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Title page for ETD etd-07192012-153511

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Flushman, Tanya
URN etd-07192012-153511
Title Nonfiction writing in prekindergarten: understandings of informational text features and use of science journals
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Deborah Wells Rowe Committee Chair
David Dickinson Committee Member
Leona Schauble Committee Member
Nell Duke Committee Member
Robert Jimenez Committee Member
  • content literacy
  • emergent writing
  • early childhood
  • emergent literacy
  • literacy
Date of Defense 2012-06-04
Availability unrestricted
This study provides qualitative findings about informational text writing in a prekindergarten classroom. First, I examined children’s understandings of informational text features. Second, I analyzed how science journals, as informational texts, were created in social interaction. Lastly, I examined the nature of the children’s journals entries. The participants for this study were 17 low-income children in a public prekindergarten in the mid-South. Data collection included classroom observations by the researcher, videotape of classroom instruction and journal entries. Children were given an Informational Text Interview (ITI) to assess understandings of informational text genre features. An analysis of the ITI showed that children had different levels of interaction with the informational text: by naming key features in the photographs, by responding to how the genre features were functioning and by taking a meta-stance towards the text that considered authorial intention. An analysis of journal writing sessions showed that journals were produced through providing demonstrations, making authentic invitations and accepting children’s approximations. Analyses of focal journal entries showed that children used structures and visual and textual elements of informational texts including diagrams, captions and labels. Children at all stages of writing development were able to produce semantically accurate labels and captions for images.
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