Dictation and dramatization of children's own stories : the effects on frequency of children's writing activity and development of children's print awareness
The first purpose of the present study was to determine whether the duration of preschool children's drawing and writing activity could be increased by introducing the process of dictation and dramatization of children's own stories. The second purpose of this study was to determine whether taking dictation from preschool children and facilitating the dramatization of children's dictations had an impact on print awareness. Samples of convenience were selected from a child care center in a small midwestern city. Results were based on the participation of 16 3- to 5-year-old children in the intervention group and 21 3- to 5-year-old children in the control group.Each participant's print awareness level was measured at the beginning and end of the study using the Print Awareness Test (Huba & Kontos, 1986). Videorecordings were made of the activity that occurred at a designated writing table. The duration of each child's writing and drawing activity was recorded (in seconds). For three hours a week during the eight weeks of the treatment period, children in the treatment group were encouraged to dictate their own individual stories to an adult who wrote their stories and read the stories back to the children. During the last four weeks of the treatment period, children in the treatment group also were encouraged to dramatize their own stories.The findings of the study were:1. A significant difference in children's print awareness was found in both the treatment and control groups (p<.05). There was no difference in print awareness change scores between the treatment and control groups.2. There was a moderate positive correlation (.471) between the number of stories dictated during the first four weeks of intervention and changes in print awareness scores within the treatment group.3. There was no significant difference between the control and treatment groups in the duration of writing and drawing at the end of the study. However, within the treatment group, during the time children were dictating and dramatizing their own stories, the duration of writing and drawing was significantly greater than either before or after intervention.