Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2001


As apart of a longitudinal project examining first-grade reading instruction in 4 districts across the state of Texas, this study explored the nature of students' oral narratives and the connections between teachers' instructional practices and students' narratives. Using an adaptation of Hudson & Shapiro's (1991) narrative categories, we examined 166 narratives generated by firstgrade students, categorizing each as an event-script, a less-developed narrative, a well-developed narrative, or an "other" An exemplar narrative from each of the 4 categories and 2 other narratives that represented the diversity of student responses and the complexity of the relationships between student performance and teacher practices were selected for further analysis. Six case studies were developed to describe students' school achievement, their oral narratives, and teachers' practices. Our findings suggest that certain classroom practices, which either support or narrow opportunities for engagement with oral and written text, may be an important influence on students' construction of oral narratives. The individual cases provide examples of ways in which students' narrative constructions are embedded in a variety of classroom features such as teacher attitudes and practices.


Abbott, J.A., & McCarthey, S.J. (2001). Classroom influences on first-grade students’ oral narratives. Journal of Literacy Research, 33(3), 389-421.



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