Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education-Higher Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Erica Hamilton

Academic Year



Research shows that time spent engaged in recreational (i.e., pleasure) reading is important for elementary students’ literacy growth. Students who spend time reading outside of school are more likely to succeed in school. However, student engagement in pleasure reading has declined in the last few decades. To address this challenge, teachers in grades 3-5 have the responsibility and opportunity to encourage their students to read outside of school by seeking to improve their students’ attitudes and motivation towards reading while in school. Fostering upper elementary students’ intrinsic motivation for reading, including pleasure reading, is imperative for teachers to see lasting results. Therefore, teachers must employ teaching practices which promote autonomy, competence, and relatedness when teaching reading, as they encourage students to read for learning and pleasure purposes.

To accomplish this goal, upper elementary educators must reevaluate their current teaching practices and examine ways they can facilitate changes in students’ attitudes toward reading and increase students’ motivation to read. This project introduces a tool (i.e., guidebook) which will enable grade 3-5 teachers to support students’ reading for academic and pleasure purposes. This guidebook provides ideas to increase students’ engagement in and enjoyment of reading at school. It serves as an important supplement to teachers’ already existing reading curriculum and includes strategies and classroom practices proven to increase students’ motivation towards reading at school. When implementing the pedagogies and practices contained in this guidebook, teachers will have opportunities to address students’ literacy needs in, and hopefully beyond, school.