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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Preliminary data on a test of ability to identify the main ideas of paragraphs in expository material Small, Terry 1984

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PRELIMINARY D A T A  ON A TEST OF ABILITY  TO IDENTIFY  THE  IDEAS OF P A R A G R A P H S IN EXPOSITORY M A T E R I A L  by TERRY S M A L L B.Ed., The University of A THESIS SUBMITTED  British Columbia,  1975  IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF  THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R OF A R T S  in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Department of  We accept to  Language  this thesis as conforming the  required standard  THE UNIVERSITY  OF BRITISH  October  ©  Education  COLUMBIA  1984  Terry S m a l l ,  1984  MAIN  In  presenting  advanced Library agree  degree shall  that  purposes  this at  be  of  for  is shall  Language  1984  be  of  available  extensive by  not  fulfilment  University  the  understood  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 2075 W e s b r o o k Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5  Date: October  partial  freely  granted  It  financial gain  Department  it  permission  may  in  the The  make  representatives. for  thesis  Head that  reference  copying my  copying  allowed without  Education  Columbia  the  requirements  British C o l u m b i a , I agree  for  of  of  of  this  and  thesis  Department or my  study. for  for  an  that  the  I  scholarly  or  by  his  publication  of  this  written  further  or  permission.  her  thesis  ABSTRACT The drafts  of  study a  expository  Test  ability  to  required  a  two  preliminary  on  Write  three the  was  collect  recognize  the  major  were  l e v e l s , (grades  Best  the M a i n In  to  study.  six and s e v e n students  Choose  the  of  study  conduct  grade  Test  test  designed  data the  on  main  the  first  ideas  in  and  second  paragraphs  of  material.  The and  was  Title,  Choose  steps. The first  In  the  administered  3/4, 4/5 the  preliminary  step  w a s to  study  twenty-seven  Ideas  in P a r a g r a p h s  a Main  and 5/6) c o n s i s t i n g  Best  design  Question, Write  the  of  four  tasks;  Question  and  Idea.  second  step,  the  main  study,  to  230  fourth,  fifth  in  the  study  administered  the  Main  Ideas  and seventh  in  grade  Paragraphs students  in  schools. Scores  further  revision  collected of  the  will  test.  ii  be  used  as  the  data  base  for  J<  Table of Contents ABSTRACT  ii  LIST  OF  CHARTS  LIST  OF  TABLES  i'i i v  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I. T h e  II.  Problem  A.  Statement  B.  Rationale  C.  Design  1 of  the  Problem  1  for  The  Study  1  of  the  Study  2  1.  Preliminary Study  2  2.  Main  3  Study  D.  D e f i n i t i o n of  E.  Limitations of  F.  Significance  of  the  Study  4  G.  Organization  of  the  Thesis  4  Review A.  B.  of  The 1.  III.  v  the  Terms the  .,...3 Study  4  Related Literature  Importance  of  Teaching  5 Reading  In  the  Content  Areas  Summary  Main  Ideas  5 8  of  Paragraphs  8  Summary  15  of  16  the  Study  Ideas  in  Paragraphs  Areas  3.  Main  in  Content  Studies  for  Ideas  the  2.  Reading  Main  in  Importance  Design  Teaching  Reading  1.  in  of  and  Paragraphs  8 11  A.  Materials  16  B.  Procedures  17  1.  Preliminary Study  17  2.  The  18  Main  Study  •i i i  3.  Summary  23  IV. Results, D i s c u s s i o n , and Recommendations  24  A.  A n a l y s i s of  Data  24  B.  Discussion  29  C.  Recommendations For Future Research  29  D.  Summary  29  APPENDIX A  30  A.  Sample Test Booklet  30  B.  Set A - C h o o s e the Best Title  31  C.  Set B-Wfiich Question Does the Paragraph Answer?  33  D.  Set C - W r i t e the Question  35  E.  Set D-Write the Main Idea  36  APPENDIX B - S A M P L E TEXT BOOKLET  37  A.  Subjective Answer Key  37  APPENDIX C - A N S W E R BOOKLET  38  APPENDIX D - T E A C H E R ' S GUIDE  41  BIBLIOGRAPHY  •.  iv  48  LIST OF  I Population II  Interrater  of  the  TABLES  Study  Reliability  for  19 Scoring  Generative  Responses  21  III  Mean  Scores  on  Main  Ideas  in P a r a g r a p h s - G r a d e  Four  24  IV  Mean  Scores  on  Main  Ideas  in P a r a g r a p h s - G r a d e  Five  25  V VI  Mean Mean  Scores Scores  on on  Main Main  Ideas Ideas  in P a r a g r a p h s ^ G r a d e in P a r a g r a p h s - G r a d e  Six Seven  26 27  LIST OF CHARTS  Small  A d a p t a t i o n of  the  O t t o , B a r r e t t , a n d K o e n k e (1969)  vi  Scale  I.  A . STATEMENT The second of  OF  THE  problem  drafts  on  expository  THE  PROBLEM  PROBLEM  of  the  a test  study  of  was  how  to  to  collect  recognize  data  the  main  on  the  ideas  in  first  and  paragraphs  material.  B. RATIONALE  FOR  THE  For  many  grade  four  upwards  1943;  McKee,  STUDY  years  reading  children  1948;  methodologists  need  Spache,  to  learn  1958;  have  to  read  Herber,  suggested  their  1970;  that  textbooks  Hennicks,  from  (Shores,  1980;  Storey,  1983). Among content  areas  theorists is  the  skills  is  the  agree  that  fundamental  to  Ferguson,  1969;  McElwee,  1974;  Readence, in  In provide  an  reading  that  in the  a  In understand  spite the  of  the  will  areas  1975;  reading  idea  Spache  of  he/she to  teach  main  ideas  1973;  1982).  higher  main  is  levels  of  ideas.  ideas  (Schick,  publishers  Schmidt  D o l a n , 1978; B o n i n g , 1978; B o n i n g ,  1980).  of  a  paragraph  1  is and  a ' need the  fact  and It  1977;  there  1975;  Dishner  Liddle,  that  Ross,  main  paragraph  Spache  1976;  master  Reading  1960;  and  can find  a  the  (Shores,  Avermann, to  in  paragraphs.  main  1981;  until  and  in  Alexander,  unable  finding  in  successfully  be  teachers  Furbush  the  1970;  Bauman,  agreement idea  ideas  material  Axelrod,  assist  and  important  main  Herber,  student  Durrell,  main  1969;  in  be  understand  1980;  materials  1977; A n d e r s o n , Stone  find  to  1974;  to  to  content  content  attempt  1969;  to  ability  Donlan,  practice  Schumoeher,  the  Roehler,  fact,  comprehension  ability  Shepherd,  1977;  believed,  considered  for that  and  Merrill,  students  to  commercial  2  materials one  are  has  studied  ages  who  Main  Ideas  begin  of  it  evolution  of  OF  test  (1948)  and  Paragraphs  4/5  A  (Catterson  -  grade  the  of  A  major  find  the  setting  or  the  use  idea,  grade does  only  as a t e s t  no  appropriate in  finding  answered: Do  students' can  the  instruction  be  about  main  four  children  level  and  this  skill  require  ability  to  identify  be  answered  if  a  instrument.  steps:  to  and  Fry  Ideas  materials of  B the  that  already  written Main  Hoi l a n d - 1 2 0  and  three  levels;  Formula  grade test,  5, and  Ideas  in  Getting  format,  was  student  answer  booklet  A,  level  written and  these  C -  an  Main  3/4 of Ideas  selected  C.  Results  from  grade  levels:  level  grade  a  McKee's  Ideas  randomly  guide, based as  on  Main  and  sources  Paragraphs  the  B,  measure  three  Paragraphs) and  indicated  a teacher's  Skills  would  based  Paragraphs). Forty-eight  in  Readability  test  P a r a g r a p h s . The  paragraphs);  and  packaged  a  in  difficulty:  Holtby-30  to  prepare  Main  (Catterson  addition  tests.  at  specific  questions  for  MacNieil-120  3, level  Basic  at  influence  Such  children  should  school  type  levels  were  the  In Tests  to  proposed  applying  questions  was  instructional  paragraphs  received  the  two  step  ability  (Catterson  5/6  in  in  the  STUDY  first  were  ability  finding  STUDY  1. PRELIMINARY  used  the  is a v a i l a b l e  required  The  practice  naturally  paragraphs?  