Basal Readers VS. Rich Literature

Finding the Most Effective Way to Teach Reading at BES!

Advantages of Using a Basal Reader

1. Less prep/planning (Everything has already been put together for you)

2. Follows a scope and sequence

3. Materials-lesson plans, worksheets, etc. come with it

4. Great resource/tool for new teachers (1st year)

Disadvantages of Using a Basal Reader

1. Little student interest

2. Poor literature

3. Novel exerpts

4. Expensive

5. They do not build on background knowledge

Advantages of a Literature-Based Approach in Teaching ELAR

1. Students learn to critically think better

2. Students enjoy the literature much more than basal readers

3. The literature is of better quality

Disadvantages of a Literature-Based Approach in Teaching ELAR

1. An abundance of research

2. An abundance of planning/prep work

3. Difficult for first year teachers

4th Grade Student Data of Preference

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4th Grade Student Favorites

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3rd Grade Student Data of Preference

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3rd Grade Student Favorites

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2nd Grade Student Data Preference

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2nd Grade Student Favorites

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4th Grade Teacher Surveys

All fourth grade teachers use novel studies. It is written into their curriculum. They have a basal reader and use it more as a resource. The majority of the 4th grade teachers feel that the novel study is more effective and more interesting to the students.

3rd Grade Teacher Surveys

All third grade teachers use both methods, the basal and novel studies. Most of their weekly testing is based off of the basal story of the week-spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension. Some teachers are pleased with this system, while others feel as though their students are being cheated. Some want the entire vocabulary and spelling tests taken out. The third grade teachers try to implement as many novel studies as they can get in.

2nd Grade Teacher Surveys

2nd Grade teachers rely heavily on the basal reader. Some feel that the phonics and spelling alignment is important to early readers. They try to supplement with more literature through guided reading and Daily 5.

Study Results of Bullard Elementary

The overall consensus is that a richer literature-based approach is more effective and more enjoyable in teaching reading to students. My data shows that the percentage of novels and print rich literature among students is significantly higher than that of the basal reader. My data also proves that the percentage of novels and print rich literature among teachers is more favorable than the basal readers. 2nd grade teachers rely on the basal reader the most; third grade teachers rely on it a little less, while 4th grade teachers barely use it at all.