Elementary school children's literacy practices: Acquiring knowledge through multiple sources

Gina Marie Gallo, Fordham University


Proficiency in reading, responding to and connecting ideas across informational texts has become a priority in the reform of reading instruction. Researchers agree that successful readers have comprehension skills to understand, examine, and synthesize large quantities of information. However, there is limited research aimed at defining the ways in which elementary age students effectively approach the complex task of constructing meaning within and across multiple informational texts on the same topic. Aiming to fill this gap I examined the informational literacy practices of third, fourth, and fifth grade participants as they attempted to construct knowledge of a topic while reading informational text. The study raised questions about the ways participants processed information from single and multiple informational texts, and explored the degree to which participants’ processes changed as they read more texts on topic. The data revealed that participants read actively by applying a multitude of reading comprehension strategies to acquire knowledge while reading texts on a single topic. Participants were also skilled at using acquired knowledge when answering text-based questions, forming thoughts, and stating opinions. However, participants did not develop a global interpretation of the text. Data revealed that they were not skilled in integrating information from multiple texts or applying reading comprehension strategies that assisted in cross-document comprehension.

Subject Area

Elementary education|Literacy|Reading instruction

Recommended Citation

Gallo, Gina Marie, "Elementary school children's literacy practices: Acquiring knowledge through multiple sources" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10256674.