KU Center for Research on Learning

KU Center for Research on Learning

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The Text Pattern Intervention

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Students who learn this intervention first practice recognizing and making meaning from noun phrases, connectives, and passive voice at the sentence level. Then, they apply their knowledge to longer passages, including paragraphs and textbook sections. The lessons end with students using identifiers and connectives to discern the theme and important details of increasingly difficult social studies and science passages.

Lessons 1 and 2: Defining Verb Types
The first two lessons focus on active and passive verbs, and the figure below shows a visual aid that is used to explicitly teach the types of verbs. Lesson 1 involves a review of action verbs and starts out with words representing concrete physical movements that students typically encounter in narrative texts, such as jump and grumble. The students then work with more abstract thinking verbs, such as watch and listen, so that they develop familiarity with the words that commonly appear in expository texts. Lesson 2 shifts the students’ attention to passive verb formations, which scientists and historians often use in their writing. The students learn to choose and use both linking and helping verbs. This lesson helps students convey information in writing while maintaining the objective stance that portrays authority on the matter at hand. However, because some disciplines require that authors write in active voice, the students also practice translating passive into active voice sentences.

Lessons 3 and 4: Structuring Noun Phrases
The next two lessons build on the students’ knowledge of verbs in order to convert them into nouns and noun phrases. Lesson three introduces a list of suffixes that change words from verbs to nouns. Once the students have practiced using root words as verbs and nouns, they add identifiers (i.e., a and the) and adjectives to the left and prepositional phrases to the right of the main subject to form noun phrases (see the figure below). Finally, the teacher asks students to identify noun phrases in their content-area textbooks. This generalization activity helps the students apply their skills to new reading situations.

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Frances Ihle, doctoral fellow
Don Deshler, KUCRL director

During the validation study, the author of this intervention provided professional development and instructional coaching on a weekly basis to three teachers as they taught the Text Pattern Intervention, which really paid off.

• After learning the Text Pattern Intervention, students earned significantly higher scores (+28.71) than their peers (+0.97) when answering questions about a 400-word social studies passage.

• Results of a satisfaction survey, which used a 7-point Likert scale, indicated that both the teachers (6.22) and the students (5.31) viewed the intervention as helpful.

1) Preliminary Phase: Define the setting demands and determine how to address the problem.

2) Prototype Phase: Develop the intervention and seek practitioner input.

3) Pilot Phase: Field test and refine the intervention.

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