Raising Comprehension Scores through Creative Drama: Action Research in a Professional Development Partnership

By Sherry DuPont.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of the instructional strategy of Creative Dramatics on reading comprehension used with fifth graders.
Two classes of 25 fifth-graders comprised the sample of this study. For the first two months of the school year both groups were involved in the normal reading instruction. Then for the next two months creative drama was also incorporated into the reading instructional routine of the study group.
Students in both fifth grade classes were assessed with the 4Sight Tests at the onset of the study, after being involved in the reading instructional routine, and again after two months of the typical reading instruction in conjunction with creative dramatic activities.
An analysis of the data revealed that when fifth-graders were involved in a treatment of creative dramatics in conjunction with their reading instruction, their reading comprehension scores, as measured by the 4Sight Tests, increased.

Keywords: Literacy, Reading Comprehension, Creative Dramatics, Professional Development Schools

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp.291-302. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.366MB).

Dr. Sherry DuPont

Associate Professor of Education, The Department of Early Childhood/Elementary Education, Slippery Rock University, Grove City, Pennsylvania, USA

I have been a reading professor for the last twenty years. Before that I was an elementary teacher for ten years. I currently teach; “The Teaching of Elementary Reading” and “Reading Assessment and Differentiated Instruction”. I teach my teacher candidates that assessment drives instruction. Therefore, I prepared them to make formal and informal assessments of their elementary children and then adjust their instruction to meet the needs of all the learners. My passion and research for the past twenty years has been in the area of Creative Dramatics. My research has repeatedly shown that children involved in creative dramatic activities will use higher level thinking skills which will result in higher comprehension. Through the use of creative dramatics children will step into the role of a character and make inferences based on the character’s involvement and therefore, they are able to go beyond the printed word and read between the lines for a deeper meaning. I believe that educators should be passionate teachers and excellent role models who apply effective teaching strategies in the classroom. I equip my students with concrete approaches for effective teaching while modeling these practices in my daily classroom interactions.

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