Date of Award

Fall 11-21-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Sue Robb


This study explores the kinds of talk that take place during literature circles, and how those kinds of talk impact the students’ comprehension of a text. This study also investigates how the use of reading roles or jobs impact the way students converse during literature circle discussions. The participants in this study were 4th grade students who had a variety of reading levels. Data were collected through the use of audio recordings, observations, and student work (exit tickets). The data were collected and analyzed using a constant comparison method. The findings of this study show that the students took part in a variety of kinds of talk, such as: presentational talk, cumulative talk, exploratory talk, anecdotal talk, and performing voice. The students showed varying levels of comprehension that coincided with the kind of talk that was taking place. Students showed the most increased comprehension of the text when they took part in exploratory talk. Another finding of this study was that reading roles or jobs can help and/or hinder the quality of conversations depending on how the job was shared. When students partially shared their jobs, they were able to elicit conversation from their classmates, in comparison to when they shared their jobs in their entirety, and little to no conversation followed.