Thesis Title

Learning to Read in Zoomania - The Curriculum and Succssful Strategies Used in a First Grade Classroom

Graduation Date

Spring 2003

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name


Program Director

Madalienne F. Peters, EdD


This research study examines the teaching of literacy skills in a first grade classroom. The type of instruction children receive is important in the prevention of reading difficulties and “the child’s interest is crucial to the learning process” according to the National Research Council (Burns, Griffin & Snow, 1998, p.45). While multiple strategies are used in classrooms all over California, educating students effectively in reading while maintaining their interest and engaging them in meaningful academic

activity remains to be challenging.

I have developed a progressive literacy program while maintaining a whole language approach. My love of children’s literature drives my teaching to include reading at least four books to the class everyday. I have chosen books that focus on an animal theme. This cyclical theme may be farm animals, jungle animals, world animals, domesticated pets, dog breeds, dinosaurs, or fairy tale characters- organized A to Z for

a 26-day study of that subject.

I have identified teaching strategies that have been successful with my students. I have monitored them for progress with assessments created by the California Reading and Literature Project (2000)- focusing on reading skills, letter / word recognition and comprehension. With frequent, individual assessments, I maintain that curriculum can be designed to meet the academic needs of each student specifically, while presenting interesting content for all students.

There is no curriculum that fits all student needs. My hope is to nurture the love of learning that all children inherently possess while exposing them to literature that will last for a lifetime.

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