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 see if average first grade students in a basal reading program that heavily emphasized phonics and writing showed differences in reading patterns at 20 weeks, compared to average first grade students in a literature based program.

This study examined the oral reading patterns of first graders after 20 weeks of reading instruction. Students were divided into two groups each receiving very different approaches to teaching reading. The basal group concentrated on phonics and writing and followed The Open Court Phonics program. Skills were taught sequentially and consistently. The literature based group taught phonics and skills in the context of the literature and used an older version of The Open Court Phonics program as a guide.

At 20 weeks all students under study were administered running reading records. Oral reading patterns and behaviors were recorded and analyzed. The analysis of the data indicated the basal reading group experienced more success at 20 weeks than the literature group did.