ERIC Number: ED280073
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986
Learning to Write: A Developmental/Literary Perspective.
Vardell, Sylvia M.; Burris, Nancy A.
A study examined the use and understanding of literary elements by students in grades 3, 6, 9, and 12. Students read L. Peck's folktale, "Coyote's Gift to Turkey Girl," and wrote a story of their own. The stories were then analyzed for their objective content (genre conventions, characterization, plot, and setting) and subjective content (kind and quality of literary elements). The folktale genre was used in 56% of the stories, and the incidence of folktales increased with grade level. The number of characters in a story also increased with grade level. Stereotypical folktale settings were found in 60% of all the stories. Third-grade students created flat characters 78% of the time, while students in other grades created stereotypical characters 40-50% of the time. In creating story settings, 75% of third graders used implicit settings, but from sixth grade on, approximately 70% of the students created explicit settings. The majority of third-grade stories (69%) contained no suspense, while the majority of the rest (60-70%) contained some suspense. Stories were also evaluated holistically on three measures (character, story development, and overall story quality). Eighty percent of third-grade stories were evaluated as weak, while 50% of the rest were judged satisfactory or excellent. These results reveal a correlation between students' maturity and the quality of their reading and writing, and suggest that story writing and literary appreciation are developmental processes. (SRT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Partial funding provided by a University of Houston-Victoria Summer Research Sabbatical and a Small Research Grant from the same university.