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Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 1

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents


Taylor N. Whaley
Ferris State University
Spring Semester 2016

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 2


Introduction:
The benefits of reading are innumerable. Students who read frequently
develop stronger reading skills compared to those who do not read regularly. Many
educators understand that in order to increase reading proficiency, students need to
spend significant time reading (Miller, 2012). However, motivating students to read
frequently can be a challenge. Reading motivation can be defined as the drive a
student has towards reading or a students push away from reading. Student
interest, dedication, and confidence are all factors in reading motivation (Cambria &
Guthrie, 2010). Educators must be aware of their students motivational factors in
order to increase reading motivation.
The purpose of this study is to increase reading motivation among
adolescents, which will in turn increase reading proficiency and success. This study
will take place among sixth grade students at Lowell Middle School, located in
Lowell, Michigan. According to the sixth grade English Language Arts M-Step scores,
52.4% of sixth graders are proficient or advanced in this area. The data also shows
that 47.6% of students are not proficient or partially proficient in English Language
Arts. With almost half of the students not proficient, this indicates that something
must be done in order to increase proficiency. The research question presented is:
what research-based best practices in reading instruction can motivate students to
read? The research-based best practices in motivation will be implemented in lesson
plans and achievement will be compared to previous assessments in the school
year.

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Literature Review:
Reading is a critical and necessary skill, and in order to get students reading,
teachers must understand how to motivate them. Motivation in reading refers to the
interest, engagement, and drive students have to read a text. When students enjoy
their reading and have a significant interest, their reading proficiency supports it
(Naeghel, et al, 2014). In order for students to accomplish proficient reading skills,
they need to be reading. The more students read, the more they will improve their
reading skills. Motivation is the driving force and the first step to teaching students
to become proficient, lifelong readers. Increasing reading proficiency in schools is a
top priority, therefore more research based strategies related to motivation must be
put in practice.
Student choice is one research based strategy to increase reading motivation.
There are several ways that self-selecting reading material will build a readers selfefficacy. When teachers give students the freedom to self-select text, students are
able to value their ability to make decisions while giving them a feeling of
ownership. In addition, this will encourage students to be lifelong readers while
simultaneously improving their reading achievement (Miller, 2014). Providing a wide
array of reading topics that appeal to more students will make student choice more
meaningful and authentic. This can be especially helpful when students feel that
some components of literacy are not personally relevant (Senn, 2012). In order for
students to feel empowered and involved in their reading, we must give them the
opportunities to take ownership of their reading choices.
Another research based strategy is guiding students to become intrinsically
motivated readers, opposed to extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation refers to internal
rewards. For example, students who are intrinsically motivated read a text because

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 4


it is interesting to them and they want to learn about a topic. Extrinsic, on the other
hand, refers to external rewards. An example of this would be a student reading a
text purely for a grade or a prize. Student interest in reading is key because it deals
with intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. When students are interested in what they
read, they become intrinsically motivated instead of reading for an external reward
(Cambria & Guthrie, 2010). In order to support students and help them grow as
intrinsic readers, teachers must understand their critical role. The research supports
that teachers who take genuine interest in their students reading have more
students that are intrinsically motivated (Naeghel, et al, 2014). Teachers can
support student interests by providing them with multiple genres and resources, in
addition to holding informal reading conferences. Also, teachers must emphasize
that reading is not a school job, but rather a useful skill that they will use often
and should enjoy (Miller, 2012). Teacher involvement has a powerful effect on
student motivation.
Using alternative methods that allow for differentiation is another research
based strategy. Whole-class novels, comprehension tests, book reports, reading
logs, round-robin reading, and incentive programs are widely used by reading
teachers. It is very important that teachers examine the practices they use. Some
strategies are used just because they are the traditional practices, yet there may be
better alternatives. With the trend of unmotivated readers and decreasing test
scores, it is important for teachers to examine how they teach and use alternative
methods that can produce greater results (Miller & Anderson, 2009). For example,
instead of using a whole-class novel, have smaller groups of students read the same
novel. This will increase reading motivation because it allows for student choice,
interest, and reading level. Students are also able to collaborate with their peers,

