Author(s)

Tara Hart

Date Approved

2-11-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education

Department

Language, Literacy, and Special Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Brown, Susan

Subject(s)

Language arts (Elementary);Nursery rhymes;Children's songs

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate a non-traditional method of enhancing language through the use of songs, chants, and rhymes. To investigate this, data was systematically collected and then analyzed in order to determine the specific benefits on the development of oral and written language from the use of these strategies. Prior to the study, each student was assessed using the second edition of the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA2). Using the Word Analysis assessment, they were tested on their ability to identify uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet, rhyme, determine initial sounds of words, and read sight words. The melodic learning strategies of songs, chants, and nursery rhymes were applied in addition to the typical elements of the Kindergarten curriculum to establish growth over the one month study period. Each week of the study, songs were introduced and discussed, sight words were practiced with the use of chants, and nursery rhymes were repeatedly read. This melodic learning approach incorporated strategies to help students read, write, and retain information with the use of rhythm. The DRA2 was again administered after addition of melodic learning strategies was incorporated into the classroom to determine development of the specific language skills. The results revealed that students demonstrated an increase in the areas of rhyming, phonemic awareness, vocabulary knowledge, word recognition, as well as overall motivation.

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