Listening EARS: How Does Reading to Rabbits Affect the Reading Skills of Third Grade Students?
Annie Petersen, EdD
This study will advance knowledge about how interaction with an animal can improve oral fluency and reading comprehension. Further, it offers the potential to demonstrate the effectiveness of Listening EARS, a program in which children read to small animals (i.e., rabbits and guinea pigs)—that may already be in classrooms—as an alternative to programs that involve trained therapy dogs.
The objectives of the proposed study are twofold: (1) to evaluate the effect of participation in Listening EARS on third grade students’ reading ability, and (2) to demonstrate and document the viability of using small animals in school-based reading programs.
Classroom interactions with rabbits and guinea pigs will improve third grade students’ oral fluency and reading comprehension.