Date of Graduation

Fall 2008


Master of Science in Education in Literacy


Reading, Foundations, and Technology

Committee Chair

Beth Hurst


vocabulary, comprehension, concepts, strategies, content area

Subject Categories

Other Education


The purpose of this study was to determine the impact that the use of vocabulary concept strategies embedded in science instruction had on third grade students' comprehension of content and their perceptions of the effectiveness of the strategies. Research has indicated that students learn best when word learning is personalized, and when students are repeatedly exposed to words through varying instruction and natural contexts. With this in mind, it is important for teachers to use strategies that help students understand specific words and concepts. The population for this research study was a third grade classroom in one elementary school in rural southwest Missouri. Students' archival chapter test scores were compared between chapters taught with the use of vocabulary concept strategies embedded in instruction and chapter taught without vocabulary concept strategies embedded in instruction. Overall, teaching with vocabulary concept strategies produced a significant difference on chapter test scores. The use of strategies for the chapter test about food chains presented a significant difference when compared to a test over the same subject without the use of strategies. The use of strategies, however, did not yield a significant difference for the chapter test on energy. Exit cards were presented to students after taking part in each vocabulary concept strategy. Students were asked to rate the strategy as either a large smiley face, smiley face, neutral expression, frown, or large frown in order to determine their perceptions. Over 50% of the students indicated a smile of some form about all of the strategies used.


© David S. Brown

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