Date of Award

Summer 8-14-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Don Halquist


In this study, I investigated how the use of hands-on literacy strategies created a more engaging literacy experience for a sixth grade student with ADHD. For the purpose of this study, I use the term “hands-on” to describe an activity that requires manipulation or stimulation other than that of the traditional reading of a text. During the four-week study, I implemented four different hands-on literacy activities. In week one, the student used an exercise ball to sit on while reading. In week two, the student read a text that I had divided into sections and printed on index cards. The student also used a highlighter to determine important information from the text. In week three, the student used a stress ball while reading and tossed the ball when she found important information from the text. In week four, the student used Post-it notes to write down important details while reading and placed the Post-it notes onto the text. My findings indicate that my student was able to increase her motivation for literacy learning, and the length of the text used in a hands-on activity can also affect motivation. I found that the hands-on activities increased her reading comprehension through a heightened focus and an increase in her working memory. I also discovered that her decoding skills were marginally improved through the use of specific decoding strategy enforcement, separate from her hands-on activity.

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