Laurie Ann Powell

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Reading Education


Language, Literacy, and Special Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Lee, Valarie


Reading; Motivation in education


Elementary Education and Teaching


The purposes of this study were to determine what makes first grade students motivated to read, which best practices motivated first graders to read, and can first graders say what motivates them to read. The study lasted for thirteen days and all instruction was based on a goal-oriented weather unit. The study was divided into five phases. Each of the first four phases lasted for three days and during each phase a different best practice was put into place. The best practices were student choice, hands-on activities, the use of high interest texts, and peer collaboration. On the final day of the study all of these best practices were used in conjunction with each other. After triangulating the data, it was found that a goal-oriented unit motivates students, first graders struggle to express what motivates them to read, and the teacher can be a motivating factor. In conclusion, teachers should use goal-oriented units, while interacting with their students in a constructive and supportive way in order to increase student motivation. Students should also be allowed to interact with their peers and teachers in order to show motivation and engagement.