Case studies Level A




Thefollowing case study analysis examines a scenario whereby Pablo, aboy aged 10.3 in fifth grade is struggling with comprehension, on theother hand, enjoys reading. For the past three years with the help ofa special education teacher, Mr. Trout, he has managed to mastervocabulary despite his decoding skills and fluency being average. Thedifficulties in comprehension being experienced by Pablo are bothevaluative questions and literal. Several strategies were developedto help Pablo with his comprehension because his condition was amatter of concern towards the end of the school year (Paulsen, 2012).He cannot pinpoint key components in a story hence no progress incomprehension.

Thegoals developed by the reading specialist consulted involved Pabloanswering literal comprehension questions, evaluative comprehensionquizzes and identifying main passage components when presented with areading passage on his instructional level.


GraphicOrganizers are visual presentations that assist students inorganizing their comprehension of words or passages. They act ascommunication tools that help simplify the process of classificationof ideas while conveying knowledge, ideas, thoughts or concepts andthe relationship between them. Story maps and word webs are examplesof graphic organizers. Using word webs helps students to define andrecall essential vocabulary words, for instance, using synonyms ordescriptions. Students use story maps to create a clear outline ofthe story, enhancing their understanding. Metacognitive Strategieshelp students to monitor their learning through self-examination. Asa student reads a passage, they get the time to evaluate themselvesin the process so in the process they understand how they learn.

Literalcomprehension designates that understanding of simple facts from thepassage is taken into account by the student. With evaluativecomprehension, students can process the information presented in thepassage and apprehend what it means. Inferential comprehension meansthat the student can derive the meaning from the text and determinehow the information relates to other situations in the passage.

Applyingthe strategies to Pablo’s case

Variousreasons may hinder comprehension for Pablo, and that includes littleattention and the inability to remember what he had read. By that,Pablo may encounter a character in the passage for instance and failsto remember when and how he was introduced. Graphic Organizers can beused to help Pablo’s situation when structured in a way that whilePablo is reading a passage, he is prompted to fill in blanks relatedto the content of the passage. The strategy will guide Pablo whileexamining relationships in passages hence demonstrating his processof thinking. Using graphic organizers will also clarify the processof breaking a story apart into its major elements boostingcomprehension since the visual enhancements give him the time tobrainstorm while reading.

Thescenario presented by Pablo’s case can be made better by using theinstructional design which is the metacognitive strategy. AllowingPablo to take charge of his learning will make him a better learnerin both formal and informal settings. The instructor should apply allthe forms of comprehension to enable Pablo to reflect on his thinkingby reminding him to make a summary of what he has understood eitherin writing or orally and that way he will be able to applyself-examination hence booting his comprehension ability. Usingmetacognition will help build Pablo’s concentration, and when hemanages to answer all the questions in his head, he will begin toacquire self-confidence and slowly he will show significant progress.

LevelB Case summary

InLevel B case study analysis, Jacob, aged 9.9 in fourth grade is theboy in the scenario. Jacob has problems with vocabulary developmenteven with the enjoyment he derives in going to school and taking partin sports after school. His problem is seen in both his reading andcontent area classes like social studies and science. According toJacob’s mother, the problem had always existed but had aggravatedin his fourth grade affecting his comprehension. Jacob has shown thewillingness to learn and develop his vocabulary, so his teacher cameup with a goal for him. The goal is to give him vocabulary words thenlet him define them and apply them in sentences.


Directinstruction is a teacher-centered instructional approach. Here theteacher is required to teach definitions and pronunciations of newwords directly in a manner that will prove effective for thelearners. It is the oldest and by far the most applied teachingstrategy. The depth and clarity of teaching vocabulary will determinehow effective the strategy will be. The model is highly structuredleaving no room for students to personalize or infer from thecontent.

Semanticfeature analysis (SFA) is a strategy that uses a grid to assistchildren in exploring the relationships between vocabularies. Therelationship could be developed by linking the knowledge a studenthas with vocabulary words by showing how they join from a particulartopic. Analysis and completion of the grid make the networks visibleand in the process learners are enabled to master key concepts bymaking predictions (Paulsen, 2012). The strategy is useful where astudent experiences difficulties with vocabulary and comprehensionskills.

