Monday, January 14, 2013

Oh Boy! Literacy

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I've had boys on my mind lately. (I sound like a junior high girl!) To be more specific, I've had boys and literacy on my mind.


Research shows that we need to step up our game when it comes to teaching boys to read and write. Boys are lagging behind in the literacy department, and although the reasons are varied, there are some simple things that parents and teachers can do to help improve the situation.

I'm a big believer in offering boys and girls the same types of opportunities and I encourage my boys to pursue their interests, whether that means playing with dolls, painting pictures, playing ball or discussing their bodily functions.

That said, boys and girls do learn differently. As a mom of three boys, I can't ignore that fact. We can help boys learn to be better readers and writers by acknowledging those differences, by offering more literacy activities that relate to their interests, and by letting them learn in active ways.

As a teacher, I know it's hard to individualize instruction to work for every child's abilities and interests. As a parent, it's easier to do literacy activities focused on my boys' interests at home, but it still requires some extra planning and effort. Either way, it's part of our job as parents and teachers to teach our kiddos to read and write, so I started thinking about what I could do to make interest-based literacy instruction a bit easier.


I just finished the first in a set of resources called Oh Boy Literacy. It's a collection of simple literacy activities based on themes that appeal to many boys.  (They work for girls too.) You can check out the sports-themed version here and the building-themed version here.

In the process of creating Oh Boy Literacy, I made a list of favorite books, blogs, articles and fun resources for parenting and teaching boys. If you have boys, you're probably familiar with these. If not, they're worth checking out and bookmarking!


Teaching Boys
Parenting Boys:
Do you have other favorites to add to the list?
Do you have some great ideas for getting boys excited about literacy?

If so, shoot me an email or let me know here in the comments! I'd love to hear from you!