The Effect of Literature Circles on the Reading Comprehension Scores of Middle School Students with Decoding Deficits


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The purpose of this study was to determine the impact on seventh grade students with decoding deficits who participated in novel-based literature circles on a reading comprehension assessment as compared to a similar control group. The post-test was researcher-designed utilizing seventh grade middle school language arts standards in reading comprehension. The test was based on reading selections separate from the novel used in the literature circle. The literary circle group's (n = 10) mean score (Mean = 10.20, SD = 2.82) on the reading comprehension test did not differ significantly from the control group's (n = 10) mean score (Mean = 8.40, SD = 1.84) [t(18) = 1.69, p = .11]. Although the study did not provide statistical evidence of the value of literature circles, there were limitations to the study. In addition, researcher observations indicated that literature circles can be a valuable component to reading instruction. Further research in this area should explore whether literature circles can improve reading comprehension when incorporated with more explicit reading comprehension instruction.