|dc.description.abstract||This qualitative study describes the relationship between young adolescent readers’
comprehension of environmentally-themed literary texts and the representation and
reinterpretation of those texts through drama. The participants in this study were four members
of one response group from a Grade 6 class engaged in a five week, text-based unit on humane
and environmental education.
Three themes emerged from the analysis of the data; curriculum design and
implementation, comprehension, and metacognitive awareness. Data analysis was facilitated by
Protherough’s (1983) framework for response, Rubin’s (1990) levels of comprehension, and
Eisner’s (2003) dimensions of curriculum.
Various factors influenced student comprehension during the study. These included;
i) elements of design such as the conceptual framework of the unit, the conceptual linking of
texts, the guided practice of using strategies to promote comprehension and metacognitive
awareness, the use of drama to mediate comprehension, and sustained engagement with related
text sets; (ii) planned and spontaneous teacher interventions to scaffold learning experiences and
facilitate critical literacy; and, (iii) opportunities for shared and private engagement, response
and reflection through oral, written, and dramatic symbolic systems.
The detailed design and implementation of the unit on humane and environmental
education illuminates the processes undertaken by educators involved in curriculum design,
development and implementation. It also provides a comprehensive model for the teaching of
humane and environmental education within the conceptual framework of a response-based
language arts unit.||