Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (MEd)




The purpose of this project was to develop a thematic unit of children's literature that combines skills-based and meaning-based reading instruction. The curriculum guide was designed for use with third and fourth graders. Lessons concentrated on relating each story to previously read stories through guided questioning. Emphasis was placed on critical reading and thinking skills, as well as the integrating of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The curriculum was reviewed by seven third and fourth grade inservice teachers from two schools. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected using a researcher-designed questionnaire. Results indicated that the teachers surveyed found the curriculum guide to be successful in combining children's literature into a thematic unit and that such a unit is an effective means of teaching reading. Also, the researcher concluded that the curriculum would be useful for teachers desiring to move toward a more holistic instructional approach. In addition, it was found that the curriculum effectively encouraged learner involvement and fostered higher-level thinking skills. Furthermore, the researcher concluded that the curriculum effectively integrated the four language art components in meaning-centered reading experiences which, in turn, enabled children to read, write, listen, and speak more often and at a higher level.

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