Graduate Research and Discovery Symposium (GRADS)


Understanding Young Children's Attitudes and Dispositions Toward Informational Text


Linda B. Gambrell

Document Type



Curriculum and Instruction

Publication Date

Spring 2013


After more than a decade of research suggesting that young children would benefit from increased exposure to informational text it would make sense that contemporary children have more experience with non-fiction than did children at the turn of the millennium. With the advent of the Common Core State Standards and its emphasis on young children’s comprehension of the structure and content of informational text, increasing children’s exposure to this genre is practically mandated. Through the analysis of participant interviews, parent and teacher questionnaires, observational notes, and related artifacts, this case study examines young children’s attitudes and dispositions toward informational and narrative text and identifies factors that potentially impact children’s exposure to, and familiarity with, informational text. Our study suggests that young readers likely have significant exposure to informational text, as children across the early grades consistently recognized the features of informational text. When books from both genres were presented to the children and they were asked which books they preferred, the children selected informational texts at almost the same rate at narratives. When asked to identify preferred books from recall however, narrative titles were named at a far greater rate than informational texts. Potential reasons for this discrepancy are explored.

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