Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Carol Lloyd


The purposes of this study were to describe (1) the process(es) students use to choose women in history to research; (2) students’ motivation to read literature about women; (3) metacognitive strategies students used as they read, wrote, and learned about women; and (4) ways in which students transacted with ideas in the literature they read. Eighteen third-grade students participated in a class unit about women in history. Four of those students who had demonstrated lower reading achievement were the focus of more in-depth study. Students chose and read a biography about a woman. As the students read, they wrote their personal responses in a journal. Students met in groups of four at least twice a week to share what they learned about the women they studied. The four focus students comprised one of these groups. At the end of the unit, the four focus students met in a small group with me. Finally, each focus student met one last time with me individually. All of the small group meetings and meetings with me were audiotaped. When given the opportunities to make choices about their learning, on-task behavior, journal writings, and discussions all demonstrated ongoing motivation. Students demonstrated more about the way they think as they used literature response journals to record their plans for the assignment, their notes about the woman they studied, their thoughts as they read, and new ways of thinking that developed throughout the project. Also, students made efferent transactions with the text as well as aesthetic transactions. Finally, students’ knowledge about women increased and they learned that women were important contributors to the history of our world.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Teacher Education and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Joyce Pawlenty August, 2001

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