Research literature on writingstorybooks overlooks first graders. This ispuzzling as children enter first grade havingemergent literacy, in reading, writing, andstory composition. It may reflect the belief that at thisage children should learn to read and write(conventionally) as the curriculum demands,while elaborate writing is assumed be taughtand developed in higher grades. This study investigated story writing by Arab(N = 184) and Jewish (N = 321) first graders inIsrael. The children were presented with fourrelated pictures, asked to paste them in thesequence of their choice in a booklet, and thento write a narrative in their first language(Arabic or Hebrew). Writing the storybook wasperceived as a space for literacy development,and was tested in the contextof two instruction methods: Success For All(SFA) and whole-class Active Learning (AL). Theclasses were observed and teachers wereinterviewed on writing instruction.Nineteen categories of writing yieldedthree clusters–factors: book print awareness,writing conventions, and story quality. Thesethen served as measures for writing outcomes. Jewish and Arab children in SFA achieved higherscores than AL students; the Jews were higherthan the Arabs on most categories, but theestimate gain was highest for Arabs in SFA. The effect of SFA was highest for at-riskJewish students and lowest for at-risk Arabstudents. The results are discussed against thelinguistic and cultural background of the twogroups and in respect of their implications forwriting instruction in a bilingual context.
Reading and Writing – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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