The Effects of Using Metaphors, Analogies, and Graphic Organizers in Vocabulary Development and Comprehension on Fourth-grade Students' Reading and Writing Scores

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Union University, 2007 - 142 pages
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The use of metaphors, analogies, and graphic organizers can be categorized as research-proven instructional strategies that help students learn how to identify similarities and differences in information presented to them (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). This study investigated the effects of consistently using metaphors, analogies, and graphic organizers (MAGO System) in vocabulary development and comprehension lessons on fourth-grade students' reading and writing test scores. The STAR Reading Test and the Test of Written Language- Third Edition (TOWL-3) were the instruments used in this study. The 7 fourth-grade teachers in this study used simple lesson plans for the MAGO System during their vocabulary development and comprehension lessons for eight weeks. Before the teachers used the MAGO System, 149 fourth-grade students were given the TOWL-3. There were 20 students who did not take either the pretest or posttest for various reasons. Eventually 80 students were randomly selected from the 129 students who had both pretests and posttests available. The STAR Reading test was given to 80 fourth-grade students as a pretest and posttest. A minor portion of this study was qualitative. The 7 participating fourth-grade teachers' comments about the implementation of the MAGO System, whether the usage of the system enhanced the instructional process, and whether they thought there would be any effect on their students' reading and writing scores was addressed in the open-ended Weekly Information Sheets and Reflection Questionnaires. The primary method of analysis was quantitative. Statistical results revealed that the consistent use of metaphors, analogies and graphic organizers with fourth-grade students in vocabulary and comprehension lessons had an impact on their reading and writing test scores. Tables, as well as narratives, illustrate the statistical findings reported in Chapter 4. Implications of the findings, recommendations, and suggestions for future research are presented in Chapter 5.

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