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This study compared 2 methods of teaching low-performing ninth-grade students to comprehend short stories. One method was an interactive comprehension strategy based on schema theory and story grammar. This method focused on identifying the important story grammar elements such as problem/conflict, main character, attempts, resolution, twist, character information, reactions, and theme. The comparison condition, traditional basal instruction, lasted 4 weeks. 32 students, including 6 special education students who met the screening criteria, served as subjects. Students were paired according to pretest scores and handicapping conditions and randomly assigned to 1 of the 2 treatments. Students' performance was analyzed on 4 measures (story grammar questions, basal questions, written retells, and theme questions) drawn from curriculum-referenced tests. The results indicated that students who had story grammar instruction performed significantly better on basal, story grammar, and theme questions, and on written retells, than students who had traditional instruction. Maintenance tests indicated that the effects of the intervention lasted for 2 weeks in all areas.