Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Beth LaForce, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Patrick Allen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Susanna Steeg, Ph.D.


This case study of one first-grade class explored what happened when poetry notebooks were used as an instructional reading method for encouraging student enjoyment and engagement in reading. The author made classroom observations, conducted interviews, and collected artifacts over four months with one first-grade class of 24 students and two teachers. These data were analyzed and triangulated. The study revealed that students, parents, and teachers enjoyed the use of the poetry notebooks and that students were engaged while using them. Poetry and music were found to be particularly pleasurable aspects of the poetry notebooks that promoted enjoyment and engagement in students’ literacy learning. This study used social learning theory to articulate how students were engaged by this instructional reading method, in part, because social interactions were involved. Students enjoyed reading the poems to their families and families enjoyed these shared reading experiences. The teacher supported students’ learning through modeled reading of the poems. The social learning construct of modeling, or observational learning, helped to support student growth in their reading confidence. Self-efficacy, another construct of social learning, was evident in an increase in student confidence. The positive social learning experiences led to further enjoyment and engagement in literacy learning.

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