Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

Literacy, Educational Foundations, & Technology

First Advisor

Elizabeth Stolle

Academic Year



Too many students exit high school with only foundational literacy skills and few continue on to be lifelong readers. The main factor to this issue is a lack of engagement for students in the classroom. Due to policies and expectations, teachers have felt the pressure to focus on standardized test preparation based curriculum, instead of a student centered curriculum, which has contributed to a lack of engagement from students. Transactional/Reader Response Theory and Critical Literacy theory frames the research, findings, and creation of this project. The project features a student centered exemplar curriculum that spans 18 weeks and features five units of study. The goal of this project is to increase student engagement through the use implementations of: independent reading with intention, student choice, time to read in class, and carefully selected texts that are balanced and scaffolded for learning. Other evidenced based instructional choices that are in the project include: opportunities for student talk, authentic reading and writing experiences, and essential questions crafted to create transfer throughout the semester curriculum. A rich literacy environment where student feel a part of community will include: collaborative learning in the format of book clubs and engaging student accountability tasks and assessments.