Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Arthur Shapiro, Ph.D.


Reading strategies, Instruction, Elementary, Gender differences, Content areas


Fifty-seven pre-fourth-graders from 14 private schools participated to determine (a) if teaching text structure with annotation produced higher comprehension scores than the method of teaching vocabulary, and (b) if the effect of instructional method on reading comprehension was the same for male and female students. Effects were measured by immediate posttest and follow-up test NCE scores of the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test, Fourth Edition (SDRT4) containing components of Comprehension and Vocabulary. The design was a true experiment using a matched comparison-group format. Participants were placed in one of two independent 3-week reading workshop sessions, then randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (a) finding text structure when reading expository text and annotating (TSA group), and (b) extending vocabulary knowledge (VK group). The second session duplicated the first with different participants. Each group received five two-hour lessons.The hypothesis was t

hat scores on the immediate posttest and follow-up test (two months later) on the Comprehension component of the SDRT4 would be higher for pre-fourth-graders in the TSA than in the VK group. The hypothesis was not supported by results of a two 2 (Method) X 2 (Gender) analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with the pretest as the covariate. Analyses indicated:1. Reading comprehension and vocabulary scores on the immediate posttest and the follow-up test were not statistically significantly higher for TSA compared to VK students.2. Females scored significantly higher on the Vocabulary and Comprehension posttest.3. The interaction of Method X Gender was statistically significant on the Vocabulary follow-up test, males benefiting more from vocabulary instruction. Implications suggest: (a) teacher education courses address gender learning differences and schools should examine curricula for male- and female-friendly standards; (b) this study's vocabulary method of instruction inspired children to

use new words in speaking and writing; and (c) identifying text structure and annotating are developmental, maturational skills. Maturity level and gender differences in learning raise questions: At what grade level should text structure with annotation be implemented? How can this method be taught to accommodate gender learning differences?