Author(s)

Kerri Colletto

Date Approved

8-11-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.T. Teaching

Department

Teacher Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Madden, Marjorie

Subject(s)

Composition (Language arts)

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to determine how students' attitudes towards writing are affected when authentic writing activities are implemented into the traditional writing curriculum. The students kept Lifebooks for a period of three weeks and there was an emphasis placed on writing that was personal and meaningful. Qualitative inquiry strategies such as my teacher research journal, student surveys, individual interviews, discussion groups and student work were used to collect data. Sorting and categorizing data within and between data sources revealed that the freedom to choose a topic affects what is written, that having a personal connection affects what is written, that there is a connection between time and the writing that students produce, and how writing can serve as a motivating factor in students' lives. Implications, including how authentic writing activities can be used to enhance a curriculum, will be discussed in the final chapter.

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