ERIC Number: ED211945
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Children's Ability to Comprehend Main Ideas After Reading Expository Prose.
Baumann, James F.
A study was conducted to evaluate children's ability to comprehend main ideas after reading connected discourse and to develop and validate a straightforward and intuitively simple system for identifying main ideas in prose. Three experimental passages were randomly selected from third and sixth grade social studies textbooks, and education students extracted theme and main idea information. The subjects, 83 third grade and 89 sixth grade students, each read two of the three texts. When they had read the first passage, they returned the passage to a folder, wrote a single sentence telling what the whole story was about, then wrote as much as they could remember about the story. After reading the second passage, the students were asked to (1) choose from seven statements the one that best told what the story was about, (2) answer 12 multiple choice questions on the main idea and details, and (3) determine whether each of 12 statements referred to were main ideas, details, or false statements. The results suggested that elementary school students who read expository prose tended not to comprehend either the gist of an entire passage or its main ideas with great facility. The main identification strategy developed for use in the study proved to be reliable and practical. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Main Idea; Prose Learning
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (31st, Dallas, TX, December 2-5, 1981).