Using a computer-based semantic mapping, reading, and writing approach with at-risk fourth graders

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Journal of Computing in Childhood Education


Investigated the efficacy of using a computer (COM) program approach which allowed 124 male and 136 female at-risk, Chapter 1 4th graders to model, practice, and internalize the discourse form of a narrative. Once introduced and modeled by the COM, the Ss used a semantic map structure for organizing reading selections and for the writing of stories. Six teachers implemented this approach in their classrooms, while 1 teacher relied on traditional Chapter 1 approaches. Integrated use of COMs with semantic mapping, reading, and writing was more effective for writing success than were Chapter 1 approaches which did not use COM-software mapping. In addition, teachers showed positive attitudes toward the use of COMs, and girls had better attitudes toward writing than did boys. Ss responded positively to the use of technology incorporated with instructional strategies aimed at developing higher order thinking and literacy skills.