayed her walk because he wanted to get to Grandmother's house first.

PAGE 166

157 Question 4: When the wolf got to Grandmother's house, what did he do? Answer: He knocked on the door pretending to be Little Red Riding Hood, walked in and ate Grandmother up. Question 5: When Little Red Riding Hood came to Grandmother's house, what happened? Answer: The wolf ate her up. Question 6 : How were Little Red Riding Hood and Grandmother saved? Answer: He cut open the wolf and out jumped Little Red Riding Hood and Grandmother. Thursday Goal: Develop a concept of the theme or unity of the story. Question 1: What do you think Little Red Riding Hood learned from her experience with the wolf? Answer: a. To be careful. b. To be cautious. c. Not to talk to strangers. d. Not to be so trusting. Question 2: What did you learn from this story? Question 3: Who is your favorite character?

PAGE 167

APPENDIX J SAMPLE STORIES Gingerbread Man (Enactment Group) Little woman, she goin' to make a Gingerbread Man. She couldn't have any children. She popped him in the oven. He came out. He saw a bunny. "Come back, Gingerbread Man," said the bunny. "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man," said the Gingerbread Man. He came to a bear. "Come back," said the bear. "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man," said the Gingerbread Man. He met the fox. "Come here, Gingerbread Man, get on my tail before you get wet, get on my back, get on my head," said the fox. He ate him up. Gingerbread Man (Enactment Group) The lady met a Gingerbread Man. He jumped out of the oven, He met an old man. "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man," said the Gingerbread Man. 158

PAGE 168

159 He met the rabbit. "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man," said the Gingerbread Man. He met the bear. He said, "Run, run, as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." The wolf next. "Stop," said the wolf. "Get on my tail," said the wolf. "Get on my back," said the wolf. "Get on my head," said the wolf. He opened his mouth and in fell the Gingerbread Man. Little Red Riding Hood (Enactment Group) Once upon a time her had the dress on and she liked it. Her mama told, "Don't go into the forest." She met the wolf. Wolf: "Where you goin'?" LRRH: "To grandma's house. She's sick." Wolf: I'll come with you, You pick flowers." She picked the flowers. The wolf gone to grandma's house. Wolf: "Knock, knock." Grandma: "Who's there?" He came in and ate grandma up and got in bed in her clothes. * LRRH came to the door. Wolf: "Who's there?" * Little Red Riding Hood

PAGE 169

160 Miss Ridin 1 Hood peepin'. LRRH: "What ears you got, grandma." LRRH: "What eyes you got, grandma." LRRH: "What teeth you got." He swallowed up LRRH. Then somebody came. He shot the wolf. The fox was on the floor dead. Grandma got the cake and flowers and she feel better. And that's the end. Little Red Riding Hood (Enactment Group) Once upon a time, there was a Little Red Riding Hood. Her momma told her to go to grandma's house. She saw the big bad wolf in the woods. Wolf: "Good Morning. Where you going, little kid?" They went for a walk to pick flowers for grandma. The wolf went to grandma's house. She was mad at the wolf. The wolf pulled the latch up. The wolf put on grandma's clothes and got in bed. Little Red Riding Hood came to the door. LRRH: "What big ears you got." LRRH: "What big teeth you got." He eat Little Red Riding Hood. The man with the gun. He came up. He shoot the wolf. LRRH: "Gave grandma some cookies." The man got the wolf. That's the end.

PAGE 170

161 Gingerbread Man (Discussion Group) Once upon a time she made a gingerbread. She had to cut it and put it in the fire. She runned out. He go where the man. The man said, "Come back." Gingerbread boy said, "Run, run you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." The bunny said, "Come back, come back." GM: "Run, run as fast as you can, you can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man." He met the bear. He said, "Come back, come back, Gingerbread Man. " Gingerbread said, "I'm not coming back." The wolf, "I ain't goin' to catch you." Gingerbread said, "You want to catch me. I run fast." He went on top of the wolf. The wolf was asleep. He got on his back. He say, "You gonna get wet." He ate them all up. He said, "Help!" Gingerbread Man (Discussion Group) Once upon a time there was a lady baking Gingerbread Man. She put him in the oven. They live in the woods and they don't have any children. He passed the rabbit and the lady said, "Come back." GM: "I'm the Gingerbread Man, you can't catch me." The bear next.

