Document Type

Graduate Project

Date of Degree Completion

Summer 2003

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



Committee Chair

Luetta Monson

Second Committee Member

Nancy E. Jurenka

Third Committee Member

Steven A. Schmitz


Discussion is an integral part of our society and a natural way for students to learn. When discussion is brought into the classroom, students are able to use their background knowledge to create their own meaning and take their thinking to a higher level. Because of these attributes, discussion of reading material in the classroom leads to a greater comprehension of what was read and opens more doors for learning more strategies to increase reading ability. The teacher's role changes from being the one with all of the answers to a member of the group looking for the meaning. Teachers are able to achieve this through both a whole class setting, with instructional conversation, and a small group level, with literature discussion groups. The purpose of this project was to develop a handbook for teachers to teach comprehension strategies while using literature circles with low-achieving middle school readers.