This paper looks at students’ motivation and engagement in the context of the Read Like a Demon (RLAD) project across a two-year period, in Melbourne, Victoria. This RLAD project was shaped over several years and targeted to students aged between 8 and 11 years. It utilized innovative reading experiences, including the influence of Australian Rules Football players as reading role models for students. The project aimed to promote wider reading among these students, many of whom are statistically likely to disengage from reading practices. The authors introduced new aspects to the project to broaden the avenues of influence for reading. Data from students and teachers were analyzed using the Engagement Model of Reading Development to explore the question “How did attention to classroom instruction affect students’ motivation and engagement during the RLAD project experiences?” The project found that an interplay of role models, authentic audience and choice positively affects students’ motivation and engagement. Findings from this article will provide classroom teachers with insights into how project design can bring increased attention to the affective aspects of becoming a reader.
- primary students