UBC Graduate Research

An investigation into family message journals with Grade 1 writers Lowe, Morgan A.


The purpose of my research was to investigate family message journals as a method to improve students' writing where students were motivated by a sense of audience and family involvement. I was curious to investigate the extent to which students' writing would improve over time using an authentic audience, based on classroom instruction that used a genre approach and a shared writing experience. The sources of data included writing samples, anecdotal observations, and a parent survey. The study gave further evidence for the research previously completed by Wollman-Bonilla (2001a ; 2001b), Derewianka (2003), Chapman (1995), Dyson (2003), and Frank (1992), that by using this context : (1) students showed improvements in their writing in comparison of the first and last messages (early and late writing samples), (2) students showed an improved sense of audience awareness, (3) family involvement was a necessary component in this process. This study gives support for a writing method that primary teachers can use when considering ways to involve family members and their conversations within the classroom.

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