Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



Degree Granting Department

Teaching and Learning

Major Professor

Jenifer Schneider, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Arthur Bochner, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James R. King, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Tony X. Tan, Ph.D.


comprehension, drama, elementary education, information texts, main idea, writing in role


In this study I investigated the process drama convention of tableau to mediate for the representation of main ideas in science information texts. My pedagogical goal was to focus on the body as a tool for engaging with information texts and my rationale for this goal was the belief that the body is neglected in classroom learning. The task of creating caused the students to be active and to think of their own and other bodies as signifiers of meaning.

The methodology was based on a formative experiment that allowed for changes and modifications to be made in response to the intervention of tableau. Formative and design experiments recognize that classrooms are ecologically complex research sites that are situated in particular cultural and historical contexts. Theories related to cultural historical activity theory (CHAT), expansive and embodied learning frame this research as paradigms that recognize the dialectics between activity and culture and the body in and of the world.

In the study tableau is framed as an innovative learning method that disrupts the traditional and historical methods for identifying main idea, such as the annotation of text. Through the disruption of tableau came opportunities to expand notions of literacy and comprehension as well as the traditional associations of drama with fiction texts. The study shows that tableau is a flexible mediating tool that can be applied to the current focus on informational texts and close reading.