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Alli Szatkiewicz

Supplementary Texts and Reading Motivation

Inquiry Question

Context

How will using non-fiction, current event


texts (news articles, interviews, videos, etc)
to show the relevance of readings to my
students lives affect their sense of
motivation to complete long-term reading
assignments?
Preventing Readicide:

Elective senior class called Points of View in Literature


first novel of the semester, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver.
Based on reading behaviors seen in first semester I was concerned
about getting students motivated and actually reading the book. I
decided to try bringing in more non-fiction materials as a way to help
students make connections between the text and their lives, and thus
hopefully be naturally drawn deeper into the reading.

Strategies and Practices

Silent Sustained Reading

Initial and Concluding Surveys


necessary to allow students an
Literature Circle Assignment
opportunity to build their prior knowledge
o Researcher roleeach week, two
and background (43)
groups, two different articles
Augment Books with Authentic,
o read, answer questions, write
Real-World Texts
questions
bi-textual readersstudents who
Small Group Discussions
garner reading from a number of
Student Facilitated Discussion
different sources (47)
o 10-20 minutes each
Create Topic Floods
o different students each week, all
a packet for each student consisting of
students participated across the unit
numerous new stories, editorials, and
letters to the editor (81)

Big Chunk/Little Chunk


Philosophy

a lot of first-draft reading of large


chunks of text on their own seconddraft close readings of excerpts in the
classroom (99)
Readicide: How Schools Are Killing
Reading and What You Can Do About It
by Kelly Gallagher

Student Feedback
I liked the discussions that actually talk
about real life problems (researcher
role). I believe that we were very
engaged in this novel the activities
were conversation provoking. I
enjoyed the researcher part, it gave real
connections to the book.

Topics Covered
teen pregnancy being a single parent
experiences of undocumented
immigrants Obamas recent
executive action on immigration
history of Native American political
relations with the US government
criticism of Kingsolver and issues of
race/authentic representation in lit.

Types of Sources Used


news articles advertisement
campaign news video TED talk
interview photojournalism piece

Reflection and Findings

18% more motivated reader for this text


biggest motivators:
o a grade attached to the assignment (52%)
o desire to be prepared for discussion (18%)up from >1% on initial survey
assignments that affected motivation:
o in class discussion about important/controversial topics (59%)
o the Researcher role (51%)
Overall 67% of the class said that having regular opportunities in class to make
connections to personal and current events in the text through the use of articles,
videos, interviews, etc, helped them be somewhat or significantly more invested.

Questions
and
Further
Reflection

While students did seem to be more invested as a result of the outside


materials, they were not necessarily interested in the book itselfwhich
makes me think they are still struggling to find value in their reading. I
wonder if I had taken a more explicit approach in introducing why we were
reading the text and doing these assignments, if that would have helped
the students to better understand the purpose and feel more interested.