Graduate Program

Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Semester of Degree Completion

Summer 2020

Thesis Director

John H. Bickford III

Thesis Committee Member

Denise E. Reid

Thesis Committee Member

Tim N. Taylor


This study was conducted in a first grade classroom with twenty participants. This study took place over five and a half weeks, where students were introduced to three mentor texts in a shared reading setting. The students asked and answered questions about the texts and participated in extension writing activities. Students were given opportunities to engage with the mentor texts and writing in whole group settings as well as individual settings. Students were expected to write a final assignment using the form of author craft portrayed in the final mentor text, which students were able to complete successfully.

Students practiced in class by collaborating with peers to brainstorm sentences that would follow the suggested pattern as well as write independently. Students received two individual conferences to discuss areas of strengths and areas for improvement within their writing before the final assignment was given. Students were also able to correct practice work in order to have a guide when completing the final assignment. Many factors went into the success of student writing during this research study.

Keywords: shared reading, mentor texts, author craft