Saturday, June 11, 2011

Help Getting Boys to Read

Recently I was asked to review Pam Allyn's new book: Best Books for Boys How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives. After the business of report cards, cum folders, and the rest of the duties of ending the school year, I was able to sit down and take a look at the book. ;-)
Ms. Allyn's book examines some of the reasons boys are, or feel they are left out of the culture of literacy. Through her work with groups of boys (and girls) as well as classroom teachers in a variety of settings, she has come up with simple, manageable changes that when implemented, can have a major impact on boys as readers. She discusses changes in the classroom environment, acknowledgment and acceptance of the different learning styles of boys and offers a new eye on what defines "reading". Ms. Allyn points to the READ model: Ritual, Environment, Access and Dialogue as four essential elements to set the stage for lifelong reading.
The book has a Questions & Answers section that covers everything from what reading should look like, how to make boys more comfortable with reading, and building stamina, to choosing books that build reading confidence in boys as readers.
Part three of the book offers a very extensive annotated list of books that are of particular interest to boys. The list also includes a coding system that identifies books as either Emerging, Developing or Maturing.
While this book is by no means the final word on ways to draw boys in reading, it is definitely one to open the minds of educators to the need to approach reading differently and specific ways to get started with engaging boys in reading.


Teacher Mum said...

Thanks for the informative post. It is always a challenge to get some boys to read, no matter what we try.

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