Date of Award


Document Type

Graduate Field Experience

Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Urban Special Education

Colleges & School

College Of Education And Leadership

First Advisor

Ilene Ehr

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Reading comprehension--Study and teaching (Elementary); Vocabulary--Study and teaching; Graphic organizers


This investigation examined the effects of direct instruction of contextually-based vocabulary on the reading comprehension of elementary students. The participants in this investigation included five students enrolled in the Cardinal Stritch University City Center Summer Reading Project ranging from 3rd to 5th grade, two females and three males. These students were all identified as having needs in the area of reading comprehension proficiency. Vocabulary was chosen as the means to address reading comprehension based upon existing research that connected vocabulary acquisition to improved comprehension skills. The interventions of this study focused on providing students with contextually-based vocabulary through direct instruction. The direct instruction included the use of graphic organizers and collaboration with peers while being led by an instructor. Students then applied the instruction of contextually-based vocabulary to reading comprehension exercises. The results indicated that students in this study demonstrated slight increases in successful reading comprehension as evidenced in the results of classroom assessment as well as the Qualitative Reading Inventory-5, a informal inventory that provides information regarding conditions under which students can successfully identify words and comprehend text. Although students showed some progress in the routine and method of implementation of the interventions, the results of the study were affected by the time constraints.


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