Graduate Program

Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2018

Thesis Director

John H. Bickford III

Thesis Committee Member

Daniel J. Carter

Thesis Committee Member

Fern Kory


State and national education initiatives are the driving force behind increased exploration of diverse texts, namely informational texts. Trade books offer opportunity for interdisciplinary units to develop through the rise of informational text use in both English/language arts and history/social studies. Primary source documents serve as a liaison to filing gaps in the information left out from textbooks and trade books. A more thorough understanding of historical figures and events are a result of such analysis. The initiatives do not dictate specific curricular material; teachers use their discretion when choosing available trade books, primary documents, and other curricular resources. In this research, I qualify and quantify how the Titanic, a popular historical ship tragedy associated with theory, is portrayed in trade books. Representations within 30 trade books concerning the Titanic are addressed and analyzed. Recommendations and rationale for trade book selection and implementation in elementary school are addressed.