THE  study  skill  years  to  have  D o e s task  and r e l i a b l e  students'  of  not  this the  idea  The  students  Paragraphs. Many  over  C . DESIGN  for  may  instruction?  main  valid  or  develop  improve  the  the  may  to  careful  available  6. on  the  Canadian  guide  for  administering  answer  key  for  teachers  3  were  also developed. The  researcher's  school  in  suburban  Twelve  grade  the  Main  the  basis of  2. MAIN  elementary the  was  used  and f i f t e e n  class  in  the r e s u l t s  at  the  grade  an  elementary  preliminary  six students  in P a r a g r a p h s T e s t . R e v i s i o n s w e r e  revised  test  schools  in  study  suburban  were  made  study.  were  to  given  the t e s t  on  obtained.  the  was  administered  suburban on  Vancouver  administrator. from  students  six/seven  STUDY  The  for  grade  Vancouver  seven  Ideas  own  an  schools  Vancouver.  availability as  Reading  by  all s t u d e n t s  Skills  Test  230  The  basis  stated  Reading scores for  Nelson  to  a  students  two  schools  and  were  senior  possible  the  study.  two  selected  typical  school  in the s t u d y  for  in  of  district  were  derived  and  further  use  analysis.  D. DEFINITION Only this  study  OF  TERMS  one definition a main  idea  T e r m s , the o f f i c i a l 1.  The central  2.  The  chief  w a s required  is d e f i n e d  International  in A  p h r a s e . (Harris  of  a  Dictionary  of  F o r the  purpose  passage  of  follows:  a passage.  expressed  a n d H o d g e s , 1981).  of  Reading and Related  R e a d i n g A s s o c i a t i o n p u b l i c a t i o n , as  t h o u g h t , m e a n i n g , or g i s t topic  for  or  implied  in  a  word  or  a  4 E . LIMITATIONS  OF  THE  STUDY  The limitations of the study are: 1.  The sample used in the prelininary study was  2.  The two  not randomly  selected.  schools used in the second study were not randomly  F. SIGNIFICANCE  OF  THE  selected.  STUDY  This study is seen as having significance  in that  it will  provide a  data base for use in revising a projected test of main ideas in paragraphs.  G. ORGANIZATION  The  OF  THESIS  thesis is organized into four chapters. Chapter one  problem. Chapter two the  THE  reviews the related  design of the study and  presents the  literature. Chapter three describes  presents the data; and  summarizes the study and states the conclusions.  finally, Chapter  four  REVIEW  II.  The The of  review  Importance Teaching  of  of  OF  literature  Teaching  Main  Ideas  THE  is  RELATED  discussed  Reading  of  in  LITERATURE  under  the  P a r a g r a p h s ; and  the  following  Content  A r e a s ; The  Studies  Related  headings: Importance  to  Main  Ideas  in P a r a g r a p h s .  A . THE  IMPORTANCE Teaching  it  was  being  a teacher n e e d to  area  of  reading  teach  reading  skills.  is  areas  not  differ  are  too  widely  Some  twenty  need  to  when  she  this  need to  teach  the  the  At  the  almost  that  reading  in the  that  is  a  will  transfer  is  reading  of  what  As  AREAS  early  as  1943  h e / s h e taught,  agreed  that  important  to  student's  good  read  well  in  not  automatic  there  was  was  a  that  teach  content  general  reading  the  content  areas.  because  relationships,  concluded  Earle  (1969)  most  when  the  same  of  content  reasoning,  competence  Still  content  time  area  later,  content  that  e x p r e s s e d the  teaching  content  area.  idea  important.  (1948)  it  that  he/she  CONTENT  types  in  these  idea  when  teaching.  benefits  insisted  THE  textbooks.  that  Spache  later  important  (1973)  McKee  out  importance us  is  vocabularies, fact  skillful  years  reminded  neglect  accept  after  together.  Earp  that  a student  stress  that  information.  only  taught  warned  in  areas  r e a d their  pointed  idea  comes  he s a i d that  1943).  to  (1958)  the  IN  teacher, regardless  how  He  READING  content  (Shores,  a guaranteee  background  areas  every  students  Spache  TEACHING  in the  s a i d that  stressed  and  reading  Later,  ability He  OF  same  and the  reading  N i l e s (1969) w a s reading  teachers,  in  the  being  Herber(1970)  process  suggesting a content  areas  specialists,  advocated  the  often strong  areas.  teachers  instruction  5  of goes  all  types  on  all  must  day.  In  recognize the  same  and year  6  Spache  and  reading  becomes  the  Spache  educational  claimed read  that  using  basal not  assigned  content  content  stated  that ability  said,  children  a student  teach the  have  face  in  is  read  serious  this  that  not  they  They to  narrative areas.  cannot  with  materials, therefore  of  learn  content  only  difficulty  area  area.  mostly  in the  students  content  shortcomings  containing  to  many  have  to  realizes  readers,  that  read  commercial,  making  the  teaching  important.  concern,  understand  Catterson the  (1974),  specific  it  is  suggested  patterns  (1978)  content  areas  do  or  not  of  the  writing  importance  that  occur  in  depends  classes.  Starting  content  materials  but  is  upon in  for  the  that  w e l l . He and  about  to  Catterson's  children  ability  to  read  idea  correlates  relationship  successful  major  ability  the  and the learn  the  a  between  when  he  highly a  with  learner's  mathematics  mathematics  general  reason  noted  moves  his/her  textbooks  of  The  his/her  believed  read  also  and  with  is  teachers  such,  also  to  reading  in  mathematics.  English class  success  agree  development  necessary  Lunstrum  to  mathematics.  development  reading  reading  appeared  read  of  university  faces  one  students  basal  prepared  mathematical  to  that  be t e a c h e r s  the  that  prepare  very  (1976)  the  mathematical he  this  when  necessity  areas. Uprichard  their  and  but  and t e a c h e r  the  difficulties  maintained  textbooks  students  vital  problem  readers  area r e a d i n g  helping  that  the  adequately  Addressing of  and  the  (1974)  supplementary, of  of  noted  more  system  McElwee the  even  part  material, do  (1973)  (p.  into to  fourth student types  failure  why 2)  the  that  grade,  he  as  a  unique  students student  areas  material  much  entering leaves of  provided  pointed  is e x p e c t e d not of  teach  many  content  read the  to  out, only  thinking  the  his  his/her in  these student  to  master  the  that  pertain  to  7  e a c h a r e a . Kurlik  (1980)  have  this  success  content  in  area  areas  evidence  is  provided  traditional  practise  IV-C  Project  of  they  necessitates,  they  on  the  teaching  of  reading  contains  technical  the  same  reading  readers  these  skills  and  more  of  if  taught  to  learning  Sisson only  students  the  of  the  how  of  in all  student to  is  read  to  in  of  complex  in  Gaskins  than  the  the  that  "do content  (1982) is  job."  area  In  to  He s a i d the thereby  the  In  their  skimmed  the  material.  This  rate  concluded  must  that  the  grades. area  and  reading  Sisson. English  a higher O'Mara  She prose  density  of  by  O'Mara  found  that  because  it  information.  and  claimed  that  even  the  nonfictional  material  that  is  her  opinion  there  is  little  in  transfer  textbooks.  has w a r n e d  extraneous  gathering,  important.  the  using  subject.  reading  They  content  challenged  the  that  and  reading  supported  s k i l l s taught  not  Storey  (1981)  of  content  Henrichs  who  in the  carelessly  taught  subjects  read  separate  reading.  