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Quantitative Studies

Storytelling and Story Reading: A Comparison of Effects on Children's Memory and Story Comprehension

A thesis presented to the faculty of the department of Curriculum and Instruction East Tennessee State University

by Matthew P. Gallets, May, 2005

Keywords: Storytelling, reading, comprehension


For years, storytellers have been going to schools to share stories with children. However, to date only limited research has been done on the effects of storytelling on children’s learning. This project was part of an ongoing study involving several researchers. In this portion of the project, the effects of storytelling and story reading were compared. The population studied consisted of kindergarten, first, and second grade students. Half the students were read stories aloud, the other half were told the same stories by a storyteller. Data were collected regarding students ability to recall facts they had heard, as well as students skill in using formal story elements. The students’ interpretations of story meaning were also examined. Students in both the reading and storytelling groups improved on most measures. However, on some measures, notably those regarding recall ability, students in the storytelling group improved more than students in the reading group.

Click here to read the entire thesis.

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