Students Interest in Literature

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Purpose Statement:
The purpose of my study is to see if student’s interest in literature increases if they see more characters that look like them in the text. Research Question:
Are children more prone to choose a book with someone who looks like them on the cover? Will students read more if a teacher’s classroom library has more books they can relate to? Theoretical Background:

Due to so much diversity in the classroom, a lot of children cannot relate to the characters in the story books. Most of the story books, science books, and social studies book have the mainstream characters that look a lot different than the children reading the books. Does this difference prevent children from being interested in what is being read to them? This information would have a lot to do with sociology and socio-cultural theory. Interest:

I am interested in this topic because I teach a very diverse group of students. Being African American, I tend to purchase books with African Americans on the cover for my students, but my class population consists of Hispanic children, as well. I want to know how much my students’ interest level would increase if I purchased more Hispanic American books. Last year, I was given a classroom grant and I increased my collection of books that were about African American boys. This is a category that is also lacking. My reading scores sky rocketed with my African American males. They were interested in checking out a new book every week. The male students begin turning in their bi-weekly book reports. I would like to see if this would work the same for my Hispanic students. It is not too difficult to get girls to read. My girls constantly have books, but they aren’t “boy” books. They are books with girls on the cover. You would rarely see one of my students read Diary of a Wimpy Kid since Dork Diaries was written. I had one of my reading groups read Drita, My Home Girl, which is about a young African American girl. The boys looked at me in...
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