Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Education, Montessori

First Advisor

Irene Bornhorst


Montessori Elementary Education, Elementary Education


Poor literacy rates are the cause of low school performance for children across America. In particularly, low income schools continue to struggle with declining literacy rates. Issues with literacy are ultimately attributed to lack of comprehension during reading. This research tested the effects of choice on reading comprehension in 2nd and 3rd grade students at high and low income schools. In addition, students were monitored while reading silently and aloud to see if either had an effect on reading comprehension. Data was collected from 32 students from high and low income schools before, during and after reading in order to determine whether students comprehension levels were higher when they got to choose their reading selection or when they read an assigned reading. Trials were performed while reading silently and then aloud. Results indicated that students had higher comprehension levels when they were given the opportunity to choose their readings and when they were reading silently. Implications of the study suggest that schools can increase their students’ comprehension in reading by allowing them to choose books they are interested in and be provided opportunities to read silently.