Author(s)

Kelly Turner

Date Approved

3-23-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education

Department

Language, Literacy, and Special Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Lee, Valarie

Subject(s)

Composition (Language arts)

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact that using mentor texts in conjunction with the writing workshop would have on struggling first grade writers. A group of eight first grade students participated in the study. The participants had varying writing ability levels. During the study, the students were provided writing instruction with a variety of mentor texts during mini-lessons. After each lesson, the students were given between thirty to sixty minutes to write. The workshop sessions concluded with the students sharing self-selected writing pieces. This format was followed four days a week for the duration of four weeks. The data collection methods used were individual student interviews, anecdotal notes, student-teacher conferences, weekly conferencing records, workshop recordings, and a teacher research journal. The findings of this study suggested that mentor texts and the writing workshop model increased students' interest in writing and their motivation to write. Additionally, a writing community was created throughout this process. Furthermore, the students' awareness in writing developed along with an increase in their self-efficacy. Ultimately, the study concluded that utilizing mentor texts and the writing workshop increased students' writing interests, created a sense of collaboration, and allowed students to take ownership of their learning.

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