Date of Award


Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education



First Advisor

Siri Anderson




This action research project looked at the impact that pre-teaching vocabulary, along with peer collaboration, had on student comprehension of 5-12 social studies texts. Sixty students in a 10th grade World History class received instruction that included pre-teaching of vocabulary terms that students would be exposed to in a reading of the week through use of direct instruction, elaboration, application, and transfer using the Frayer Model, and group interactions. Student discussions of the article of the week engaged peers in collaborating around the work. Data was collected on vocabulary assessments, comprehension assessments, discussion checklists, and field notes. The students received the intervention four times over four weeks. The findings suggest that pre-teaching vocabulary was effective in helping students learn social studies vocabulary; however, students overall struggled to comprehend readings. Throughout the intervention, some students made improvements in their comprehension discussions; however, almost half of the students did not improve their comprehension through discussing. Future work will investigate differentiated instruction and the team-based learning approach in order to help students of all backgrounds learn the course content. This is important as the data demonstrated that white students benefited most from the intervention.

Included in

Education Commons