PAGE 171

162 He said, "I'm the Gingerbread, you can't catch me." Bear: "Oh, yes I can." He met the wolf. Wolf: "Get on my tail." Wolf: "Get on my head." He had toofies and he had to bit him. Little Red Riding Hood (Discussion Group) Once upon a time Little Red Riding Hood who was going to her grandma some food cause she's sick. She met the wolf. Wolf: "Where you going?" LRRH: "To get grandma some food cause she's sick." He going to steer her the wrong way. She walkin with the wolf. Her momma told her not to stop nowhere and she did. And she stopped to pick her grandmother some flowers. He was tryin to sound like the little girl. Wolf: "Knock, Knock, Knock" Grandma: "Who is it?" Wolf: "Little Red Riding Hood" The grandmamma ran out of the window. Little Red Riding Hood came to grandma's house. She was comin' closer. The man was comin' to chop the wolf. He chopped the wolf. He sewed him out of a rug.

PAGE 172

163 She was with her grandmamma. The End. Little Red Riding Hood (Discussion Group) Once upon a time a little girl named Little Red Riding Hood. She goin 1 to her grandma house. Wolf: "What you got in bag?" He ran round and he saw some flowers. And the wolf, "Look at those pretty flowers." She saw some more. The wolf knocked on the door. Wolf: "It's Little Red Riding Hood" He was in the bed. He put on grandma's eyeglasses, her hat. He hopped in bed. Little Red Riding Hood come in. The man heard him and went and said, "Snore, snore." He went down and fell down. And that's the end. Little Red Riding Hood (Control Group) Mother said, "Take the basket to her grandma." She picked some flowers. The grandma is the bed. He put on her hat. He gonna eat her up. And she seen the chopper man in the woods chopping. He gonna cut it up. He got grandma out with stones. She in the bed. He took away the wolf.

PAGE 173

164 Little Red Riding Hood (Control Group) One day Little Red Riding Hood had a red hat and her mother and everybody loved her. Everybody use to call her Little Red Riding Hood. The mother said, "Go take this to your Grandmother she is not feeling well and the food will do her good." The wolf said, "Good morning Little Red Riding Hood. How are you doing? What do you have in your bag?" "Some food my grandmother is sick and the food will do her good. " "Where are you going this this morning?" To my grandmother house to take this to her. "I think I better gobble all both of them up. And where does she live?" "Way over there in the woods where the oak trees is." "Don't you want to pick some flowers in the sunlight?" She looked around and seen the sunlight coming through the trees. She started to pick some, she saw some more pretty flowers . And the wolf said, "knock-knock." Grandma said, "Who's there?" Goldilocks I'm in the bed so she said just pull the latch and come in. So Little Red Riding Hood went into the house. She said "Grandmother, what big strange ears you have, Grandmother." So she didn't answer. She went up to the bed she said

PAGE 174

165 Grandmother what big ears you have. She cried and said Grandmother what big eyes you have. Grandma what big teeth you have. What strange hands you have. I would like to gobble you. It's the better to see you my darling. And then she said she dropped it from her arms. The hunter came and said I might go in the house and see if the old lady all right. She he said to get some big stones and so the Grandma crawled out. She got some big stones and the she begin to get them and the hunter put them in the wolf and so the wolf tried to go home. The stones were too heavy so he fell down dead. And so there's her grandmother with her now. Gingerbread Man (Control Group) The lady made a Gingerbread Man. She made the eyes, mouth and nose and buttons. He said, "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man. You can't catch me." He met the wolf. He said, "You can't catch men." The wolf said, "You want to get on my back, my head." He fooled him. The fox ate him. He say, "Get on my head." The fox tricked him and ate him.

PAGE 175

166 Gingerbread Man (Control Group) One day there was an old man and an old woman. They wanted a Gingerbread Man, so she put into the hot oven and then he came to an old man. "I have run away from an old man, an old woman, and I can run away from you, too. You can't catch me because I'm the Gingerbread Man. " He came to a rabbit and he said as he passed by, "I have run away from an old woman, an old man and I can run away from you, too. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man. " He came to a bear. He passed by him. He said, "I'm the Gingerbread Man. You can't catch me." He ran faster and faster. And so he couldn't catch the Gingerbread Man. "You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man. I ran away from an old man, an old woman, a rabbit and I can run away from you, too." And then he met the fox. "Don't you want to ride across on my tail? I won't eat you. I'm your friend." So they rode across the bridge. "Get on my tail. I won't bite you. Get on my head." He opened his mouth and closed his mouth and ate the Gingerbread Man.

