Reading and Writing

, Volume 31, Issue 9, pp 1997–2015 | Cite as

Promise and feasibility of teaching expository text structure: a primary grade pilot study

  • Stephanie Al OtaibaEmail author
  • Carol McDonald Connor
  • Elizabeth Crowe


Research to guide text structure interventions for the primary grades is very limited, yet as early as in kindergarten, many state standards increasingly emphasize exposure to challenging expository texts. The purpose of the present study was to provide preliminary evidence of the feasibility and promise (or the effects) of three brief text structure interventions for kindergarten, first, and second graders who had average to low-average comprehension and relatively weak vocabulary skills. A total of 172 students participated (with 52, 62, and 58 in kindergarten, first and second grades, respectively). Students were randomly assigned within classrooms to one of three conditions: sequencing, compare and contrast, or cause and effect. Interventionists provided the interventions for four weeks to small groups of students. The findings demonstrated significant growth for all conditions on the taught text structure items of a researcher-made measure; significant growth was also reported on standardized measures of comprehension and oral language measures in the compare and contrast and cause and effect conditions, but not for sequencing.


Reading comprehension Elementary school Literacy Text structure intervention Tier 2 Small group intervention Oral language Primary grades 



The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305F1000027 to Florida State University as part of the Reading for Understanding Research Initiative. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  2. 2.University of California at IrvineIrvineUSA
  3. 3.University AcademyPanama CityUSA

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