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ERIC Number: ED210224
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Readability of Rewritten and Original Primary Source Materials in the Elementary Classroom.
Nielsen, Lynn Ethan
Reading problems related to use of primary source materials in the upper elementary grades are investigated. A major focus was the appropriateness of original versus rewritten versions of primary source materials with respect to readability. The sample consisted of 209 fifth and sixth grade students and seven elementary school classroom teachers in Iowa public schools. The study was designed to include a pretest to measure the students' ability to comprehend original and rewritten (i.e. edited and/or clarified) primary source reading selections on Iowa history, a series of Iowa history lessons involving primary source materials, and a posttest to again measure the students' ability to comprehend primary source reading selections. All students were exposed to some original and some rewritten primary source material on either the pre- or posttests and all students were exposed only to original primary source material during the history lessons. Findings from analysis of pretest scores indicated that students who were exposed only to original versions of primary source materials scored significantly lower than students using rewritten versions of the same primary sources. Findings from analysis of posttest scores indicated that there were no significant differences on students' abilities to read original and rewritten primary source materials. The conclusion is that students became more able to comprehend original primary sources when they were given opportunities to work with these materials. One implication is that classroom teachers should generally use the original versions of primary source materials because, in so doing, they will provide students with the flavor of another time period which may not be accurately communicated by the rewritten version. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Plains Regional Conference of the International Reading Association (9th, Des Moines, IA, October 22-24, 1981).