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ERIC Number: ED525765
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 203
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-9543-9
Exploring Young Children's Response to Three Genres of Literature in Small-Peer Groups
Griffin, Jennifer Adams
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Chicago
This teacher research studied second graders' small-group, peer-led discussions about three genres of literature--realistic fiction, biography picture books, and science information books--across one school year (during three units in the fall, winter, and spring). It set out to explore how this peer talk, in general, mediated children's responses to these books, and more specifically, how the three genres affected these responses. Student responses were analyzed at a micro level and a macro level. The micro analysis in Phase I was concerned with categorizing children's interpretive responses. The findings resulted in eight different response types--Evaluation, Explanation, Connections, Background Knowledge, Affective Response, Dramatization, Questioning, Lack of Understanding--with the responses of Evaluation (28%), Explanation (26%), and Connections (20%) representing the three major types of talk. This micro analysis of interpretative responses did not yield any time differences. Moreover, the patterns of these responses during Phase I did not show any clear interpretations for the types of response by genre. In addition, they did not capture the complexity of the talk in the peer groups. Thus, a more macro analysis, Phase II, was conducted that examined larger segments of discourse, called topic episodes. The findings of this episodal analysis indicated that the second graders talked about distinctly different topics during small-group discussions. The outcomes suggest that genre was the factor that mediated the peer discourse, and this did not seem to be affected by the time the discussions occurred. Although the study relied on this Phase II, episodal analysis, the three major Phase I, micro responses of Evaluation, Explanation, and Connections were incorporated in the interpretive narratives provided in the genre chapters in the thesis. Some patterns seemed to emerge about the rate of response used in the separate genres. There were some similarities in students' discussion of the general topics in the genres. Nevertheless, although the responses were employed differently, both types of discussions involved students explaining and evaluating ideas to construct joint understanding. Children relied on pictures in all three genres, but they were differently employed. Discussion about character and plot emerged only during talk about fiction books. In these conversations students were concerned with identifying the characters, interpreting the character's motivation and understanding the story line. These outcomes demonstrate the saliency of the nature of the genres to the children's reading responses to these texts. Knowledge gained by collective construction of these understandings, can contribute to learning about reading in the classroom. As young readers are gaining emergent understanding of different genre the quality of these responses can become a prominent feature during instruction. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A