ERIC Number: ED255936
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar-29
Reference Count: 0
What Do Children Understand about Their Own Compositions?
Duncan, Patricia H.
The writing of five first grade children was studied to determine whether findings of a previous study regarding children's concept of story structure would be demonstrated in the children's original compositions. The weekly sessions during the study included individual or group prewriting discussions, drawing and active writing, modeling by the investigator, and researcher/student conferences. Folders containing writing products and ideas for future writing were kept for each child. Interviews were tape-recorded, and a log of observations was kept by the researcher. Of the 18 writing products produced by the five children, nine were in narrative form. Analysis of these revealed the following behaviors: (1) use of formal openings and closings, (2) use of simple story grammars, (3) use of past tense, (4) controlled use of fantasy, (5) awareness of voice and audience, and (6) use of dialogue and conventional characters, but little use of action. The five interviews suggested a conscious effort on the part of the children to develop a beginning event from personal experiences or from television and movie themes. Comments indicated that they recognized the need for conclusions and that it is sometimes better to bring a story quickly to an end. The children's growing control of ideas about their own compositions suggests that metacognitive knowledge of story structure emerges early. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Protocol Analysis; Story Structure
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English Spring Conference (4th, Houston, TX, March 28-30, 1985).