Sarah Swanson


Spring 2023



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Trish Harvey

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Elizabeth Brooker


The research question addressed in this study was: What are the most effective and engaging methods for independent reading in the kindergarten classroom? Additionally, this study addressed the subquestion of: What are the benefits and disadvantages of reading traditional books and books on a digital device for young readers? The literature topics that were researched and reviewed included history and current trends in independent reading, academic success, motivation and engagement, technology, and effective independent reading strategies. For this study, a mixed methods approach was used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data within the kindergarten classroom. At the beginning of the research study, kindergarten students participated in an attitude scale where they demonstrated their feelings about a variety of topics related to reading. Students also took the attitude scale at the end of the year. The kindergarteners also participated in three weeks of independent reading. During the first week, students read picture books. In the second week, students read books on a device. During the third week, students chose if they wanted to read picture books or read on a device. Observations and data were collected daily throughout the three weeks. 6 student interviews were conducted to gather data related to a variety of reading topics. The study revealed that providing students with choices are important to increase engagement in independent reading, that there are advantages and disadvantages to reading traditional picture books and books on a device, and that strong procedures and routines are needed for an effective independent reading program. Limitations, implications and suggestions for future research were also discussed.

Research Methodology

Action Research, Case Study, Interview, Survey (attitude scale, opinion, questionnaire)


Literacy, Motivation, Reading








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