|The purpose of this experimental study was to examine the effectiveness of comprehension strategies instruction delivered through teacher read alouds on the reading comprehension abilities of first grade students. Specifically, the researcher compared the effectiveness of intentional comprehension strategies instruction embedded in teacher read alouds to the effectiveness of student-directed literature discussions of teacher read alouds on the comprehension abilities of first grade students.
Participants in this study consisted of 34 first grade students who had achieved benchmark status on mid-year Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Oral Reading Fluency (DORF) and Nonsense Word Fluency (NWF) subtests. Treatment group students received comprehension strategies instruction embedded in read-aloud sessions, applied comprehension strategies during a 15-minute independent reading time, and verbally shared examples of successful strategy use with other group members. Control group students freely discussed the literature during each read-aloud session, participated in a 15-minute independent reading time, and shared book recommendations with other group members.
Participants completed the Degrees of Reading Power (Form J0) as a pretest comprehension assessment and the Degrees of Reading Power (Form K0) as a posttest comprehension assessment. Analyses of data indicated that both treatment group participants and control group participants improved significantly in reading comprehension ability; however, an independent samples t test indicated that treatment group participants demonstrated significantly higher comprehension gains than did control group participants.
The results of this study indicate that comprehension strategies instruction delivered through teacher read alouds in a whole group setting can significantly improve reading comprehension for first grade students.