Analysis of struggling readers' verbal protocols in response to artists' biographies

Denise Katz, Fordham University


The purpose of the study was to document the metacognitive processes of three middle school students experiencing reading difficulties using the collective case study method. Narrative-informational and informational-poetic biographical picture books were utilized. The students read about individuals in the arts while being taught how to think-aloud in a gradual release-of-responsibility model. Students were provided with supplemental materials (both print and online resources) as a context for their reading as well as instruction in think-aloud strategies. Analyses of verbal protocols were used to document students' progress. Students' motivation towards reading was assessed pre- and poststudy to determine if inclusion in the study influenced their attitudes towards the genre as well as their overall literacy habits and interests. Results showed that students engaged in a range of meaningful think-alouds throughout the study. Their analyses included (a) the language of the text (description of the author's writing style or choice of words), (b) illustration and visual analyses, and (c) social justice connections. Supplemental materials expanded students' understanding of the text, particularly in regards to establishing an historical context. Students' motivation grew over the course of the study in terms of academic and recreational reading attitudes. Instruction through multimodal texts enabled students to be supported as readers of text and visual material alike across both print and online resources. I conclude with a discussion of best practices that enable the twenty-first century student to construct meaning from biographical text and foster the development of multiple perspectives. ^

Subject Area

Education, Middle School|Education, Reading|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Katz, Denise, "Analysis of struggling readers' verbal protocols in response to artists' biographies" (2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3521872.