Story Pirates study published

Monday, August 5, 2019

Purdue Convocations will publish data from a research study on the intersection of literacy and the performing arts. Purdue Convocations conducted a study of the “Story Pirates” theatre education program to investigate its effect on children’s writing skills. Several key findings from the study include:

  • After the program concluded, 100% of student participants showed improvement and were able to effectively develop a main character in a story.
  • Theatre was a successful tool to help improve student-writing outcomes.
  • “Story Pirates brought the fun back into writing for my students” —3rd grade teacher

To conduct the study, the Purdue Convocations education team observed the “Story Pirates” program in a northwest Indiana elementary school that agreed to participate in our research and allow third-grade classes to participate. The team collected written stories from third-grade students before and after they viewed the Story Pirates program — analyzing the differences to determine what results the performance had on participating students. Research team members also recorded field notes during the performance and during the writing process in the third-grade classroom.

Dr. Amanda Mayes, Purdue Convocations’ Manager of Education, oversaw this research—which is the first of its kind and illustrates the importance of the arts for children’s creative writing skills.

The full research article “Using Theatre to Develop Writing Skills: The Story Pirates Idea Storm” can be found here.

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