PAGE 176

APPENDIX K PROCEDURES

PAGE 177

>1 id en M 3 Xi Eh >1 ro T3 CO CD G QJ S (0 CO CU Eh >i OS TJ G O s 1

PAGE 178

APPENDIX L SUMMARY FOR TREATMENT EFFECTS WITH TEACHERS NESTED WITHIN TREATMENTS USED AS THE ERROR TERM Variable F P Significance Pretest .56 .6031 NS Little Red Riding Hood Total score formal elements Number of characters Number of incidents Conversational quotations Total score CRT The Gingerbread Man Total score formal elements Number of characters Number of incidents Conversational quotations Total score NS = Not Significant *S = Significant 1.42

PAGE 179

REFERENCE NOTES 1. Silvern, S. , Taylor, J., Williamson, P., Surbeck, E., & Kelley, M. Effects of self-directed dramatization on story recall . Paper presented at AERA , New York, 1982. 2. Silvern, S., Williamson, P., Taylor, J., & Kelley, M. Young children's story recall as a product of play, story familiarity and adult intervention . Paper presented at AERA , New York, 198 2. 3. Favat, F. Child and tale, the origins of interest (No. 12 research report) . National Council of the Teachers of English, 1111 Kenyon Road, Urbana, 111., 1977. 4. Becker, W. , & Engelman, S. Comparative results in Project Follow Through: A summary of nine years of work . Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon Follow Through Project, May 1977. 5 . Gowen , J . Structural elements of symbolic play of preschool children . Presentation at 86th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, August, 1978. 6. Hresko, W. , Reid, D. , & Hammill, D. Test of Early Language Development, Austin, Texas: Pro-Ed, 1981. 170

PAGE 180

REFERENCES Applebee, A. Child's concept of a story . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978. Becker, W. Teaching reading and language to the disadvantaged — What we have learned from field research. Harvard Educational Review , 1977, 47_, 518-543. Bereiter, C. , & Engelman, S. Observations on the use of direct instruction with young disadvantaged children. Journal of School Psychology , 1966, 4_(3) , 55-62. Bettleheim, B. The uses of enchantment: The meaning and importance of fairy tales . New York: Random House, 1977. Bransford, J. Human cognition, learning, understanding, remembering. Belmont, Calif . : Wadsworth Publishing Co. , 1979. Bruner, E. The DISTAR reading program . Urbana-Champaign : Institute for Research on Exceptional Children, University of Illinois, 1968. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 027 137) Carlton, L. , & Moore, R. Reading, self-directive dramatization and self-concept "^ Columbus , Ohio: Charles Merrill, 1968. Clay, M. Reading the patterning of complex behavior. Auckland, New Zealand: Heinemann Educational Books, 1972. Deutsch, M. The disadvantaged child . New York: Basic Books, 1967. Downing, J. How children think about reading. The Reading Teacher, 1969, 23(3), 217-230. Downing, J. Reading and reasoning . New York: SpringerVerlag, 1979. Dunn, L. , Neville, D. , Pfost, P., Pochanart, P., & Bruininks, R. Effectiveness of three reading approaches and an oral stimulation program with disadvantaged children at the primary grades. A final report. Nashville , 171

PAGE 181

172 Tenn. : George Peabody College for Teachers, 1968. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 043 722) Durkin, D. What is the value of the new interest in reading comprehension? Language Arts , 1981, 5_8 (1) , 23-43. Fein, G. Echoes from the nursery: Piaget, Vygotsky and the relationship between language and play. In E. Winner and H. Gardner, New directions in child development , fact, fiction, and fantasy in childhood . San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, Inc. , 1979 . Goodman, Y. Twenty questions about teaching language. Educational Leadership , 1981, 3_8 (6) , 436-442. ~ Gordon, B. Towards a theory of knowledge acquisition for black children. Journal of Education , 1982, 164(1), 90-105. Guszak, F. Teacher questioning and reading. The Reading Teacher , 1967, 21, 228-234. Hare, V. Beginning reading theory and comprehension questions in teachers' manuals. The Reading Teacher, 19 82, 35, 918-923. Isbell, R. A study of the effects of two modes of literature presentation on the oral language development of fourand five-year old children (Doctoral dissertation, University of Tennessee, 1979) . Dissertation Abstracts International, 1979, 40, 2945A-3587AT (Microfilms #7929038) Jurkovic, G. Relationship of psycholinguistic development to imaginative play of disadvantaged preschool children. Psychology in the Schools , 1978, 15 (4) , 460-464. Levenstein, P. Verbal-interaction project: Aiding cognitive growth in disadvantaged preschoolers through the mother child home program . Final report. Mineola, N.Y. : Fainily Service Association of Nassau County, Inc., 1971. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 059 791) Livo, N. Reading Readiness: Research in Review . Denver: University of Colorado, 1972. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 059 854) Lovinger, S. Socio-dramatic play and language development in preschool disadvantaged children. Psychology in the Schools, 1974, 11(3), 313-320. ~ "^

