Date of Award

Spring 2003

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


The purpose of this study was to determine if the integration of reading in the content area would improve students' vocabulary and content knowledge test scores. The belief of content area literacy is that students learn with text, not from them. An interaction with text provides opportunities for students to enhance their own mental models of the material. This research report reveals the positive effects of teaching reading skills in all curricular areas, and it emphasizes the benefits of immersing students with literature in science, social studies and math, as well as language arts. The researcher compared two fifth grade classes in the areas of vocabulary and content knowledge, after one class had five weeks of social studies content integrated with language arts. Following the five weeks, both classes took the New York State Document Based Questions test in social studies. Although the scores did not show improvement on this particular test, the depth of understanding on the topic was enhanced. The research report concludes with implications for further research, and ideas for practical use of content area reading in the classroom.