From Motivation to Inspiration: Using Picturebook Biographies to Inspire All Learners, Especially English Language Learners

Authors

  • Dr. William P. Bintz Kent State University
  • Shabnam Moini Chaghervand Kent State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.56887/galiteracy.106

Keywords:

picturebook biographies, English language learners, reading motivation, inspiration

Abstract

This article begins with a vignette that involved a response by an eighth-grade English Language Arts (ELA) teacher to the question: “Why do you assign a grade for every student assignment?”  She stated: “Because grades drive my students! It’s so much a part of their lives that if I don’t give them points toward a good grade, they ask themselves, ‘Then, why am I doing this?’” For us, this response generated several inquiry questions about the role of motivation in student learning. One question was: Is motivation alone enough for student success? Our initial answer was probably not. We hypothesized that motivation is helpful but insufficient for student learning. Inspiration is also important. This hypothesis inspired this article. It describes fundamental principles underlying research on motivation, identifying important differences between motivation and inspiration. Next, it provides an overview of different definitions of the term picturebook. It then describes the power of picturebook biographies to inspire all learners, especially ELL learners. It shares an extensive list of high-quality, award-winning, multicultural picturebook biographies of historical figures from around the world and across four major categories: Trailblazers and Daredevils, Sports Figures, Heroes Conquering Disabilities, and Historical Figures from Around the World. It ends with final thoughts and an invitation for teachers to hear new voices and start new conversations about the importance of using picturebook biographies to inspire all learners.

Author Biographies

  • Dr. William P. Bintz, Kent State University

    Dr. William P. Bintz, Professor of Literacy Education in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies, College of Education, Kent State University, Kent, OH; email [email protected].

  • Shabnam Moini Chaghervand, Kent State University

    Shabnam Moini Chaghervand, Doctoral Candidate in the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum, Kent State University, Kent, OH; email [email protected].

106 Picturebook Biographies to Inspire (Bintz & Moini Chaghervand, 2023)

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Published

11/13/2023

Issue

Section

Research and Practitioner Articles

How to Cite

Bintz, W. P., & Moini Chaghervand, S. (2023). From Motivation to Inspiration: Using Picturebook Biographies to Inspire All Learners, Especially English Language Learners. Georgia Journal of Literacy, 45(2), 15–32. https://doi.org/10.56887/galiteracy.106

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