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Encouraging Boys in Reading and Writing

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    1. Encouraging Boys in Reading and Writing Maplewood K-8 Parent Education Presentation March 10, 2009

    2. Nature vs. Nurture Brain-based research shows differences in the brains of males and females: Boys are more likely than girls to attach learning to physical movement. Girls are better at multi-tasking. Boys pick up less of what is said to them. Boys memorize better when information is organized in lists. Boys are more impulsive. Girls language centers tend to develop earlier and are more advanced. Boys need more time to recharge their brains.

    3. Implications for Learning Boys need visual, aural and kinesthetic experiences to learn well. Boys may have difficulty with tasks that require fine motor skills. Boys behavior and actions will be more impulsive. Boys may have difficulty being descriptive or talking about how they feel. Boys may have less interest in school and may express that they are bored. Boys may not process or understand information they hear.

    4. Reading: What to expect from boys They may choose text with less words and more pictures. They may read almost entirely in one genre. They will choose to read what their friends are reading. They will enjoy crude humor or find humor where others do not. There needs to be lots of action in what they read. They enjoy horror and violence.

    5. Writing: What to expect from boys Humor crude, sarcastic, rude Horror or violence Descriptive writing about objects or surroundings more than people. Difficulty expressing feelings or emotions of their own or others. Lack of structure or attention to standard conventions or location of words on page. Complaints that they hate writing or that it hurts their hand to write. More time spent on illustrations than writing.

    6. Encouraging Boys to Read Let them see other males reading and talking about it. Read to them even if they wont sit still. Discuss what you are reading. Pair read and let them move when it isnt their turn. Introduce a variety of genres but dont be surprised if they stick to one or two. Help them select materials that interest them. Listen to books on tape with or without the text. Limit screen time. See the movie after reading the book.

    7. Encouraging Boys to Write Have them pick out a journal, notebook, or sketchbook and encourage them to use it for fun. Make it safe. Make use of lists. Handwriting is not writing. Provide visual dictionaries and reference books to use. Play word games. Provide a purpose and audience when appropriate. Try not to censor their writing. Let them share it as is and consider your response. Teach them to keyboard and let them use it whenever possible. Encourage them to learn and use cursive.

    8. Resources Techniques for the Writers Notebook Suggested Reading for Adults Suggested Reading for Boys