Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Committee Member

Christine Clark

Second Committee Member

Thomas Bean

Third Committee Member

Clifford McClain

Fourth Committee Member

Steven Grubaugh

Fifth Committee Member

LeAnne Putney

Number of Pages



The notion that "real work" is somehow different from authentic and engaging discovery is troublesome. (Passman, 2001, p.196)

This qualitative case study examined science concept and literacy learning along with engagement of the students in a Kindergarten class in which science and literacy instruction was integrated through Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI). CORI is an instructional framework created to increase reading engagement by teaching reading comprehension strategies along with science concepts (Guthrie, et al., 1996). This study explored CORI at the Kindergarten level to examine how this curriculum framework engaged young learners in science concept and literacy learning. The study was grounded in the belief that concept learning can be engaging and motivating (Csikszentmihalyi, 1978). Data analysis resulted in five metaphors that show how the students took on multiple identities while engaged in learning concepts during CORI. Students took on the following identities: learner as docent, learner as explorer, learner as researcher, learner as author, and learner as expert. Prior to this study, the lowest grade level that CORI had been researched was 3rd grade. The present study examined the benefits of utilizing CORI with early literacy at the Kindergarten level and contributes to the body of CORI research demonstrating the potential of utilizing CORI at lower grade levels.


Concept-oriented reading instruction; Early literacy; Reading (Kindergarten); Science – Study and teaching (Early childhood); Teaching – Methodology


Educational Methods | Liberal Studies | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education | Science and Mathematics Education

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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