In a first-of-its-kind study, TeachKind’s animal rescue stories were shown to boost reading comprehension and help students score higher on Common Core State Standards assessments. The study involved nearly 200 middle school students and looked at whether reading about compassion for animals would have an effect on student motivation and interest and if that would consequently have an impact on assessment scores. Children in the control group were given stories about non-animal topics that were still of high interest, and the experimental group was given materials that contained animal rescue stories. The study demonstrated that reading TeachKind’s Rescue Stories had a positive impact on Reading for Information standards.
Children’s natural gravitation toward and curiosity about animals likely lead to stronger attentiveness while reading stories about them and may be one explanation for the higher performance results. This becomes even more likely when children are emotionally invested in the outcome for animals in stories. TeachKind’s Rescue Stories capture students’ attention, strengthen their motivation, and appeal to their developing empathy. The study suggests that humane education, specifically when it emphasizes the importance of animal protection, has a positive effect on standards-based academic performance.
We can help teachers achieve results like these in their own classrooms! Download our Rescue Stories today for activities like inferencing, comparing and contrasting, explaining relationships and interactions in a text, and identifying evidence to support points in a text: