Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology


Communicative Disorders

First Advisor

Barbara Culatta


Story Enactment has been found to be an effective follow-up to reading for enhancing comprehension. This study was designed to determine if combining art projects with discussions could be as effective as enacting stories as follow-up activities to enhance story comprehension and recall. The subjects participating in this study were twelve children (four groups of three children each) from the same PreKindergarten/Kindergarten class at Carriage House Day Care in Cranston, RI. The children participated in four one-hour small group story and activity sessions within their regular preschool setting. Two of the sessions used enacting the story (Story Enactment) as the follow-up activity while the other two sessions used discussing an art project (Art Project Discussion) as the follow-up activity. After each session, the children individually answered comprehension questions and retold the story. It was found that there were no significant differences between retelling and comprehension measures in the story enactment versus art discussion activities. Both activities were equally effective in facilitating comprehension and recall of the stories.

Although there were no significant differences between the activities, some qualitative differences between activity types were observed and group dynamics emerged. During Story Enactment the children interacted cooperatively while during the Art Project Discussion they worked individually. Secondly, during the Story Enactment, child conversation focused on regulating and commenting on actions while during the Art Project Discussion child conversation focused on what picture to draw, what colors to use, and what happened in the story. Qualitative differences were also noted in type of supports provided, content of the discussions, and references to gender. Both activities were successful but how they arrived at the end point was different because the nature of the tasks was different. Thus, combining art project and discussion creates a method that is as effective as Story Enactment, there may be some qualitative differences. One method may be more desirable than the other for specific objectives and classroom conditions.



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