Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. in Teaching


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education

First Advisor

McBee, Robin


Reading (Elementary); Reading comprehension


Elementary Education and Teaching


In a fourth grade class where the majority of students were reading below grade level, literature circles were introduced and monitored for their ability to (a) raise student motivation to complete class work, (b) improve student interaction and behavior, and (c) raise Fountas and Pinnell reading comprehension levels. Students' class work in the literature circles was compared to similar work from whole group instruction. A rubric measured the attentiveness and behavior of the students in literature circle, whole group, and small group settings. The study was bookended by two Fountas and Pinnell benchmark reading assessments that were compared for signs of reading comprehension improvement. The results show that the students successfully completed literature circle activities with greater frequency and fewer mistakes than other observed class activities. The attentiveness and behavior of the students was improved in literature circle settings over whole group and small group settings. Reading comprehension levels rose at the end of the study, but can not be attributed solely to the introduction of literature circles.