Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


First Advisor

Guy Trainin

Date of this Version



Wheeler, J. R. (2019). How vocabulary notebooks change student knowledge of science concepts and vocabulary. Master's thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Digital Commons, Lincoln, NE.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, Under the Supervision of Professor Guy Trainin. Lincoln, Nebraska: August 2019

Copyright 2019 Justin Wheeler


This study was conducted to determine the effect that an explicit vocabulary strategy, the use of vocabulary notebooks, may have on students in an upper elementary science classroom. The study was conducted in a small mid-western town of approximately 14,000 people in an elementary school with approximately 415 students. The study was conducted in a science classroom of fifth-grade students in which the primary investigator was the teacher. The research question for this study was: How does student’s vocabulary knowledge of science concepts change when students create vocabulary notebook entries including definition, science concept, examples, and non-examples? Data sources collected for this study were participant interview responses, weekly investigator journals, and student-submitted work in the form of quizzes and assessments. The findings suggest that, during the study, no significant change occurred.

Advisor: Guy Trainin