literature  findings  a  often  be  to  (1980)  as  v o c a b u l a r y , s y m b o l s , and  important.  information  much  that  understanding  purpose  more  does  s y s t e m , reading frequent  and  and s t u d y  Finally,  to  be  students  little  that  the  is  year  that  is e s s e n t i a l  underscored  and  reading  with  examination  reading  of  opinion  must  importance  teaching  type  content  basal  the  he/she  Henrichs  say,  depend  (1981)  the  found  textbook  An  of  by  mathematics  the  then  with  areas. Further  In  concurred  t h a t , as  the  reading  students or  English  early, emphasis on  making  reading  in  move  skill  the  through  class  becomes  aquisition  content  the  areas  shifts that  8  '.  SUMMARY It  seems  teaching  reading  stated  that  success  clear in  not  in  that  the  only  acquiring  the  literature  content  is  areas.  reading  content  in  supports A  the  number  the  of  content  information  but  importance authorities  areas  that  it  of have  important  must  be  for  actively  taught.  B. MAIN  IDEAS  If need  it  to  is  agreed  inform  subskills  that  for  cited  consider  is it  AND  content  themselves  required  commonly writers  OF PARAGRAPHS  about  content  the  critical  area  the  area  ability  to  and  READING  IN  reading  THE  should  CONTENT be  taught,  subskills required. Although reading  obtain  publishers  is  lengthy,  main have  ideas  one  of  produced  AREAS teachers  the  of  list  of  the  most  paragraphs.  Many  materials  related  to  it.  1. IMPORTANCE There .  addressed  that  evidence  educators  ideas  in  for  he/she  be  he  of  the  depends  PARAGRAPHS a  period  of  main  ideas  in  a  taken  all the  understands thought,  that  be  IN  over  teaching  cannot  understanding  understanding,  must  of  IDEAS  example, stated  paragraphs  a student's that  that  importance  (1934),  guarantee an  MAIN  the  Thorndike main  is  OF TEACHING  student's  for  words main  paragraphs.  He  a  specialized  of  emphasized  in a p a r a g r a p h of  have  understanding  granted.  idea  upon  years  does  not  paragraph. Such abilities  which  taught..  Some  time  later,  understand  the  main  contained  idea  McKee  relationships therein.  (1948)  among The  agreed  sentences superior  that in  reader,  a a  student  needs  to  paragraph  and  the  he  said,  seems  to  9  determine he  the  added,  main  most  paragraphs.  Betts teacher  of  a paragraph  students  McKee  in p a r a g r a p h s  idea  are  encouraged  not  skillful  the  supported  guidance  in  McKee's  learning  However,  finding  ideas  main  instruction  in e l e m e n t a r y opinion  to  unconsciously.  at  systematic  and s u g g e s t e d b e g i n n i n g (1954)  almost  main  school  stating  understand  of  that  the  (p  in  ideas  92).  students  main  need  ideas  of  that  the  include  the  paragraphs. At  about  the  organization  of  teaching  main  of  Since appears  that  suggested will  be  same  ideas  is  there  by  taught  ideas  content  in  is  to  a  find  (1956) w a s  through  various  pointing  steps  out  which  paragraphs.  material  Robinson  able  t i m e , Durrell  appears  need  for  (1960).  He  main  to  have  actual  teaching  suggested  ideas  inherent  readily,  that  will  to  difficulties  occur.  students, need  a  it  This  was  before  they  great  deal  of  level  of  assistance. Arnsdorf content  area  to  main  find  said,  is  which  that is  (1963)  pointed  textbooks ideas many  in  is  that  important  paragraphs.  content  considered  an  out  area  higher  than  A  the  reason major  textbooks the  high  readability  to  teach  problem  are  often  in  students this  written  for  area, at  grade  level  which  pointed  out  that  this  which  is  closely  how  a  he  level  they  are  assigned. In  1969  especially and  evident  densely  teaching content  Ferguson  of area  in  social  packed main  agreed  with ideas  reading.  and  studies ideas in  material  and  concepts.  paragraphs  is  He  essential  problem  believed for  is  structured that  success  the in  10  The importance it  following  year  of  the  finding  s e e m e d that  were  unable  of  many  to  stating  do  main  comprehend  Campbell echoed  the  helping. students same  ideas  Spache's  learning  to  According idea  is  to  In (1978)  successfully  difficult  main and  in  content  (1973)  such  are  as  teach  will  the  be  skill  able  to  and  also  Vardian  paragraphs area  advanced  (1973) as  a  who  all  means  of  about  the  materials. At that  the  by  teaching  of  neglected.  (1976) have  both  have  stressed  of  being  supported  the  paragraphs  R e a d e n c e (1977)  students  material  comprehension  to  was  concurred  be  ideas  of  their  students  readability  ideas  both  of  area  the  levels.  and A l e x a n d e r and  despite  content  necessary  that  s h o u l d not  that  in  able  importance content  identify  all  content  area  reading  not  taught  this  skill,  recognizing  organizations,  Spache of  areas.  the  main  skills.  They  then  other  summarizing,  and  weakened.  stated they  summary  distinguish what  with  Spache  is  Johnson  main  fundamental  skills  it  with  and  reading  detriment  higher  teach  for  agreement  who  of  (1972),  statement  if  are  at  concern  and  (1975)  most  that  outlining  often  deal  Dishner  reading/study  to  ensure  to  read  the  thought  form  to  in p a r a g r a p h s  Axelford and  ideas  time,- S p a c h e  main  the  Hence  material  insisted  idea w h e n  task.  Janz  need  (1970)  this  (1963)  (1972),  main  s t u d e n t s , to  content  Arnsdorf's  Herber  the  with that  Dishner in  order  must  be  or  main  main  separates good  and R e a d e n c e are  able  for to  students  bring  idea, Donlan  idea  of  readers  a  read  information (1980)  paragraph  from  to  Lunstrum  of  ineffective  content  together  agreed  and  that  content readers.  Taylor material  into  some  being material  able is  11  Finally,  Kameenui  area  textbooks  them  difficult  2. STUDIES  to  that  descriptive  There  was  main  idea of  three  The score main  idea  grade  subjects  Otto, needed  fifth  to  formulate  determine main  more  conclude  that  the  elementary  later  formal  little  conducted  at  noticed  the  paragraphs.  study  to  seek  They  tested  and  girls  in  to  read  and  grade  grade task  that  responding  literature  Madison, Wisconsin  first  the  about  determine in  in  four  asked  on  A  to  a  ideas  known  statements.  boys  second  is  ideas  conducted  the  main  paragraphs.  main  from  of  for  been  graders  subjects  the  state  the  did  not  level.  subjects of  deriving  many with  study.  of  a  literal  these  second  statements  which  i d e a (ie. t i t l e ) .  and if  Koenke fifth  material. main years.  concluded graders,  idea s t a t e m e n t s  complex  reading  idea  that  capable  main  Barrett  grade  PARAGRAPHS  in  and  making  IN  f i n d the  individually  level  paragraphs.  ideas  n u m b e r s , of  content  in  main  H o w e v e r , they  were  the  to  paragraphs written  statement.  approximated  with  as  readability  that  ideas  of  (1969)  found  warned  materials,  have  childrens'  equal  tested  IDEAS  main  fifth  have  high  importance  Koenke  experimenters  as w e l l  MAIN  published  and 200  were  student  main  for  regarding  Each  for  read  are a b l e  and  s e c o n d graders  schools.  