Date of Award

6-1-1998

Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

First Advisor

Karen Nelson

Abstract

ABSTRACT The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the role of literature discussion groups in an intermediate elementary classroom setting. More specifically, I studied how literature discussion groups facilitate student learning. I examined the different types of literature discussion groups and the necessary elements for an effective discussion group to take place. I felt it was important to study the types of questions that are asked by students and teachers. The primary theme behind my project is the importance of critical thinking,independent response, making real life connections, and providing feedback towards literature. This study took place at an urban K-5 elementary school located in Beaverton, Oregon. The participants consisted of one classroom of fifth grade students. The information was gathered in a classroom setting through a variety of methodological methods including non-participant observations, participant observation, informal discussions, and written surveys. In order to protect the participants 'right to privacy and anonymity, I have provided pseudonyms for all participants involved in this study. After collecting and organizing my data, I noticed some patterns that had evolved. These patterns revealed the positive influences that literature discussion groups had on students' learning and ability to interact with others. When participating in literature discussion groups, students are given an element of freedom which allows them to become independent critical thinkers. Students are able to practice important social skills while interacting with others. Through these interactions in the group setting, students learn the literary elements and perspectives from their fellow classmates. My study shows that literature discussion groups can be a beneficial tool for an elementary school reading curriculum and instruction.

Comments

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