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Intervening to Improve Children’s Reading Motivation and Comprehension: Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction

Motivational Interventions

ISBN: 978-1-78350-555-5

Publication date: 14 November 2014



We describe the development and various implementations of a reading comprehension instruction program called Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI). CORI was designed to enhance students’ reading motivation and reading comprehension, and has been implemented at both elementary and middle school, with a particular focus on science information text reading.


We overview Guthrie and Wigfield’s (2000) reading engagement model, which provides CORI’s theoretical framework. Then we present the major implementation of CORI at elementary school and middle school.


CORI teachers in elementary school focused on five teaching practices to foster motivation: (1) providing thematic content goals; (2) optimizing choice; (3) hands-on activities connected to reading; (4) providing interesting texts; and (5) fostering collaboration. Teachers also taught six reading strategies recommended by the National Reading Panel. Results of several studies showed that CORI students had higher reading motivation and better reading comprehension than students receiving only strategy instruction or traditional reading instruction. We next describe three implementations of CORI at middle school. The motivational instructional practices at this level included (1) thematic contact goals; (2) emphasizing the importance of reading; (3) showing how reading is relevant to student lives; (4) fostering collaboration; (5) optimizing choice; and (6) enabling success. Results of several studies again documented CORI’s success at boosting students’ motivation and comprehension.


The studies carried out show the success of CORI and the paper closes with suggestions about the next steps for the program.




The CORI intervention done at the elementary school level described in this paper was funded by the grant 0089225 from the National Science Foundation to John Guthrie, Allan Wigfield, and Pedro Barbosa, and the CORI intervention done at the middle school level was funded by the grant RO1 HD052590-01A2 to John Guthrie and Allan Wigfield.


Wigfield, A., Mason-Singh, A., Ho, A.N. and Guthrie, J.T. (2014), "Intervening to Improve Children’s Reading Motivation and Comprehension: Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction", Motivational Interventions (Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Vol. 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 37-70.



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