to  studies  students  data  a  stated  few  (1982)  at  FOR  read  Barrett  Carnine  written  related  to  which  Otto,  the  the  ability  shows  extent  students  of  and  students'  often  READING  spite  paragraphs  200  for  IN  In  review  are  and  of  idea  who  simple  They  that  stated  instruction  further  appear  to  paragraphs, can that should  such be  research be do  able the  research postponed  is to  same might until  12  Later, effect  of  main  idea  utilized 531  Williams  and  paragraph and  structure  find  the  a population  secondary  investigated beginning, underline  the  summarizing secondary  of  topic 382  effect  of  the  end  of  topic its  pupils  idea.  were  attempted  pupil's  sentence  grades  sentence  main  a  elementary  in  or  (1972)  on  pupils  middle, the  Stevens  to  write  The  paragraphs  on  the  title for  the  fourth  found  that  the  summarize  the  The  topic  at  the  to  study six  sentence pupils'  the  and  experimenters  for  and  The  three  the  a  determine  paragraph.  ten.  of  paragraph  to  grades  to  and  written  a  pupils  placement a  ability  of  seven  to  each  at  the  ability  to  paragraph  elementary  sixth  grade  and levels  respectively. Williams easier  for  and  elementary  beginning  of  the  positions.  On  the  was  neither  secondary  first  to  statement second  paragraphs other nor  the when  paragraphs  appeared  detect  and  in  research  conducted any  to  topic it in  tasks  were  sentence  was  in  which  the  was  the  much at  other  topic  the two  sentence  cause  the  most  difficulty  for  was  a to  paragraphs  was  conducted  by  Van  Blaricom  and  two  experiment  was  e x p e r i m e n t s . The  differences  generating  experiment  sentences  when than  hand, last  related  (1976) w h o  designed  students  criterion  students.  Further White  Stevens  had  main  between  idea  selecting  statement;  determine  whether  an  on  effect  first  the  the  a  main  purpose  existence  selecting  or  graders  from  of of  generating  idea the topic main  idea r e s p o n s e s . The school two  for  public  experimenters the  first  used  experiment  schools for  the  100  fifth  and  they  second  used  experiment.  120  fifth  a  semi-rural  graders  from  13  Van between They  Blaricom  teh  control  noted  successful were  and  that in  White  and  less  experimental  than  s e l e c t i n g the  also  successful  fifty  in  dependent  measures  researchers  indicate  that  and that  main  They  topic  that  the  idea  from  differences  first  experiment.  students among  main  idea the  generation)  who four  were options  response  with  scores on  both  were  greater  for  sentences.  and  that  these  the  generating  i d e a c o m p r e h e n s i o n is  believe  the  of  a  and  concluded  selecting  in  second experiment  (selection  containing  The  main  generating  s u c c e s s . A l s o , in the  significant  groups  percent  correct  comparable  paragraphs  discovered  results  main  these  ideas* are  affected  conclusions  of  by  have  different  paragraph  serious  experiments tasks  organization.  implications  for  testing. Three test  the  but  that  years  assumption it  required  is  She  and  questioned  performance  on  grades  and  three The  type  on  apparent idea to  first main  attenpt  the  main by  idea  certain  identified  type  of  (1979) c o n d u c t e d  comprehension factors  two  main  factors  idea  idea  task.  The  nature  study:  of  the  passage  type  sixty  to  task,  asked.  question  utilized  study  a single  questions  and  study  not  her  paragraph  a  another  in the  in  passage organization  main  is  inherent  whether  The affect  pupils  in  four. factor  idea  increasing  statement.  Van Blaricom  that  affected  task.  organization study  later  The three  Van Blaricom  performance.  She  sophistication: pupils  were  tasks for  studied  was  selected  the  asked  topic, to  three the  read  each paragraph.  the  effect  of  question  title,  twenty  and  question types the  paragraphs  of  main and  14  The  second  factor studied how  the presence of a topic  sentence  in a paragraph affects main idea comprehension. The pupils were to  read twenty  did  not. Three  main  paragraphs, of which  ten had topic  main idea questions f o l l o w e d each  and ten  paragraph.  Van  Blaricom found that there were degrees  idea  comprehension  questions and that  sentences  asked  of sophistication of  pupil  performance  varied  with the required task. She also reconfirmed that the presence of topic sentence in a paragraph affects main idea The sequence  experimenters f o r main  Secondly, there asking  for  idea  is a  main  concluded,  firstly,  comprehension  need  idea  comprehension. that  should  be  to consider paragraph  comprehension  an  instructional  used  in schools.  organization  and  differentiate  (1981)  attempted  when  instruction  accordingly. In how of  a  more  skillful  recent  study  Bauman  students are at finding  83 third  graders and 89 sixth  ideas in paragraphs. A  graders were  their  own  from  classroom textbooks and main  The  classrooms. The  main  students  read  used  unaltered  in this  total  study in  expository  idea comprehension  results indicated that students tended  to find out  prose  was assessed.  not to comprehend the main  idea of a paragraph. They did have some success at stating the main idea larger to  of one thought  or two  sentences  units. Bauman  but they  concluded  teach students how to comprehend  area reading materials.  that  experienced educators  difficulty  with  should continue  main ideas, especially  in content  15 Ii.  SUMMARY  Educators teaching  main  over ideas  the  that  content determine  area  finding reading  have  in paragraphs.  taught. However, in spite stated  years  the  discussed  the  It is also a skill  of the fact that a great main  skill,  idea  there  of has  a  paragraph  been  little  importance which  many  authors  is an research  the sequence in which students acquire this s k i l l .  must  of be have  important done  to  III. DESIGN OF THE STUDY This studies  chapter  presents a description  and the procedures employed  of the materials  in collecting  data on a test  ability of intermediate pupils in recognizing the main expository  A.  in  the  of the  ideas in paragraphs of  material.  MATERIALS  The  study required the administration  test. Three Ideas  used  in  existing  main  ideas  in paragraphs  3/4 (Catterson  Paragraphs  Holtby), were  examined.  Each  package  Main  Getting  Main  level  Ideas  instructional  and McNeill),  4/5 (Catterson and Hoiland), and  Paragraphs  of a  Paragraphs  packages:  the  Ideas  in  Main  Ideas  Main in  5/6 (Catterson and  consisted  of four  criterion  tasks: A ) Choose the Best Title; B) Choose the Best Question; C) Write the Question; and D) Write the Main two  Idea Statement  generative tasks in which answers From  preliminary  these three study, sixty  test be used  sets  had to be created).  of existing  paragraphs  in this study. Each  (two objective tasks and  were  paragraphs randomly  test consisted  and results selected  of twenty  from the  for the total paragraphs, five  paragraphs for each criterion task. The criterion tasks were: A ) Choose the Best  Title, B) Which  Question Does  Question, and D) Write the Main When each  the Fry Readability  of the three  level  the Paragraph  Answer?, C) Write the  Idea (see samples, Appendix A). Scale  was applied  packages, the paragraphs  to the paragraphs in were  found  to be on  grade levels 3, 5 and 6, respectively. In addition each  to the test, an answer  key f o r each  criterion  level was also developed (Appendix B). Student answer  designed  (Appendix C) and a teacher's guide based  16  task at  booklets were  on the format of  the  17  Canadian  Test  of  Basic  was written for teachers (Appendix  Skills  D).  PROCEDURES  B.  The procedures  of the study  involved two major phases: a  1. PRELIMINARY  a.  