Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Literacy Studies: Reading (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Nancy DeFrance

Academic Year



Science and social studies instruction at the elementary level has diminished in quantity and quality as a result of increasing pressure to maximize English language arts achievement. This approach exchanges short term gains in reading proficiency for long term deficits across many disciplines. Research establishes a strong connection between background knowledge gained through content area learning and the ability to comprehend expository texts. Moreover, deprioritizing science and social studies instruction limits opportunities to explore disciplinary literacy practices which serve as the foundation for acquiring knowledge in different disciplines. The framework for interdisciplinary read aloud lessons developed through this project, will enable teachers to plan and implement interactive read aloud lessons which will build critical background knowledge on a topic and introduce disciplinary literacy skills to elementary students. Interdisciplinary read aloud lessons will create background knowledge necessary for reading expository texts, establish a base of knowledge for upcoming science and social studies learning, and expose students to the diverse practices of different disciplines.