Story Presentation Effects on the Narratives of Preschool Children From Low and Middle Socioeconomic Homes
Author(s)McConnell, Grace Eileen
Early childhood education
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to examine whether preschool children from low and middle socioeconomic (SES) homes differ in their production of fictional story retells under two different presentation conditions. Story retells were elicited from 56 children, 28 from low-SES homes and 28 from mid-SES homes, in northeast Kansas preschools, once with an oral-only story model and once with a picture-supported oral story model. Analyses with mixed design ANOVAs indicated that the groups performed differently on both tasks in terms of inclusion of story grammar units and evaluative information, as well as in terms of lexical complexity. The reduced narrative and lexical complexity was evident in the group of children from low socioeconomic homes. In addition, both groups told more complete stories under the picture-supported presentation of the story model than with the oral-only model in terms of inclusion of story grammar units and evaluative information, as well as lexical complexity. These findings suggest that preschool children are just beginning to acquire knowledge of the essential elements needed for inclusion when telling complete fictional stories and that visual supports are beneficial in making story elements more salient for preschoolers. Implications for curriculum development and future research are discussed.