Date of Award

Spring 1976

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

DeRoche, E.

Second Advisor

Gillespie, Margaret C.


As in many other fields, education operates as if certain unverified assumptions are true. High school teaching, because it involves older children and deals with more difficult material, is sometimes thought to require more expert teachers and teaching styles then the elementary school. Although very few teachers would give much credence to this belief, it still has hung on. Another assumption is that the subject of "content area reading" is the sacrosanct domain of the junior and senior high school. Perhaps this happens because achievement, or the lack of it, in content-related courses becomes more apparent within a departmental framework. It is, however, during a child's elementary school years that the groundwork in content courses can and should be laid. It is the purpose of this essay to demonstrate that there is a very vital connection between what goes on in developmental reading classes and the student's handling of informative, expository content materials. Following a more general discussion of the differentiated demands of narrative versus expository material, the curricular area of social studies will be highlighted. The focus will then center on the reading demands in a social studies context. That is, in the area of social studies there are discrete reading skills peculiar to that field. Awareness, though, is only a first step. To make the topic more practical to the classroom teacher, strategies will be suggested which, it is hoped, can be implemented in social studies classes in the elementary setting.