STUDY  Population  A twelve  total  of  seventh  twenty-seven  graders,  were administered the  in a  Main  students, suburban  Ideas  in  fifteen  sixth  Vancouver  Paragraphs-  graders  elementary  and  school  consisting of forty  Test  eight paragraphs, sixteen in each of three levels, four for each criterion task.  b.  Test  Administration  The packages  preliminary study were  took  administered  during  place  in May  three  1983. The  sittings. Test  three  booklets  test were  scored by the researcher.  c.  Analysis  of  The LERTAP  Data  and  results  of  PROGRAM  Results  the  at the  preliminary University  study of  were  British  analyzed  Columbia  Center. Based on the analysis of the data collected it was 1.  A  number  2.  The  grade  of the test items were not performing seven  students  scored  significantly  using  a  Computing found that:  acceptably. higher  on  the test  than the sixth graders. 3.  Those students who teacher  scored  were perceived as being better readers by the  higher  on  the test  than  those  perceived by the teacher as being poor readers.  students  who  were  18 4.  The  Hoyt  Estimate  of  Reliability  f o r each  individual  set of  paragraphs was not high. However, the reliability f o r the entire test was 5. d.  found to be 0.86.  The range of scores was 16 to 44, with the mean being about 34. Discussion  As  a result of the findings obtained from  the preliminary  study  it was concluded: 1.  Scoring  inconsistencies in the subjectively scored parts of the test  demanded a scoring  protocol.  2.  Some revisions of paragraphs were required.  3.  In-service  training  f o r administrators  of the test  is needed to  ensure maximum student performance.  2. THE  a.  MAIN  STUDY  Materials  Based  on the findings  of the preliminary  study several  were made f o r the major study. These changes  were:  1.  in  A number of paragraphs in the Main  Ideas  Paragraphs  changes  test were  altered or deleted by one of the original authors (Catterson). A l s o , one to  paragraph and corresponding task were added bring  Paragraphs  2.  Reading  the total  number  of paragraphs  test to sixty, twenty at each scores f o r each  to each  in the  Ideas  in  level.  student in the study were  the Nelson Reading Skills Test (1977).  Main  section  obtained from  19  An  eight  point  (1969) twelve generative  CHART I  -  scale, adapted point  main  from  the Otto, Barrett  scale, w a s developed  and Koenke  f o r marking  the t w o  idea responses (Chart 1).  Small Adaptation of the Otto, B a r r e t t , and Koenke (1969) Scale f o r Numerical Ordering  Otto, B a r r e t t and Koenke (1969)  Scale Value  Small Adaptation of Otto, B a r r e t t , and Koenke (1969)  Scale Value  No response  0  No response  0/8  I r r e l e v a n t or i n c o r r e c t material  1  I r r e l e v a n t or i n c o r r e c t material  1/8  One element p a r t i a l l y given  2  One element p a r t i a l l y given - a key word but too global  2/8  One element too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y stated, plus i r r e l e v a n t or i n c o r r e c t data  3  One element too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y stated, plus i r r e l e v a n t m a t e r i a l or i n c o r r e c t data  3/8  One. element too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y stated  4  One element too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e d , but no i r r e l e v a n t or i n c o r r e c t data  4/8  Two elements too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e d , plus i r r e l e v a n t or i n c o r r e c t data  5  Two elements too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e d , plus i r r e l e v a n t or i n c o r r e c t data  5/8  Two elements too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y stated  Two elementa too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e d , but no i r r e l e v a n t o r i n c o r r e c t data  6/8  One element correctlystated plus i r r e l e v a n t or Incorrect data  One or two elements c o r r e c t l y stated, plus some minor i r r e l e v a n t or i n c o r r e c t data  7/8  One element c o r r e c t l y stated  One o r two elements stated correctly  8/8  One element c o r r e c t l y stated plus one element too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y stated plus i r r e l e v a n t or i n c o r r e c t data One element c o r r e c t l y 10 stated plus one element too g e n e r a l l y or s p e c i f i c a l l y stated Two elements c o r r e c t l y stated, olus i r r e l e v a n t or incorrect  data  11  20 b.  Population  The intermediate  and Main  Procedures Ideas  students  in  test  Paragraphs  in eight  was  classes from  administered  t w o schools  Vancouver (Table 1).  TABLE I - Population of the Study  School One  School Two  Grade  Number  Grade  Number  4  32  4  26  5  19  5  35  6  26  6  7  33  7  TOTALS  110  -  27 32  120  to 220  in suburban  21  The  two  schools  selected  Vancouver elementary  c.  Test  Ad mi ni strati  Teachers,  for the study  are typical  of  suburban  schools as stated by senior staff administration.  on  involved  in  the  testing  were  provided  in-service  sessions during which testing procedures were outlined. During week  in May, 1984 all students  levels of the for  Main  Ideas  of  were  test  researchers.  of the three  test. Three sessions were  Paragraphs  answer  The  booklets  eight  point  were  scale  collected  based  Koenke (1969) scale f o r numeric order  used  on  and marked the Otto,  was used  by the  Barrett and  f o r distributing  marks  responses. To  for  each  testing. The  to  administered  the first  ensure  reliability  in scoring  the scoring of the generative  responses,  a reliability  measure  responses was derived by randomly  selecting ten answer booklets which were evaluated by two independent markers. measured Package  The  results  from  for reliability for the Social  Columbia  Computing  presented  in Table 2.  with  these  independent  researchers' results  Sciences  Center.  two  The  evaluations  using  were  the Statistical  ( S P S S ) at the University of British Pearson  Reliability  C o e f f i c i e n t s are  TABLE  Level  2  -  Interrater Reliability for Scoring Generative Responses on Main Ideas in Paragraphs  Raters  Reliability Coefficient  1/2 1/3 2/3  .961 .961 .997  1/2 1/3 2/3  .997 .997 .997  1/2 1/3 2/3  .994 .994 .999  23 d.  Analysis  The University  of  Data  data  were  of British  analysed  the LERTAP  PROGRAM  at the  Columbia Computing Center. This analysis provided  the statistics necessary  f o r answering  the questions of the study.  SUMMARY  3.  This chapter presented A  using  discussion was  Paragraphs  test  presented  and  a description of the design on the selection  construction of  related  of the  of the study. Main  materials  such  Ideas  as the  teacher's guide, answer key and a student's answer booklet which used  in the major  subjective marking  study.  In addition  reference  was  of  were  made  to the  scale used f o r scoring responses. Procedures  used in  both the preliminary study and main study were described.  IV. RESULTS, DISCUSSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS The second  drafts  paragraphs data  purpose  of the study  of a  test  w a s to collect  of ability  to recognize  o f expository material. This chapter  gathered  followed  by  a  data  discussion  on the first and  the main  ideas in  presents, the results of the  of their  relationship  to the  questions of the study.  A. ANALYSIS  OF  DATA  The results obtained from Paragraphs  are  performance on the  Main  Ideas  in  Test are summarized by grade in tables three to six. The tables  the result  PROGRAM  student  of a statistical  analysis  at the University o f British  of the data  using  Columbia Computing  the LERTAP  Centre.  