Availability and use of informational texts in second-, third-, and fourth-grade classrooms

Jongseong Jeong, Janet S. Gaffney, Jin Oh Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A sharp increase in the proportion of informational text with the corresponding expansion of cognitive demands and conceptual structures is a widely held explanation for the decline in reading achievement at the fourth-grade level. In this study, differences in the proportion of informational text across the second, third, and fourth grades were examined in order to determine if this perennial explanation for the fourth-grade slump was supported. Available print materials in 15 classrooms (5 per grade) and time spent with texts in written language activities were coded and analyzed by text type following Duke's (2000) data-collection procedures. The proportion of informational text in classrooms was slightly higher in grade 2; in classroom environmental print it was highest in grade 3, followed by grade 4 and then grade 2; in classroom written language activities it showed a marked increase from grades 2 to 3, with that increase sustained in grade 4. Total instructional time with informational text was an average of 1 minute in grade 2 and 16 minutes in grades 3 and 4. The most common instructional activities with informational text were reading to complete a worksheet and round-robin reading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-456
Number of pages22
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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