Effects of using think-alouds and graphic organizers to improve the inferencing abilities and comprehension of 4th and 5th grade students with special needs.

Allison Ratzburg


In an urban Midwestern school district, six students with special needs participated in a six-week study which evaluated the effects of using think-alouds and graphic organizers to improve their inferencing abilities and overall reading comprehension. Prior to the research, these six students were given two formal assessments. These assessments measured students' inferencing abilities along with their ability to comprehend both implicit and explicit questions about the text. Research began with students observing as the teacher modeled the use of think-alouds while reading text. Students then gradually began to participate in the think-aloud process and eventually were able to use think-alouds with graphic organizers as they read various texts with a partner. Throughout the research, students were given four different informal quizzes to measure progress. At the end of the study, students were given the same assessments as those prior to the study, however, they were asked to read different passages. The results showed that all students made progress in the assessment in which they were to answer implicit and explicit questions. However, one student did not make progress in the assessment that measured his ability to make inferences in the text. This study further explains the results and conclusions of this study along with the strengths and limitations. Effects of Using Think-Alouds and Graphic Organizers