Date of Award

Spring 1991

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Gerald Bejy

Second Advisor

Luther Smith

Third Advisor

Not Legible


Listening to students’ responses to literature allows educators to gain insight on how a child thinks and feels about a text, as well as their level of reading comprehension. This study observes student responses to literature when the text is present and when it is not present. It asks how responses differ between each situation in regards to the quantity and variety of responses. The author selected 2 third grade classrooms in a suburban public elementary school in Western New York to be treated as subject groups. Two books were selected to be read by the classroom teacher. Each class was read one book with the text present for the response session and one book with the text not present. The author observed and recorded all responses during the reading session. After the session, they conferenced with each student individually, observing and recording additional responses to the story. Quantity and variety of responses were tabulated and a comparative analysis was made of the responses given when each book was present and when each book was absent. The author found that nonverbal responses were greater in quantity and variant when the texts were present. Verbal responses were greater in quantity when the text was available during conferencing, but the variety of responses depended on the book. There was no correlation between the presence of the text and long-term responses. The author concludes that the physical presence of a book may elicit more responses and a greater variety of responses than if the book is absent.