ERIC Number: ED432750
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
The Scarcity of Informational Texts in First Grade.
Duke, Nell K.
Although scholars have called for greater attention to informational texts in the early grades for some time, there have been few data available about the degree to which informational texts are actually included in early grade classrooms, and in what ways. This study provides basic, descriptive information about informational text experiences offered to children in 20 first-grade classrooms selected from very low- and very high-SES (socio-economic status) school districts. Each classroom was visited for 4 full days over the course of a school year. On each visit, data were collected about the types of texts on classroom walls and other surfaces, in the classroom library, and in classroom written language activities. Results show a scarcity of informational texts in these classroom print environments and activities--there were relatively few informational texts included in classroom libraries, little informational text on classroom walls and other surfaces, and a mean of only 3.6 minutes per day spent with informational texts during classroom written language activities. This scarcity was particularly acute for children in the low-SES school districts, where informational texts composed a much smaller proportion of already smaller classroom libraries, where informational texts were even less likely to be found on classroom walls and other surfaces, and where the mean time per day spent with informational texts was 1.9 minutes, with half the low-SES classrooms spending no time at all with informational texts during any of the 4 days each was observed. Strategies for increasing attention to informational texts in the early grades are presented. Contains 100 references, and 5 figures and 4 tables of data. (RS)
Descriptors: Classroom Research, Comparative Analysis, Grade 1, Instructional Materials, Primary Education, Reading Materials, Socioeconomic Status
CIERA/University of Michigan, 610 E. University Ave., Rm. 1600 SEB, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1259; Web site: www.ciera.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; National Inst. on Student Achievement, Curriculum, and Assessment (ED/OERI), Washington, DC.; National Inst. on Early Childhood Development and Education (ED/OERI), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement, Ann Arbor.