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 5


which increases motivation (Honig, 2013). When trying to increase reading scores,
teachers must branch out and use alternative methods to differentiate for diverse
readers.
These are the three research based strategies I will use:
1) Student choice
2) Using student interest to build intrinsic motivation
3) Utilizing alternative reading methods that allow for differentiation
Methodology:
The research will take place at Lowell Middle School, located in Lowell, MI.
Lowell is a rural area in West Michigan. The sixth graders at Lowell Middle School
are 92% White, 3% Hispanic or Latino, 2% African American, 2% two or more races,
and 1% Asian. 44% of students are considered economically disadvantaged, while
66% of students are not economically disadvantaged. Males are the majority at
56%, while females make up 44% of the sixth grade population. As previously
stated, the sixth grade English Language Arts M-Step scores determined that 52.4%
of sixth graders are proficient or advanced, while 47.6% of students are not
proficient or partially proficient. The instructional plans are intended for a sixth
grade Language Arts block, which will include approximately 24 students.
Instructional Plan:
There are three instructional plans included. They are all aligned with the Common
Core State Standards. The first lesson plan teaches about comparing and
contrasting. This lesson is the first lesson in the unit and will hook students by
interest. They will also complete a reading survey which will assist the teacher with

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 6


better understanding of student interests. The second lesson would be completed
once the students are finished or close to being done with their book. They will
collaborate in groups and compare/contrast their book with a different groups book.
The last lesson includes the summative assessment. Students will receive class time
to demonstrate their knowledge of their book. They will also choose the type of
project they will complete. The unit emphasizes student choice and interest,
alternative methods, and intrinsic reading motivation.
Assessment Plan:
After teaching the lessons, a summative assessment choice project will be used. At
the end of the unit, students will create a project of their choice to demonstrate
their knowledge about their book, the themes, and comparisons and contrasts to
another book. The assessment from this unit will be compared to a previous unit
where a whole-class novel was used and every student completed the same type of
culminating project. Formative assessments are also included throughout the unit.
Limitations:

Motivation can be difficult to measure. However, research shows that when


students are motivated, they will read more and improve on their reading

skills.
The whole unit will take a significant amount of time (approximately three

weeks). This is not enough time to see a long-term increase in motivation.


Students who are absent could have a difficult time catching up.
Classroom teachers may not have the means to provide multiple sets of
different books.

Instructional Plan:

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Grade Level: 6th

Curriculum/Course: Reading
Grade
Time/Period: 1 Hour

for each lesson


Lesson One

Description:

The three lessons included would be part of a three-week unit. In that time
period, students will read a book of their choosing (from selected texts),
engage in group collaboration and conferences, and prepare a presentation
about the summary and themes of their book. Student choice, student
interest, and class time to read will allow for the transition from extrinsic
reading motivation to intrinsic reading motivation. Lesson One is introducing
the unit, which focuses on comparing and contrasting.

Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.9
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and
poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to

similar themes and topics.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in
groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and
issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Materials:

Class set of worksheets


Index cards
Elmo Projector

Objectives:

The sixth grade student will compare and contrast likes/interests with a

partner using a graphic organizer with 100% completion and participation.


The sixth grade student will complete notes and a Venn Diagram about
comparing and contrasting with 100% completion.

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 8


Introduction/Hook:

Today, we are going to start with something you are all very good at; talking

to each other!
Pass out warm-up worksheet.
Fill out the first page individually. For example, it says MSU or U of M? Now,

if I was filling this out, what would I put in the blank?


MSU, correct! Go ahead and fill this out.
While students are completing this, pull Popsicle sticks to plan the partners.
Once they are done, tell students who their partner is and instruct them to

get with their partner.


Fill out the table with your answers and your partners answers. Then, talk

about what you have in common and what you do not have in common.
Give them adequate time to talk about their answers but still stay on track

(probably 5-8 minutes).


Ask students to return to their seats.

Steps In The Lesson:

Inform the students we will be focusing on comparing and contrasting and

theme for this unit.


Pass out the notes page. Students must follow along with their note page and
fill in the blank word as we go. Discuss with the students what comparing and

contrasting is and their purposes.


Move through the note page. Scaffold and guide discussion along the way.
- Comparing is what two or more things have in common. Compare soccer
-

and football. What do they have in common?


Contrasting is what two or more things dont have in common (their

differences). Contrast soccer and football. How are they different?


