Publications & Presentations


Improving boys' reading comprehension with readers theatre

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Research on readers theatre has indicated that it can improve elementary students' reading achievement and can be motivating, engaging and enjoyable, even for reluctant or struggling readers. Because of the potential for improvement and the engagement factor, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of readers theatre on young male students, a population that tends to be more reluctant to read. This matched quasi‐experimental study examined the differential effects of readers theatre on second‐grade boys' decoding, word knowledge and reading comprehension. Students were pretested and posttested using the Gates‐MacGinitie Reading Test. With the use ofa propensity score matching procedure, 46 students were matched from a sample of 76 on the basis of pretest scores, English‐language learner status, at‐risk status and whether the students received special education services. A repeated measures analysis of variance detected a time effect on the reading comprehension measure, which was qualified by an interaction effect, indicating that boys in the treatment group outperformed those in the business‐as‐usual comparison group. Implementing readers theatre in elementary classrooms may be an effective means for engaging young male students in the reading process and improving their reading comprehension. Additional implications for instruction, limitations and directions for future research are also discussed.


Professor Landreth contributed to this article while at Sam Houston University.