Applying Literature Vocabulary to Increase Reading Comprehension

English Language Arts, 7th Grade

Krystle Williams

7th Grade ELA, Central Middle School, Gates County Public Schools


The purpose of this study is to share the results of research that focused on teaching seventh grade English Language Arts students in an honors, regular, and inclusion class to apply their literature vocabulary knowledge to questions in order to increase reading comprehension. Strategies were focused on specific standards and question types, and instruction was scaffolded through direct instruction, modeling, and independent practice. Data was collected using a pre/post assessment consisting of three reading passages (informational, literary, and poetry) prior to, and at the completion of the intervention. Pre/post quizzes were also administered throughout the intervention to monitor growth of each student's reading comprehension. The data from pre/post quizzes concluded that teaching students to apply their literature vocabulary knowledge to questions did have a positive impact on reading comprehension. The data collected from the pre/post assessment did not show significant growth, and it is recommended that ELA teachers not use the same reading passages as both the pre/post assessment. Pre/post survey data was also collected, which showed that students felt having strategies to help them understand questions made the questions easier to answer.

About the Governor's Teacher Network

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The Governor's Teacher Network (GTN) was established by North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, in partnership with the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). This initiative, funded by the state’s Race to the Top grant, provides a statewide platform for teachers to share their best work around instruction and professional development and help advance Race to the Top (RttT) funded educational remodeling efforts across the state.

Through the GTN, approximately 450 outstanding teachers from across North Carolina were selected to serve for one year as instructional and professional development experts and facilitators. Network teachers remained in their current roles but worked to gain a deeper understanding of the State's RttT-funded work in one of two "pathways," both related to the establishment of Home Base.

In Pathway 1, teachers created professional development sessions and materials (face-to-face, webinars and/or online content) to address classroom instructional needs and increase the PD offerings in the state-wide Professional Development system in Home Base. Projects were developed from action research performed in participating teachers' classrooms. This wiki represents the product of that action research and professional development.