Enhancing comprehension in small reading groups using a manipulation strategy

Arthur M. Glenberg, Megan Brown, Joel R. Levin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Having young readers manipulate objects to correspond to the characters and actions in a text greatly enhances comprehension as measured by both recall and inference tests. As a step toward classroom implementation, we applied this manipulation strategy in small (three-child) reading groups. For successive critical sentences, one child would read the sentence aloud and then manipulate the objects, then the next child would read and manipulate, and so on. Children in a reread control condition also alternated reading the text. For the reread condition, one child would read the critical sentence and then reread it, followed by the next child, and so on. Children who manipulated were substantially more accurate in answering questions about the texts. Thus, the manipulation strategy meets at least some of the criteria for being applicable in a classroom setting, namely it is effective when applied in small groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • First-grade
  • Manipulation
  • Reading
  • Reading comprehension
  • Reading groups
  • Reading intervention
  • Small groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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