Preschool Intervention for Embodied Storytelling (PIES): Using Drama to Enhance Language Skills at Story Time

Project: Research project

Project Details


Background: Low-income and dual language learners (DLLs) need efficacious oral language interventions to close their academic achievement gaps compared with their peers from higher SES and monolingual backgrounds. The purpose of the study is to examine the effects of story time language intervention that uses embodied principles through drama-based instruction (DBI). We hypothesize that including DBI strategies during story time will result in significant positive effects for the intervention group than the attentional control group (traditional shared book reading). The DLLs will show greater storytelling and comprehension gains than their monolingual peers. Further, we hypothesize that children in DBI will demonstrate greater emotional knowledge and the teachers participating in DBI will use more DBI strategies after observing the intervention.
Method: The Preschool Intervention for Embodied Storytelling (PIES) project will address storytelling skills amongst at-risk students by implementing a DBI program in a Head Start program in the southwestern United States. We will measure 80 students storytelling and comprehension skills before and after implementing the PIES intervention across 6 classrooms. Teaching Artists will deliver all the lessons twice weekly classroom teachers will be active participants in the lessons.
Analyses: We will compare the intervention and control groups story comprehension and retell ability, and their emotional knowledge, using multilevel repeated measures ANCOVAs. Intervention and control groups will be randomized at the classroom level. We will also examine teachers use of drama strategies before and after PIES is implemented in their classrooms using a repeated measures ANOVA. Finally, we will compare teachers survey responses at pre and posttest regarding their feelings about the use of drama-based strategies.
Implications/Conclusions: Our results will advance knowledge on the role of embodied DBI in language development and teacher use of these strategies in the classroom.
Effective start/end date9/30/219/29/22


  • HHS-ACF: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE): $24,926.00


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