Discuss Venn Diagrams on the next page. Fill out the Venn with the football
and soccer information. Explain that Venn Diagrams are a way to
compare/contrast information but in sixth grade we need to expand our

knowledge in other ways.


Address the whats the point questions for the lesson.
Comparing and Contrasting
- Helps you comprehend what you are reading.
- Expands your thinking.
- Is used in ALL subjects.
- Helps you make meaningful connections.

Closure Activity:

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 9

Students will complete the Three Ws before the last part of the lesson.
Have the Three Ws written on the board:
- What did we learn today?
- So What? (Purpose)
- Now What? (Predictions)
Once students complete this, pass out the interest survey. Have students
complete this as an exit ticket.

Assessment:

Formative Assess the Three Ws. Make sure students identified the purpose

for the lesson.


Formative The interest survey will be looked at. Using these surveys, get a
better idea of students interests. The next day, students will explore four
different books. The books will range in interest levels, but will all have the
same theme. Book choices: One Crazy Summer, Glory Be, The Watsons Go To
Birmingham, and Through My Eyes.

Best Practices:

The research-based practice in this lesson is interest. In the introduction,


students are comparing and contrasting things that are relevant and/or
interesting to the 6th grade population. Also, students will have choice in their
book selection. Choice and interest will help students make the leap between
extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.
Lesson Two

Description:

This next lesson will occur once the students finish their book (or are far
enough to be able to discuss themes and other elements). Students chose
from four books that have the same theme. Students are in groups of
approximately three students. The groups will merge (example: students
reading The Watsons Go To Birmingham will meet with the group reading
Glory Be). They will be collaborating together to compare and contrast their
books.

Standards:

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 10

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.9
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and
poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to

similar themes and topics.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in
groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and
issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Materials:

Class set of worksheets


Index cards
Elmo Projector
Individual books

Objectives:

The sixth grade student will compare and contrast their book that they read
with another groups book (of the same theme) using the Compare and
Contrast worksheet and have 100% accuracy.

Introduction/Hook:

Project the quote: I have a dream that my four little children will one day live
in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the

content of their character. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)


Ask students to discuss their thoughts on this quote. Guide their discussion to
talk about their books and how it relates to this quote.

Steps In The Lesson:

After the hook, tell the students they will be comparing and contrasting their
books.
- There are many ways we can compare and contrast these books, even

though they are all different stories.


Next, pass out the practice worksheet (attached).
- The first compare/contrast we will do has to deal with discrimination.
- What is an example of discrimination in The Watsons Go To Birmingham1963?

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 11

Guide the discussion. Write the answers on the paper using an Elmo to

project the modeling.


- What is an example of discrimination found in Through My Eyes?
- How are the examples alike?
- How are the examples different?
The next page will be done with the groups. This page has the same
questions but they relate to violence during the Civil Rights movement.
- You will complete this page with your groups and talk about the questions

and answers.
Walk around the room to see who needs more guidance and that all groups
are on track. Once the groups are finished, instruct students to go back to

their normal seats.


The next compare/contrast will be independent practice by the student.
- Complete the next page on your own. This topic is about courage.
Walk around the room to see who needs more guidance and that all groups

are on track.
The students can share out their comparison/contrast with their table group

once everyone is finished.


Closure Activity:

The students will complete a 3-2-1 for the closure.


Pass out an index card for each student.
- Write 3 things you learned, 2 things you have a question about, and 1

thing you want me to know.


Write these directions on the board so they can refer back to them as they

go.
Collect this as their exit ticket.

Assessment:

Formative Visit each group of students to make sure they are on the right
track. Collect the worksheet to assess the individual portion. Also, collect the
exit ticket to address questions and concerns.

Best Practices:

The research-based practice in this lesson is using alternative reading


methods. A common practice is doing a whole-class novel, but students are in
groups and each group has different novels.

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 12

Lesson Three
Description:

This is the last lesson of the unit and it includes the summative assessment.
Students will get in-class time to work on their project.

Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through
particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal

opinions or judgments.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.9
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and
poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to

similar themes and topics.


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in
groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and
issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Materials:

Class set of directions and rubrics


Project supplies poster, markers, rulers
Technology iPads or laptops

Objectives:

The sixth grade student will create a choice project based on the book they
read in a specific format (following the rubric) with at least 40/50 points.

