The Effects of Thinking Map Instruction on Written Responses to Writing Prompts for Fifth Graders with Specific Learning Disabilities


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The purpose of this study was to investigate whether Thinking Map instruction and the opportunities for students to use Thinking Maps would have a significant effect on the written responses to informational/explanatory writing prompts of three fifth graders with Specific Learning Disabilities. Explicit Thinking Map instruction was provided, along with instruction on analyzing writing prompts and paragraph development. A ten-point writing rubric was used to measure students’ use of one or more Thinking Maps and the inclusion of specific paragraph components (an introduction, body, linking words, and conclusion) for each writing sample. Writing rubric scores were collected from writing samples given before, during, and after instruction using a pre-test/post-test design. Results indicated slight increases in total writing scores, but no significant differences were attributed to the use of Thinking Maps.