We wanted to make sure that Anna would be motivated to participate in literacy instruction so we started by incorporating materials that focused on her interests and experiences – her family, her dog, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and Sesame Street. Using these materials served to increase Anna’s interest in the instructional activities, and also ensured that she could draw on her background knowledge and experience. As Anna developed greater interest and competence in learning to read, we gradually introduced new content using her interests as a bridge to new concepts and vocabulary. For example, we made use of books in which Mickey and Minnie had many new experiences that introduced new vocabulary and content knowledge to Anna.
We set goals that were just slightly beyond Anna’s current skills and provided her with instructional supports so that she experienced lots of success during literacy instruction. We provided her with positive feedback throughout instruction to encourage her participation.
To make instruction meaningful and motivating,
- incorporate student interests
- include motivating words and topics
- make connections to personal experiences
- ensure student success during instruction