Applyingto Jacob’s scenario

SFAis the most appropriate word retrieval approach that helps strengthenvocabulary skills and content retention. Jacob’s situation can beabetted using this strategy, and that will help him improve not onlyin reading classes but also in content classes because of the masteryof vocabulary. Presenting Jacob with the outline of the grid andguiding him through it orally will enable him to capture more wordsand recognize how the words are related. Examining and discussing theanswers from Jacob and his fellow students, will further enhancevocabulary skills.

Directinstruction is helpful if the teacher uses the correct strategy beinga traditional method. Before reading a passage, Jacob’s teacher cantake his time and pre-teach him the vocabulary he is likely to meetas he reads and using them in sentences. During the process, graphicorganizers like word webs come in handy to simplify the process ofcomprehension of vocabulary words. Practice is important soencouraging Jacob to use the new words more often and also ensuringthat the teacher makes use of the words will help Jacob attain hisgoal.

InvolvingJacob’s parents

Withthe help of the teacher and his parents Jacob can get over vocabularylimitations that affect his schoolwork. His parents can help byencouraging him to read while at home and also by engaging him inconversations making sure that every day they teach him a new word.Reading books to Jacob and pausing to define the vocabularies theyencounter will help strengthen his ability too. By using thestrategies discussed above, the activity that Jacob’s parents canuse at home is classifying the objects found at home into groups andnaming them. Playing word games with Jacob will widen his grasp ofvocabulary.

LevelC case study

Thesituation presented is Beth’s reading problem. She is a thirdgrader aged 8.8 and full of life. Beth exhibits positive traitsaccording to her teacher who is very pleased with the way sheconducts herself in school. She is good at math and her content areasubjects because most of the reading is done in groups. For Beth,trouble sets in where reading involving comprehension and vocabularywords are concerned. Beth’s teacher Mrs. Edward’s shows concernabout her reading problem knowing that if nothing is done, Beth islikely to experience considerable difficulty in fourth grade. CallingBeth’s parents and a reading specialist to a meeting at the end ofthe six-week grading period is the first step the teacher takestowards helping Beth. The teacher’s intention is to increase Beth’sskills in comprehension and vocabulary as well as making the most ofon her positive attitude.

Beth’sidentified areas of strength include her very positive attitude seenfrom the way she accepts feedback and help, her ability to listen andparticipate in activities involving oral reading, the way she answersliteral questions from the comprehension.

Goalsfor Beth

• Givena text of level content, Beth will get the chance to read out apassage in class.

• Givenprivate reading lessons, Beth will mention particular areas ofdifficulty to the teacher.

• Givencooperative learning and group work, Beth will be expected to takepart and learn comprehensive and inferential reading as well.



Inclass, the teacher can use direct instruction to ensure that Bethgrasps the pronunciation and spelling of words so that she can applyto her reading. Being given the opportunity to read out passages inclass will make her a better reader since then she will stop readingonly in a group and will also acquire self-confidence.


Classroomreading is not enough for Beth since her situation is urgent andneeds to be corrected before she enters fourth grade. Holding privatereading classes after school will make it possible for the teacher tosingle out the areas of difficulty and iron them out step by step.The teacher can use the graphic organizer strategy whereby Beth isgiven a text with visual enhancements to read (Paulsen, 2012). Theapproach will help her associate the words with the pictures and getcorrected where she experiences difficulty.


TeachingBeth using the metacognitive strategy will be helpful in the sensethat, she will develop comprehension skills on top of the readingskills. The basis of understanding passages is reading soself-examination skills while reading will be helpful in developinginferential and comprehensive understanding since she is already goodat literal comprehension.

Givena text of level content, Beth will get the chance to read out apassage in class. The goal expects Beth to be able to read anymaterial considered of her level. To achieve this goal, the teachercan first introduce Beth to reading by giving him easier texts andpassages possibly from lower grades and through direct instructiondevelop step by step to her level content. The second goal givenprivate reading lessons, Beth will mention particular areas ofdifficulty to the teacher can be achieved at home. Beth’s parentscan take up the role to assist the teacher with special reading awayfrom school. At home, her parents can listen to her read storybooksof her level content and correct her where she goes wrong. These willhelp Beth achieve her dreams.


Paulsen.K, (2012) comprehension and vocabulary: grade 3-5. VanderbiltUniversity.