Introduction/Hook:

Start the lesson with presenting an example of the assessment they will

complete.
Use an example with different books that still aligns with the project.

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 13

Example: This could be a students Prezi or Newspaper project from last year.

Steps In The Lesson:

Present an example of the project that they will complete.


Once it is presented, pass out the rubric and directions to the project.
- Now that we have all finished our books and identified thematic
elements, we are going to create a project about our books!
Read the directions to the students and encourage students to ask questions.
- You will have class time today to work on the rough draft of this project.
Read the rubric to the students.
Instruct students to get started on the rough draft.
Walk around and answer questions and assist students.

Closure Activity:

Students will show the teacher their progress on the project for that class
period. Students will get more days to work on the projects before
presentations.

Assessment:

Summative Students are creating an end-of-book project of their choice to


demonstrate their knowledge of the book, their summarization skills, and
their ability to compare and contrast. Refer to rubric.

Best Practices:

The research-based practice in this lesson is using choice. The students chose
the book that they read and the students are also choosing what form they
prefer to present their final project in.

Conclusions/Recommendations:
To increase reading motivation in adolescents, I recommend utilizing small
reading groups, allowing student choice in text selection, and considering student
interest in order to foster intrinsic reading. Although whole-class novels are a
traditional practice for middle school, teaching reading in small groups considers
instructional level, interest, and choice. Allowing students to choose their reading

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material will also increase motivation, so I recommend that students have a voice in
their text selection. In addition, I recommend that student interest is taken into
consideration with lesson and unit planning. When students are interested in their
reading, it will change their motivation from extrinsic to intrinsic. When students are
intrinsically motivated to read, they are practicing the skills and habits of lifelong
readers. Through these research-based strategies, motivation will increase and
students will reap the benefits of reading.
The most difficult part of this research is assessing and measuring
motivation. For future researchers, I would recommend tracking data from the
beginning of the year and continue as the year goes on. The data that could be
measured could be surveys, reading inventories, and test scores. Also, conferencing
with students and discussing their reading habits can provide insight to future
instruction and reading recommendations. Another way to approach instruction is to
make reading plans even more individualized. For example, I had students read
selected books from the same theme, but students could be even more motivated if
they each have their own book and get more say in the selection process. For future
researches, I recommend that they have an extended period of time to measure
motivation and they build strong, trusting relationships with their students in order
to get to know their interests better.
References:
Cambria, J., & Guthrie, J. T. (2010). Motivating And Engaging Students In Reading.
The NERA Journal, 46(1), 17-27. Retrieved February 21, 2016.

Increasing Reading Motivation In Adolescents 15


Honig, B., Diamond, L., Gutlohn, L., & Cole, C. L. (2013). Teaching Reading
Sourcebook (2nd Ed.). Novato, CA: Arena Press.

Miller, D. (2012). Creating a Classroom Where Readers Flourish. Read Teach The
Reading Teacher, 66(2), 88-92. Retrieved February 21, 2016.

Miller, D., & Anderson, J. (2009). Cutting The Teacher Strings (pp. 121-151). The
Book Whisperer: Awakening The Inner Reader In Every Child. San Francisco,
CA: Jossey-Bass.

Miller, D., & Kelley, S. (2014). Wild Readers Self-Select Reading Material (pp. 43-78)
Reading In The Wild: The Book Whisperer's Keys To Cultivating Lifelong
Reading Habits. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Naeghel, J. D., Valcke, M., Meyer, I. D., Warlop, N., Braak, J. V., & Keer, H. V. (2014).
The Role Of Teacher Behavior In Adolescents Intrinsic Reading Motivation.
Read Writ Reading and Writing, 27(9), 1547-1565. Retrieved February 21,
2016.

Senn, N. (2012). Effective Approaches to Motivate and Engage Reluctant Boys in


Literacy. Read Teach: The Reading Teacher, 66(3), 211-220. Retrieved
February 21, 2016.
State of Michigan. (2016). Education dashboard: Statewide. In mischooldata.org.
Retrieved April 27, 2016, from

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https://www.mischooldata.org/DistrictSchoolProfiles/ReportCard/EducationDas
hboard.aspx