Literacy Engagement and the Impacts on Literacy Development
Stadler Smith, Nichole
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The most common reason for a person to partake in reading and writing is enjoyment which also provides intrinsic motivation. Students who have intrinsic motivation are more likely to be engaged and interact deeply in the literacy activity, which has shown to increase comprehension and higher reading achievement. Intrinsic motivation and engagement are vital in creating life-long readers and writers. Engaged literacy activities are both a goal of instruction and a pathway to achieve success. The purpose of this research project was to study the effects of engagement strategies and the use of social justice literature on literacy development. This study took place at a public Montessori school located in the Midwest. There was a total of twelve students which consisted of first and second graders aged six through eight years old. Over the span of the twelve-week study, the engagement strategies of experiential learning, interactive read-aloud, and interactive writing were implemented. Student behaviors, knowledge, and skills were assessed to place students on the Reading Developmental Continuum through observation and miscue analysis before and after the strategies were implemented to determine literacy growth in engagement, comprehension, and language-to-print connections. The results indicated growth in all three reading components. It also revealed an increase in students’ social justice awareness and sense of agency. This suggests that engagement strategies rooted in rich meaningful literature positively impact students’ literacy development.
social justice literature