CIERA Report #1-013

Nichole Pinkard
University of Michigan

CIERA Inquiry 1: Readers and Texts
Are culturally specific strategies an effective means for literacy instruction? How does a culturally specific computer-based architecture--the Lyric Reader--take advantage of children's existing knowledge and experience in order to motivate them to read?

Given the reading difficulties experienced by many American children and the increasing diversity of the country's student population, educators are recognizing that reading instruction must take advantage of the knowledge and experiences that individual children bring to the classroom. The author describes a computer-based architecture entitled Lyric Reader that combines reading strategies, motivating activities, and personalized guidance with popular rap music and children's song lyrics to present contextualized reading instruction--exemplified by two of its applications, Rappin' Reader and Say Say Oh Playmate. The two are contrasted to show how Lyric Reader facilitates pedagogically consistent but contextually unique environments for beginning readers.


University of Michigan School of Education
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This paper is a revised version of one that originally appeared as Pinkard, N. (2000). Lyric Reader: Architecture for creating intrinsically motivating and culturally relevant reading environments. Interactive Learning Environments 7, 1-30.

©2001 Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.

Partial funding for this project was provided by the University of Michigan's Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education, and by the Center for Improvement of Early Reading Achievement. Additional support was provided by the Educational Research and Development Centers Program administered by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education (PR/award number R305R70004). The ideas presented may not represent the positions or policies of the National Institute on Student Achievement, Curriculum and Assessment; the National Institute on Early Childhood Development; or the U.S. Department of Education. Endorsement by the federal government should not be assumed.