Enhancing Comprehension through Close Reading and Text Based Discussions

Kristin K. Nett

Abstract

This study explored the rate of change in student literary growth, through comparing their comprehension skills when close reading (CR) strategies were taught in isolation, compared to when these strategies were embedded within a text-based discussion (TBD). Research studies supporting TBDs as a way of supporting and strengthening comprehension are included. The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are referenced since students are required to utilize texts as a resource within the CCSS. CR strategies embedded within a TBD are listed as one method designed to strengthen student comprehension skills (CCSS, 2014). Student progress was assessed in several ways to determine the effectiveness of TBDs. Data sources included STAR Reading assessment scores, graphic organizers, and weekly reading tests. Students participated in TBDs only during weeks five through eight. Their rate of growth from weeks five through eight were compared to their growth during weeks one through four. The results from my action research display that students became more careful and independent readers after I implemented the TBDS. Most students from the focus group were regularly observed referencing the text for support with their written and verbal responses. This positively transferred to their performance on assessments as well.