A Few Features That Contribute to Flow
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8
SHORT: Short texts give an immediate sense of accomplishment and competence.
VISUAL: Visual descriptions or graphics provide assistance to meet the challenge of seeing, understanding, and experiencing the text.
CHALLENGING: Texts filled with weird and wonderful facts were fun for the boys to export and to talk about, and challenged their previous ideas about the world.
EDGY: We discovered that texts that challenge the status quo were exportable.
REAL: "Real" texts and nonfiction are more closely connected to real life and functionality. Boys who liked fantasy found these texts helpful in understanding or acting in their real lives-they saw these texts as more "realistic" than texts that were ostensibly more factual.
CURRENT: News and Web sites helped them keep track of something important to them, like sporting events. It is worth repeating that it was not the text features themselves the boys enjoyed. Rather it was how the text features connected or contributed to the context of the reading.
HUMOR: When you laugh, you immerse yourself in the immediate experience. (Interestingly, none of our boys could remember ever reading anything that they thought was funny for their school assignments.)
(Smith and Wilhelm, 2002)