ERIC Number: ED364864
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
A Comparison of Fifth Graders' Comprehension and Retention of Scientific Information Using a Science Textbook and an Informational Storybook.
Maria, Katherine; Junge, Kathleen
A study investigated whether children reading an informational story recalled more information and perform better on a delayed test than those who read a textbook containing many of the same ideas. Subjects, 58 fifth-grade students from a suburban public school with approximately equal percentages of African-American and Caucasian children from a wide range of socioeconomic conditions, were randomly assigned to read either "The Magic Schoolbus inside the Earth" or a section of a chapter from a fourth-grade science textbook. Subjects wrote a recall immediately after reading the text, completed a short answer test one week later, and drew a diagram of the earth. Results indicated that: (1) recalls of the informational story were longer than those of the expository text; (2) good readers had longer recalls for both types of texts than poor readers; (3) good readers included more informational ideas in their recalls than poor readers; (4) scores on the short answer test did not differ by reader or type of text, and there was no interaction; (5) children in either condition recalled very few informational ideas from either text; and (6) 12 of the recalls had a narrative structure, 12 had an expository structure, and 4 had a mixed structure. Findings suggest that when not given a purpose for reading this type of text, middle grade children may take either an aesthetic or efferent stance. Future studies should focus on the unique contributions each type of text offers to elementary science instruction. (Contains 24 references.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Information Books; Trade Books
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (43rd, Charleston, SC, December 1-4, 1993).