The media has a lot to say about boys and reading. I will speak to recent media coverage over the next month. However, having been a teacher of fourth and fifth grade boys and now a mother of a second grade boy, I am always looking for ways to engage boys in reading. So this month on Literacy Toolbox, I hope to focus on boys and reading.
Did you know that boys need male role models in reading? Fathers have a great influence over their child’s education and how well they perform. If a male role model values reading, boys will learn to value reading as well. With this in mind, consider starting a Father/Son Book Club. Consider it the new age “boys club.”
Here is how to get started:
- Gather your son and several of his friends (no more than 5 boys total) and their fathers.
- Determine a meeting place and time (monthly seems to work well). Rotate from host to host.
- The host and his son choose the text for the month they host.
- Provide snacks!
- Provide a guideline for discussion. Or if you prefer, keep it casual, but the host should be able to move the discussion along.
- Boys and their fathers should read the text together ahead of the meeting. Or, if the reading for the month is short, consider setting aside time at the meeting for fathers and sons to read together.
Boys typically tend to enjoy short articles and graphic based texts. Often times, they also prefer “real-world” information vs. fiction or story type novels.
- Graphic Novels
- Magazine articles (Boys Life, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Kids Discover, National Geographic for Kids, Ranger Rick)
- Articles of interest from the Internet
- Newspaper articles (or online news sources)
Boys are normally very active! Tap into that natural curiosity and exuberance in your book clubs. Provide activities that require thinking and movement in relation to the text you read.
- Read about the history of a favorite sport and then play that sport. As you play the sport, discuss the reading. Tie discussion into the rules of the game (i.e. for every goal made in soccer or every basket made in basketball, a discussion point is made)
- Choose a specific topic (i.e the history of tools). Take the opportunity to teach the boys about the topic, through discussion and hands-on activities (i.e. the proper way to use tools).
- Read a newspaper article (or online news) with the boys. Discuss current events. Determine ways the boys could get involved in a community or civic event.
- Read graphic novels or comic books. Then have the boys create their own.
At the end of the day, a Father/Son Book Club provides an opportunity for fathers and sons to spend quality time together while reading. Consider keeping a father/son book journal. Write about favorite books you’ve read together and the activities that you did with it. Years from now, you’ll have a lasting memory of a childhood spent together and the enjoyment both father and son felt!
©2010 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Rights Reserved. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.