- A Clear Purpose and Immediate Feedback: Our boys wanted to know why they were reading and how what they learned would be used. They wanted continuous feedback about how they were doing in approaching the goal.
- An Appropriate Challenge and Assistance to Meet it: The boys wanted challenging content that changed how they thought or helped them to do things better. They wanted enough help to succeed, but only when they needed it.
- Functionality and a Developing Sense of Competence: They wanted to use what they had read to talk, do, or make something that explicitly showed their growing competence.
- A Focus on the Immediate Experience: Reading needed to be personally relevant and socially significant in "the here and now." The boys rejected reading that prepared them for a test or for some endeavor in the far-off future (e.g. "you'll need to know this when you get to high school").
- The Importance of Being Social: The boys all wanted to work together and to share their learning. They wanted what they learned to have a social or service value.
(Smith and Wilhelm, 2002)