Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Fatih Ari

Second Advisor

Tammi Kolski


The purpose of this action research was to implement four close reading strategies (Aha moment, Hmm moment, B.U.R.N. strategy, and R.A.P.) and evaluate its impact on fifth grade African American male students’ reading comprehension skills and their experiences with reading at Wisteria Lane Elementary. This intervention study focused on two research questions: how does the implementation of close reading strategies impact the reading comprehension skills of fifth grade male students, and in what ways does the implementation of close reading strategies influence fifth grade male students’ motivation to read in other classes? Nationally, African American boys suffer with weak reading comprehension skills that can lead to fewer job opportunities and increased likelihood for dropping out of high school. This 11-week action research innovation had nine fifth grade African American male participants. The students were taught how to use each close reading strategy introduced and given the opportunity to practice with guided instruction, a partner, as well as independently. A pre-post Reading Comprehension assessment, formative assessments, weekly student reflection journals, a survey, and a focus group interview comprised the data sources used to measure reading comprehension skills and student perceptions about using close reading strategies on their motivation to read in other classes. Quantitative findings revealed that the posttest scores were not significantly higher than the pretest scores and partipants favored the Hmm moment strategy. Qualitative findings showed that participants saw benefits of using the close reading strategies and the close reading strategies motivated students to read. Recommendations for future research and limitations of the study are discussed.


© 2023, Patrice Antoinette Barrett