Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor/Committee Member

William E. Nagy

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Kris Gritter

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Scott F. Beers


Common Core, Morphology



The purpose of this study was to identify and categorize the morphologically complex words in the Kindergarten and First Grade Common Core State Standards English and Language Arts (CCSS ELA) Exemplar Texts. Four text types were analyzed: student-read fiction, student-read informational text, teacher read-aloud fiction, and teacher read-aloud informational text. The results revealed that students will encounter many inflectional morphemes in both the books they learn to read and the books read-aloud to them. These texts thus provide strong support for meeting the CCSS ELA Conventions standards for kindergarten and first grade, which primarily address inflectional morphology. However, the student-read titles are not well suited for enabling students to achieve the Vocabulary and Use learning objectives as they relate to morphology. The prefixes and suffixes found within these student-read titles do not correspond with those mentioned in the CCSS standards, or with the most common affixes mentioned in published recommendations for morphology instruction (e.g., Graves, 2004; White, Sowell, & Yanagihara, 1989). In fact, the most common prefixes in the student-read fictional texts were not even listed by White, Sowell, and Yanagihara (1989). This current study helps fill a gap in the body of previous morphology research by providing a morphological analysis of high value Kindergarten and First grade titles, which were targeted specifically to meet CCSS ELA learning standards. The results of this study provided evidence that derivational morphology was not often exemplified in early student-read fiction. However, derivational morphemes were somewhat more common in the informational student-read texts. Because of this, they have potential to be used as a bridge to the complex morphology in academic words that will become prevalent in the middle elementary school years and beyond.