Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Arthur Smith


The purpose of this study was to examine how the implementation of a balanced literacy program affects the writing of kindergartners in comparison to the writing of kindergartners involved in a more traditional instructional program. This study involved 36 kindergartners from two classrooms in a suburban district in Western New York. The chosen classrooms were selected because of the differences in their early literacy practices. The kindergartners in this study were part of a full day program. The subjects came from diverse socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. A heterogeneous mix of ability levels was represented. The kindergartners were given a writing prompt to respond to in the month of May. The writing that was exhibited was used as a reflection of the overall skill level acquired by the students as a result of the different teaching practices implemented in the two participating classrooms. The data from these responses were evaluated by teachers using the Developmental Writing Continuum. A t-test was used to compare the results of the students' evaluations reported on in this study. Analysis of the data from the t-test shows that there was a statistically significant difference between the two approaches to teaching writing to kindergartners as studied in this report. The kindergartners involved in the balanced literacy framework classroom showed further developmental writing abilities than those kindergartners in the more traditional instructional program. The results presented in this study will hopefully encourage educators to reflect on the benefits of employing a balance literacy framework in early childhood classrooms.