Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Valerie Robnolt

Second Advisor

Lisa Abrams


Guided reading, as developed by Fountas and Pinnell (2001), has been a staple of elementary reading programs for the past decade. Teachers in the elementary school setting utilize this small group, tailored instruction in order to differentiate and meet the instructional needs of the students. The literature shows academic benefit for students who have special needs, such as learning disabilities, autism, and hearing impairments but consideration of academic impact has not been investigated for regular education students. The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to investigate the academic impact of the use of content-related (Group C) and the traditional literature-based (Group L) reading materials. During the Living Systems and Life Processes unit in science, two teachers self-selected to utilized science-related materials for guided reading instruction while the other three teacher participants utilized their normal literature-based guided reading materials. The two groups were compared using an ANCOVA in this pre-test/post-test design. The dependent variables included the Reading for Application and Instruction assessment (RAI) and a Living Systems and Life Processes assessment (LSA). Further analysis compared students of different reading levels and gender. The data analyses revealed a practical but not statistical significance for students in science performance. It was discovered that below level male and female students performed better on the LSA when provided with content-related guided reading materials. As far as reading achievement is concerned, students in both groups had comparable results. The teachers provided guided reading instruction to their students with fidelity and made adjustments to their practices due to the needs of their students. The content-related teachers utilized a larger number of expository texts than the literature-based teachers. These teachers expressed the desire to continue the practice of providing the students with content-related materials.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

November 2012

Included in

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