Let's Read Together: Reading Motivation and Engagement in Elementary Students

Jennifer Doering


Reading opens students’ minds to new perspectives and understanding while giving them a way to connect with others’ thoughts and feelings. Even though reading is “a way to learn, explore and communicate with the world” (Ortileb, 2015, p. 166), many students are disengaged and uninterested in the activity. A review of the literature indicates that teachers can implement strategies in their classrooms to change these negative trends into positive ones. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to discover strategies that teachers can use to create lifelong readers out of their students. This study will specifically look for strategies that promote, (1) student motivation to read, and (2) student engagement with reading material. This study addresses the following research question: What are effective teaching strategies for promoting lifelong reading in elementary students by increasing student motivation to read and student engagement with academic reading material? In order to collect data, reading instruction was observed in three different elementary school classrooms in California. The observations focused primarily on teaching strategies that are used and effective with students. In addition, individual interviews were conducted with six California educators. The results yielded three characteristics of teaching strategies that classroom teachers use to promote student motivation and engagement in the classroom: personalization, teacher enthusiasm, and planning instruction for appropriate student success.


reading instruction; motivation; engagement

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