Date of Award

5-1991

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent of information preschool children who had been exposed to books and stories had internalized about books and stories. Developmental differences regarding knowledge of story elements and book-reading conventions observed between 3- and 5-year-olds were also probed. A wordless picture book was used to prompt the children to produce oral versions of the story depicted.

The subjects were eight 3-year-olds and eight 5-year-olds enrolled in nursery schools in western New

York.

The researcher tape-recorded the children telling or "reading" their stories and also recorded book-reading behaviors exhibited. The stories were then transcribed. These transcribed stories and the recorded observations were analyzed to determine the story elements and book-reading conventions demonstrated by the children. Multiple raters were utilized in analyzing the children's stories.

The results, including portions of the children's stories, were reported in a qualitative manner.

The findings of the study indicate that both 3- and 5-year-olds have some knowledge of story elements and book-reading conventions. Differences by age included 5-year-olds' greater use of structured introductions and endings for their stories; their production of longer, more focused stories; and the tendency to take greater ownership of the task. Three-year-olds' strengths included noting the activating event in the picture book, using dialogue, and varying their tones of voice.

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