Date Approved

1-11-2016

Embargo Period

1-12-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education

Department

Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Browne, Susan

Subject(s)

Language arts (Elementary)

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

In recent years there has been a push for informational text use in the areas of reading and writing. The Common Core State Standards was introduced in 2009 as an initiative to have all students, no matter where they live, be prepared for college and careers. Further the reading panel of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) requires a high proportion of informational text on its assessments particularly as children advance through the grades. The NAEP (2007) developed a framework to look at the distribution of literary and informational passages. By fourth grade the literary and informational passages are evenly split for state testing. By eighth grade, state tests suggest a slight increase with informational texts at 55% and literary passages at 45%. However the passages really show a shift with testing in the twelfth grade as the passages are 70% informational and 30% literary. Thus, it is important that these types of texts are introduced and apparent in the classroom. This is based on what students will need to live a successful life. “Informational literacy is central to success, and even survival, in advanced schooling, the workplace, and the community” (Duke, 2013). As a result of this increase in demand of non-fiction, this thesis looks at how students are currently viewing and using nonfiction when they have a choice in their literature. It further examines what teaching practices can be used to shape students view of informational texts. The goal of this study is to understand if students choose nonfiction when their interests are considered in the nonfiction selection.

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