The impact of a book flood on reading motivation and reading achievement of fourth grade students



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Reading proficiency makes profound differences in reasoning and the ability to learn new information. Past research has indicated that avid readers demonstrate superior literacy development and a wide-range of knowledge across subjects (Allington, 2011; Guthrie, 2008; Krashen, 2004). In a contrasting trajectory, a child who does not engage in reading has limited exposure to a wide vocabulary (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997) and a gap in knowledge ensues that adversely impacts literacy into adulthood (Hodgkinson, 1995; Neuman & Celano, 2006).
This quasi-experimental study examined the impact of readily accessible books on students’ motivation to read, attitudes towards reading and reading achievement when students are provided daily opportunities to read self-selected materials provided through a book flood. Book floods are designed to provide a large number of books to a classroom with limited books. Thirty-eight fourth grade students from two intact classrooms were assigned as the treatment (n=19) and the control group (n=19). Participants in both the control and treatment group were administered pre- and post-test to measure reading motivation and attitudes towards reading. Participants’ scores from the district mandated assessment were used to measure pre- and post-treatment reading achievement. The fourth-graders in the treatment group were provided 15-minutes daily to read self-selected books from the book flood. Participants in the treatment group recorded and rated the self-selected books in reading logs for a 12-week period. ANCOVA was conducted to compare post-tests results on the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey (M. McKenna & Kear, 1990), the Self-Regulation Questionnaire-Reading Motivation (De Naeghel, Van Keer, Vansteenkiste, & Rosseel, 2012), and the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA, 2003). Analyses of the data indicate significant differences between the control and treatment group on post-test results for recreational autonomous and academic autonomous reading motivation but not on post-test results for attitudes towards recreational and academic reading. Correlation relationships and other descriptive findings are discussed.



Book flood, Reading motivation, Attitudes towards reading, Reading achievement, Elementary