Table 3 shows the results of the data collection in Grade Four.  24  25  TABLE 3 - Mean Scores and Standard Deviations on Main Ideas i n Paragraphs Grade Four (n = 57)  Test  Level 1 Mean SD  Level 2 Mean SD  Level 3 Mean SD  Set A - Choose the Best T i t l e  22.74  9.42  27.79  10.70  15.16  10.33  Set B - Choose the Best Question  25.26  9.04  25.54  10.74  21.61  11.31  Set C - Write the Question  ;,8.50  7.20  23.05  15.25  16.95  14.55  Set D - Write the Main Idea  18.75  12.20  13.70  11.00  11.30  11/70  i  Table 4 shows the r e s u l t s of the data c o l l e c t i o n i n Grade Five.  26  TABLE 4 - Mean Scores and Standard Deviations on Main Ideas i n Paragraphs Grade Five (n = 50)  Test  Set A - Choose the Best T i t l e  Level 1 Mean SD  Level 2 Mean SD  Level 3 Mean SD  25.12  10.60  26.56  11.01  17.92  9.77  Set B - Choose 27.52 the Best Question  11.45  26.08  10.94  25.44  11.04  Set C - Write the Question  9.40  7.95  18.80  16.70  15.10  13.10  Set D - Write the Main Idea  18.30  12.65  14.60  13.10  8.40  8.75  Table 5 shows the r e s u l t s of the data c o l l e c t i o n i n Grade 6.  27  TABLE 5 - Mean Scores and Standard Deviations on Main Ideas in Paragraphs Grade Six (n = 50)  Test  Set A - Choose the Best T i t l e  Level 1 Mean SD  Level 2 Mean SD  Level 3 Mean SD  27.84  9.73  29.28  9.23  21.12  12.28  Set B - Choose 27.68 the Best Question  9.86  29.29 •  9.91  22.88  10.72  Set C - Write the Question  15.10  10.75  24.80  15.40  19.60  12.95  Set D - Write the Main Idea  16.30  11.90  15.40  13.45  16.20  11.65  Table 6 shows the results of the data collection In Grade Seven.  28  TABLE 6 - Mean Scores and Standard D e v i a t i o n s on Main Ideas i n Paragraph Grade Seven (n = 63) Test Mean Set A - Choose the Best T i t l e  Level 1 SD  Mean  Level 2 SD  Mean  Level 3 SD  28.83  7.94  31.24  9.71  22.86  10.74  Set B - Choose 29.97 the Best Q u e s t i o n  9.31  29.97  10.16  27.94  8.84  Set C - W r i t e the Q u e s t i o n  13.35  8.51  30.80  11.50  21.50  12.45  Set D - W r i t e the Main Idea  22.05  12.00  20.30  13.55  16.50  10.90  -  29  B.  DISCUSSION  The  data gathered  projected  test.  Use  forms a second  of these  data  stage  should  in the development of the  provide  a  basis  f o r further  development.  C.  RECOMMENDATIONS  FOR  FUTURE  RESEARCH  Several recommendations f o r further research can be made based on the findings of the study. Recommendations are: 1.  It is recommended main  idea  tasks  that  students  in research be given  some  ideas. This would reduce the "testing 2.  It is also  recommended  that  involving  Once  a  valid  and  reliable  recommended to determine  of paragraph  is developed,  further  study  is  the e f f e c t s of direct sequential teaching of students.  ability  purpose of this study was to collect preliminary data on a test to identify  material. This the  structure on  SUMMARY  The of  main  be explored further.  main ideas in paragraphs to intermediate and secondary  D.  with  effect".  the effect  test  performance on  pretest practice  selecting and generating main idea responses 3.  student  ideas  in paragraphs  involved a preliminary and a main  development  Finally,  the the main  and administration of the  the results  and  discussion  recommendations for future research.  were  Main  of expository  study. This necessitated Ideas  presented  in  Paragraphs  accompanied  Test. with  BIBLIOGRAPHY Alexander, C.F. Strategies 1976, v19, 299-301.  for Finding  Anderson, Stone and Dolan. McGraw Hill.Ltd., 1978.  New  the  Practise  Arnsdorf, V.E. Readability of Basal Teacher. 1963, v16, 243-246.  Social  Avermann, D.E. Restructuring Text Facilities Journal of Reading. 1982, v25, 754-758. Axelrod, J. Getting the Main 1975, v18, 383-387.  Main  Idea. Journal  Readers  (2nd  of  Reading.  Ed.). Toronto:  Studies Materials. 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Newark, Del.: International Reading A s s o c a t i o n , 1974, 153-165. Catterson, J.H. and Hoiland, E. Main Ideas in Paragraphs Vancouver, B.C.: University of British Columbia, 1976. Catterson, J.H. and Holtby, E.C. Getting the Main Ideas of Vancouver, B.C.: The University of British Columbia, 1976.  The  Paragraphs.  Catterson, J.H. and MacNeill, R. Comprehension of Factual Prose-Main Idea of Paragraph. Vancouver, B.C.: The University of British Columbia, 1976. Dishner, E.K. and Readence, J.E. A s y s t e m a t i c Procedure for Teaching Idea. Reading World. 1977, v16, 292-298. Durrell, D.D. Improving World, Inc., 1956.  Reading  Instruction. New  30.  Main  York; Harcourt, Brace, and  51Durrell, D., and Furbush, P., and Ross, E. Thirty Billerica, Ma.: Curriculum A s s o c i a t e s , 1975. Earpe, W.N. Procedures for Teaching Reading Teacher. 1973, v17, 523-529.  Lessons  in Outlining. North  in Mathematics. The  Arithmatic  Ferguson, J. Teaching the Reading of Biology, in Robinson, A.H. and Ellen, T.L. (Eds.), Fusing Reading Skills and Content. Newark, Delaware: International Reading A s s o c i a t i o n , 1969. Fry,  E.B. A Readability Formula v11, 513-516.  That  Saves  Time. Journal  of Reading.  1967,  Gaskins, I.W. Reading for Learning: Going Beyond Basals in the Elementary Grades. The Reading Teacher. 1981, v35, 323-328. Hanna, G.S., Schell, L.M., and Schreiner, R. The Toronto; Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1977. Henrichs, M. Practical 253-257.  and Sisson, T. Application of  Herber, H. Teaching Reading Prentice Hall, Inc., 1978.  Nelson  Mathematics and the Theory. Mathematics in  Content  Areas.  Reading  Skills Test.  Reading Teacher.  Process: A 1980, v73,  Englewood  Cliffs,  N.J.:  Janz, M.L. and Smith, E.H. The Student's Reading Ability and the Readability of Secondary School Subjects. Elementary English 1972, v49, 622-624. Kameenui, E.J. and Carnine, D.W. An Investigation of Fourth-Graders' comprehension of Pronoun Constructions in Ecologically Valid Texts. Reading Research Quarterly. .1982, v17, 556-580. King, E.M. Sons,  (Ed.) Canadian 1974.  Tests of Basic  Krulik, S. To Read Or Not To Teacher, 1980, v73, 253-257.  S k i l l s . Toronto, Thomas Nelson  Read, That  is the  Question.  &  Mathematics  Lai, C. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. UBC Version 9.00 (under M.T.S.). The University of British Columbia Computing Center, June 1983. Liddle, W.  Reading for Concepts  (2nd Ed.). Toronto; M c G r a w - H i l l , Ltd., 1977.  Lunstrum, J.P. Building Motivation Through of Reading. 1981, v24, 686-691. McKee, P. Teaching of Reading Houghton, M i f f l i n , 1948. Merrill, C.E. Merrill 1977. O'Mara, D.A.  The  the Use  of Controversy. Journal  in the Elementary School. Cambridge,  Reading Skilltext  Process of Reading  Series. Columbus, Ohio; Merrill  Mass.:  Pub. Co.,  Mathematics. Journal of Reading. 1981,  v25, 22-30. Otto, W., Barrett, T., and Koenke, K. A s s e s s m e n t of Children's Statements of the Main Idea in Reading, in J . A l l e n Figurel (Ed.), Reading and Realism. Newark Delaware: International Reading A s s o c i a t i o n , 1969, 692-697. Robinson, A. A Cluster of S k i l l s ; Especially Reading Teacher. 1961, v15, 25-28.  for Junior  High  School. The  Schick, G., Shmidt, B. and Shumacher, M. Design for G o o d Reading Reading Skills Program. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1969. Shores, J.H. Skills Related to the A b i l i t y to Read History Journal of Educational Research. 1943, v36, 584-593.  and  A  Science. The  Shores, J.H. Reading of Science for Two Separate Purposes as Perceived by Sixth Grade Students and A b l e Adult Readers. Elementary English. 1960, v37, 461-468. Spache, G.D. Types and Purposes of Reading The Reading Teacher. 