PAGE 182

173 Mason, J., Osborn, J., & Rosenshine, B. A consideration o f skill hierarchy approaches to reading^ (Technical Report No. 42) . Urbana-Champaign : Center for the Study of Reading, University of Illinois, 1977. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 150 549) Mass, L. Developing concepts of literacy in young children. The Reading Teacher , 1982, 3_5, 670-675. McDonell, G. , & Osburn, E. New thoughts about reading readiness. Language Arts , 1978, 55(1), 26-29. Miller, L. The idea of conflict: A study of the development of story understanding. In E. Winner and H. Gardner, New directions for child development fact, fiction, and fantasy in childhood . San Francisco: JoseyBass, 1979. Milner, S. Effects of a curriculum intervention program using fairy tales on preschool children's oral language, concept of a story, reading readiness and empathy. Doctoral dissertation. University of Florida, 1982. Pearson, P. , & Johnson, D. Teaching reading comprehension . New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978. Pelligrini, A., & Galda, L. The effects of thematic fantasy play training on the development of children's story comprehension. American Educational Research Journa l, 1982, 19(3), 443-452. Piaget, J. Play dreams and imitation in childhood . New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. , 1962. Pitcher, E. , & Prelinger, E. Children tell stories: An analysis of fantasy . New York: International Universities Press, 1963. Rumelhart, D. Notes on a schema for stories. In D. Bobrow and A. Collins, Representation and understanding stud ies in cognitive science . New York: Academic Press, 1975. Sadow, M. The use of story grammar in the design of questions. The Reading Teacher , 1982, 35(5), 518-522. Saltz, E. , Dixon, D. , & Johnson, J. Training disadvantaged preschoolers on various fantasy activities: Effects on cognitive functioning and impulse control. Child De velopment, 1977, 48(2), 367-380. ~ '

PAGE 183

174 Saltz, E. , & Johnson, J. Training for thematic fantasy play in culturally disadvantaged children: Preliminary results. Journal of Educational Psychology , 1974, 66(4), 623-630. — Schickedanz, J. Pleas» read that story aqain. Young Children , 1978, 33(5), 48-55. ~~~ Smith, F. Understanding reading . New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978. Stein, N. How children understand stories: A developmental analysis. In L. Katz , Issues in early childhood Vol. III. Norwood, N.J.: ERIC Clearinghouse, Ablex Publishers, 1980. Stern, V., Bradgon, N. , & Gordon, A. Cognitive aspects of young children's symbolic play (Research Report) . New York: Bank Street College of Education, 1976. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 135 501) Teale, W. Positive environments for learning to read: What studies of early readers tell us. Language Arts , 1978, 55(8) , 922-932. Tempi in, M. Certain language ^skills in children: Their development and interrelationship . Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, 1957 . Vygotsky, L. Thought and language . Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962. Vygotsky, L. Mind in society, the development of higher psychological processes. In M. Cole, V. John-Steiner , S. Scribner, E. Souberman, Mind in Society, the devel opment of higher psychological processes . Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1978 . Wolfgang, C. An exploration of the cognitive area of reading and selected developmental aspects of children's play. Psychology in the Schools , 1974, 11(3), 338-343.

PAGE 184

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Teresa Bennett was born in Lake City, Florida, in 1948. She received her elementary and secondary education in Satellite Beach, Florida. She was awarded a B.A. in social studies, secondary education, from the University of Florida in 1970. Her M.Ed, in early childhood was received in 1980, also from the University of Florida. Teresa taught social studies at the secondary level in Eau Gallie, Florida, and New Orleans, Louisiana. She entered graduate school to pursue her doctorate in curriculum instruction in September, 1980. During this time she was a graduate assistant teaching an elementary education seminar and language arts and reading courses in the Early Childhood Education Program. Teresa has been a head teacher at Baby Gator Research Center for Child Development and a child development specialist with Children's Developmental Services. 175

PAGE 185

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 3 1262 08285 216