1958, v11, 158-164. Spache, G.D. and Spache, E.B. Reading A l l y n and Bacon, Inc., 1973.  in the  in Various Curriculum Fields. Elementary  S c h o o l . Boston:  Thorndike, E. Improving the A b i l i t y to Read: A b i l i t y to Manage Larger Units. Teachers College Record, Oct., 1934. Uprichard, A.E. in Earle, R.A. Teaching Reading International Reading A s s o c i a t i o n , 1976.  in Mathematics. Newark, Del.:  Van  Blaricom, G. The Effect of Passage Organization on Main Idea Comprehension at Three Response Levels, in Pennock, C. (Ed.), Reading Comprehension at Four Linguistic Levels. Newark, Del.: International Reading A s s o c i a t i o n , 1979.  Van  Blaricom, G. and White, Testing Comprehension of the Central Thought: Selecting Versus Generating Main Idea, in Miller, W.D. and McNich, G.H. (Eds.), Reflections and Investigations on Reading-Twenty Fifth Yearbook of the National Conference. 1976, 317-323.  W i l l i a m s , M. and Stevens, V. Understanding Paragraph Reading, 1972, v15, 513-516.  Structure. Journal  of  APPENDIX  A.  SAMPLE  TEST  A  BOOKLET  Comprehension of Factual  Prose  Main Ideas in Paragraphs  33  34 LEVEL Set  B. SET  A-CHOOSE  ONE A  THE  BEST  TITLE  Example: The  teeth are an outgrowth  shiny. Their animals  work  of the skin. They  is to cut, tear, and grind  are hard, white and  the food.  have two sets of teeth. The first set is called  Men  and  many  the baby, or milk  teeth, or the temporary teeth. The other is the permanent set. 1.  Facts about teeth  2.  Care of the teeth  3.  Baby teeth  Tomatoes are a kind of fruit. They may long time ago people because they  thought  raw or cooked. A  they were not good to eat. They were grown  were pretty. Then they  very small. Now  be eaten  were  called  "love apples". They  were  they are large and smooth.  1.  Facts about fruits  2.  Facts about tomatoes  3.  Tomatoes as f o o d  2) When you are having batting practice, do not bat t o o long at a time. Each  time  hit only  mistakes. Hitting You  may  two or three  t o o long without  stopping  get into the bad habit of hitting  over the plate. 1.  balls. Then  Hints on batting practice  stop  may  and think about  get y o u into  at balls which  your  bad habits.  are not directly  35  2.  Bad  habits  in batting  3.  A v o i d mistakes  in batting  LEVEL Set  SET  C.  B-WH/CH  QUEST  ION  ONE B  DOES  THE  PARAGRAPH  ANSWER?  Example: Bears  have  weather. A s  soon  sleep. If they claws. They come and  warm as  do  coats, but  winter  not  lie down  find  they  do  comes, they a  den, they  in it and  cover  not  find  like  a  to  cave  be  where  dig one  in the  themselves  with  out they  What are the bear's living habits?  2.  What do  3.  Are  bears do  cold  go  earth with leaves. The  go; the wind blows; the snow f a l l s ; but the bears do  1.  in  to their  days  not care.  in wintertime?  the coats of bears' warm?  1) The live  best way  in filth  and  lay their eggs  garbage, there w i l l hatch. People  to get rid of  be  nothing  in the country  flies  is to keep everything clean. Flies  in it. If there for the  flies  is no  to  live  must keep their own  filth on,  about, such  and  no  eggs  places clean, but  as to  people  in the city have the help of garbage trucks. 1.  Where do  flies lay their eggs?  2.  Why  3.  What is the best way  should we  get rid of  flies?  to get rid of  flies?  2) A to do  spider can  run along  the thin threads  this, too. Then what a surprise! The  A  f l y will try  f l y finds that the web  Once in, the f l y cannot get away. Then the winds more stickly  of his web.  is sticky.  spider hurries out. Quickly  he  thread about the f l y . Soon the f l y cannot move at a l l .  37: So you see, the spider uses his web to catch food. 1. How does a spider catch a fly? 2.  How does the spider's web feel?  3.  What are the uses of a spider's web?  38  LEVEL  ONE  Set  SET  D.  C-WR/TE  C  THE  QUEST/ON  Example: People often call the cowbird a lazy bird. It does not build nest. It does not sit on sown  its own  its eggs to hatch them. It does not look after it  babies. It lays each  not know that one egg  egg  in another bird's nest. The  is not her own.  She  other bird  does  sits on all the eggs until they  hatch. 1) Because Most  of  the  we salt  cannot we  live without salt, we  use  comes  from  salt  are always mines  looking  under  the  for i t .  ground. In  some countries, people get salt from the sea. We  get salt from w e l l s , too.  A  salt  is brought to the top in  interesting  land. Oil pure enough to  salt well  is much like a water w e l l . The  pipes.  2) The use  big island  in machines  of Borneo  comes  is an  bubbling from  the  ground. Flowers  three feet across grow there. Animals of all sizes, from deer no bigger than a rabbit, are found in its dense  that  measure  huge elephants to  forests.  3) A  parachute is made of silk  in weight. It is made up They  are sewn  or of nylon, which  is strong yet light  of twenty-four parts, each shaped  together with  the points  sections do not exactly meet. A  of the triangles  like a triangle. at the top. The  small hole is left at the top to permit air  to escape. This keeps the parachute steady as it drops.  39 LEVEL  ONE  Set D  E. SET  D-WR/TE  THE  MAIN  IDEA  Example: The on  spider family  high mountains  to eat. Some  is a big one. There  are spiders everywhere  except  and in extremeiy cold places where there are no insects  spiders are bigger than a man's hand. Others  are no bigger  than a pin head. Some can kill you with their bite. Others are harmless. 1  ). In the mill  tiny  pieces. After  them  until  are many  machines.  the pieces were  it finally  First, a machine  soaked  cut the logs  in water, another  was pressed out between  machine  into beat  hot rollers. What had once  been a tree was now a sheet of paper!  2) Before there were  electric  lights, a man  of the town all night long. He watched called dark  him "The Watch". He carried streets.  Every  hour  he  walked  the streets  to see that all was w e l l , s o people  a lantern to light  called  through  out the time  his way through the  and the weather. For  example, at nine o'clock on a starry night, people might  hear him cry "Nine  o'clock and all is clear!"  3) Oysters that contain  pearls  are usually  different  in appearance  other  oysters. If you see a beautiful, perfectly  shaped  know  it is only good f o r its meat. Pearl oysters are badly shaped  oyster, you w i l l  shells do not fit together w e l l . Indeed, the uglier the oyster certain y o u can be that there might be a pearl in it.  from  and the  i s , the more  APPENDIX B - S A M P L E T E X T  A. SUBJECTIVE  ANSWER  BOOKLET  KEY  Level One: Set 1.  C:  Where can we  get salt from?  Where do people get salt from? 2.  Why  is the island of Borneo an interesting  3.  How  is a parachute made?  Set 1.  Making of paper. How  2.  D  (a sheet o f ) paper is made.  Work of the watchman. What the watchman did. How  3.  the watchman made the town light.  Picking  an oyster with a pearl  in it.  40  land?  APPENDIX C-ANSWER ' BOOKLET  ANSWER  BOOKLET  Comprehension of Factual Prose Main  Ideas in Paragraphs  Name:  ;  Grade:  '  School; Date;  Nelson: Vocab-  ALL  Comp. -  ANSWERS  RECORDED  Total -.  ARE TO BE  IN THIS BOOKLET  4i  42  LEVEL Set A Choose  ONE  the Best Title  Example: 1 1.  1  2  3  2.  1  2  3  3.  1  2  3  4.  1  2  3  5.  1  2  3  2  3  Set B What Question Does the Paragraph Example: 1 1.  1  2  3  2.  1  2  3  3.  1  2  3  4.  1  2  3  5.  1  2  3  2  Answer?  3  Set C Write the Question Example: How  are Cowbird  1)  ?  2)  ?  3)  ?  4)  ?  5)  ?  eggs  hatched?  Set D Write the Main Idea Example: What Makes our seasons. 1)  ?  2) 3) 4) 5)  APPENDIX D-TEACHER'S GUIDE  Comprehension of Factual  Prose  Main Idea of Paragraphs  44  45 Teacher's Guide  I) Nature and Purpose of the Test This test provides main  idea  skill  could  science  a measurement of the skill  of a paragraph be  or  an  using  important  social  studies  factor program  students. The test results should but  rather  to supplement  additional  measure  about the student  that  from  test  grade  will  of  which  meets  measurement  the teacher the needs  other  results  battery  three  in  of  information  a  his/her  judgement,  be used  as an  the teacher  has  to  Battery  consists of three  separate  grade  test  Title;  six. Each grade  b) What  level  Question  tests covering  contains  twenty  consists of four is Answered?;  different  areas  related  to  understanding  a range individual  subtests: a)  c) Create  and d) State the Main Idea. These subtests provide  skills  develop  not be used to replace teacher that  of this  to meet his/her learning needs.  the Best  Question;  The  in assisting  augment  paragraphs. The tests f o r each Choose  prose.  it. It is suggested  II) Description of the Test The  factual  of comprehending the  the  measurements  main  ideas  in  paragraphs. All  of the tests are contained  the test begins  with the first test and works through as much of the test  as he/she is capable separated  in a single booklet. Each pupil taking  of completing.  answer sheets  are provided  to be used with the tests f o r  recording purposes. It is not intended  that this test be taken  sittings may be needed at the teacher's III) Preparations f o r Testing  during  discretion.  one sitting. Several  The other  procedures  classes. By  teacher  will  directions others  being closely  ensure  stated  in this  following  the validity  guide  are being  the same  of the test  outlined  scores  duplicated in procedures the  of his/her  t o the pupils vary, some may receive t o o little  t o o much. Therefore,  it is extremely  important  class. If  assistance and to f o l l o w the  directions exactly as they are stated. Students use  should know why they are taking the tests and the intended  o f the results. In addition, they  should  be stimulated t o earnest  effort  if the test scores are to be valid. IV) Directions f o r Administering the Tests A. Step One: After all of the students  have been seated  say, speaking  s l o w l y and  distinctly: "WE  ARE  NOW  GOING  TO  TAKE  THE  MAIN  IDEAS  IN  P A R A G R A P H S TEST. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT Y O U DO YOUR  BEST  ON  TRUE  THESE  TESTS.  OTHERWISE  THEY  WILL  NOT  GIVE  A  PICTURE OF W H A T Y O U KNOW." B. Step Two: Distribute the test  booklets  and answer  sheets. When  this  has been  done, say: "ON  THE FRONT  THAT AFTER  WE  OF YOUR  WILL FILL  THE  WORD  ANSWER  BOOKLET ARE S O M E B L A N K S  IN. WRITE YOUR NAME.  ALSO  FULL N A M E  WRITE  YOUR  IN THE BLANK GRADE,  YOUR  SCHOOL AND THE DATE IN THE BLANKS." C. Step  Three  When the students have finished filling "THE TEST BOOKLET WILL BE USED  in the blanks, say:  BY OTHER  PUPILS  IN OTHER  CLASSES. ANSWER RIGHT  YOU  A R E TO  SHEET. YOUR PLACE.  QUESTIONS  MARK  ANSWER  IT H A S  A L L YOUR SHEET  ANSWER  ANSWERS  ON  THE  WILL HELP Y O U KEEP THE  SPACES  FOR  A L L OF  THE  Y O U A R E TO ANSWER."  D. Step Four Have the students turn  the page and locate Test  1, Set 1 on both  test and answer booklet. Then say: "WE  ARE NOW  UNDERSTAND  READY HOW  TO TAKE  TO  TEST  ANSWER  1, SET 1. TO HELP Y O U  THE  TEST  E X A M P L E , IS GIVEN A T THE THE BEGINNING THE  PARAGRAPH  THE  BEST  MOSTLY  UNDER  TITLE  ABOUT?  TO  THE WORD DESCRIBE  NOTICE  EXAMPLE  THAT THE NUMBER  THAT  THE  FIRST  ON  YOUR  ANSWER  E X A M P L E . (PAUSE) W H A T IS WHAT  THIS  ANSWER  RECORD  FINISH  YOUR  BEFORE  ANSWERS  ONE H A S BEEN IS CORRECT.  ON  THE OTHERS, READ  BEGIN. IF Y O U HAVE A QUESTION  ABOUT  IS  TEETH" IS  CIRCLED TO  YOU  ARE  SHOW  NOW  TO  1, 2, and 3. BE SURE  THE A N S W E R A  PARAGRAPH  SHEET, BESIDE THE WORD  CHOOSE THE BEST TITLE FOR P A R A G R A P H S TO  AN  OF THE SET. READ  (PAUSE) Y E S # 1 , "FACTS  CORRECT.  EXERCISES  BOOK  SHEET.  IF Y O U  QUIETLY. Y O U M A Y  RAISE YOUR HAND."  E. Step Five: After the students have begun work on the test, check to make sure that  each  answers  one is working  in the right  in the appropriate  o f the test  manner. The students  reasonable amount of time to finish. F. Step Six:  section  should  and recording be  given  a  Say: "WE  A R E NOW  PLACE  READY  IN YOUR  TO  EXAMPLE  HOW  QUESTION  ANSWER  THE  WORD  THE P A R A G R A P H  #2. IS CORRECT. NOTICE ON YOUR WORD  E X A M P L E , THAT  SHOW  THAT  CHOOSE  PARAGRAPHS  BOOKLETS. REMEMBER Y O U  THE  TEST  EXERCISES,  EXAMPLE. BEST  ANSWER  ANSWER  QUESTION  (PAUSE)  ANSWER?  THE NUMBER TWO  THE SECOND  THE  YOUR  AN  A T THE BEGINNING OF THE SET. READ THE  UNDER DOES  1, SET 2. FIND  IN THE TEST BOOKLET. TO HELP Y O U  TO  IS GIVEN  PARAGRAPH  TEST  TEST A N D ANSWER  ARE TO M A K E NO M A R K S UNDERSTAND  TAKE  SHEET  WHICH  (PAUSE) Y E S BESIDE THE  H A S BEEN CIRCLED TO  IS CORRECT. Y O U ARE TO  THAT  IS  BEST  ANSWERED  BY  1, 2, or 3. BE SURE TO RECORD YOUR A N S W E R S ON  THE  RIGHT  PART  OF THE ANSWER  SHEET. Y O U M A Y  YOU  HAVE QUESTION RAISE YOUR HAND."  BEGIN. IF  Step Seven: Say: "YOU  A R E NOW  PLACE THE  TO  TAKE  TEST  1, SET 3. FIND  THINK  OF  ANSWERS? CORRECT  A  UNDER  EXAMPLE  QUESTION  YES, "HOW  THAT  SILENTLY. (PAUSE). C A N Y O U ALL  ARE COWBIRDS  OF  THAT  THE QUESTION  EACH  WRITE  OF 1, 2, and 3. REMEMBER  SHOULD  BE ABOUT  WHAT  PARAGRAPH  HATCHED?" WOULD  ANSWER. NOTICE ON YOUR A N S W E R  EXAMPLE  THIS  H A S BEEN  THAT  BE A  SHEET, BESIDE THE  THE LINE. YOUR ARE TO WRITE A QUESTION THAT BY  YOUR  IN THE TEST BOOKLET A N D YOUR ANSWER BOOKLET. READ  PARAGRAPH  WORD  READY  WRITTEN  ON  IS ANSWERED  THE QUESTION Y O U  THE WHOLE  PARAGRAPH  IS  49 ABOUT  A N D NOT J U S T A BEFORE  SMALL  PART  OF THE P A R A G R A P H . IF  THE OTHERS  READ  A  YOU  FINISH  MAY  BEGIN. IF Y O U HAVE  BOOK  A QUESTION, RAISE YOUR  I WILL HELP YOU AFTER THE OTHERS HAVE Circulate working  around  QUIETLY. Y O U  the classroom  HAND AND  BEGUN."  to make  sure  that  each  student is  on the right section of the test.  H. Step Eight: Say: "WE ARE NOW IN  YOUR  READY  TEST  AND  UNDER  THE WORD  WHAT  THIS  MAKES IDEA  ANSWER  EXAMPLE  PARAGRAPH  OUR S E A S O N S " OF  BESIDE  BOOKLET.  NOTICE  ON  YOUR  THE M A I N  ANSWER IDEA  H A S BEEN  THE M A I N  1, 2, A N D 3. REMEMBER  SHEET,  IDEA FOR  THE M A I N  IDEA  IS ABOUT. Y O U M A Y BEGIN. IF  HAVE A QUESTION RAISE YOUR HAND." around  the classroom  to make  sure  on the right section of the test. I. Step  Steps You  (PAUSE) Y E S , "WHAT  ON THE LINE. Y O U ARE TO WRITE  Circulate working  PARAGRAPH  IS CORRECT. THIS IS CALLED THE M A I N  E X A M P L E , THAT  OF P A R A G R A P H S  THE  SILENTLY. (PAUSE) C A N Y O U S A Y  IS WHAT THE WHOLE P A R A G R A P H YOU  READ  IS A L L ABOUT?  THE P A R A G R A P H .  THE WORD  WRITTEN EACH  TO TAKE TEST 1 SET 4. FIND YOUR P L A C E  four  to eight are repeated  must, of course,  instructions booklets. J. Step Ten;  make  changes  are read. The needed  that  each . student is  Nine:  f o r Test  2 and again  regarding  the examples  information  f o r Test 3.  is in the answer  when the and test  50 Before number  on  returning the front  the materials of  assigned  a number  from  excellent  reader, 2) good  each  please  answer  one to five  FOR  which  reader, 3) average  YOUR  in each  booklet. Each  poor reader.  THANK YOU  fill  COOPERATION.  corresponds  student's student to this  reader, 4) fair  reading  should scale;  be 1)  reader, or 5)  


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