This is a great article by Brian Sztabnik (AP Literature teacher from Miller Place, NY) about how to get boys more interested in reading. The three suggestions from the author seem like things we as teachers should know, and I would bet most of us do know. However, are we doing what is suggested?
- Do you have books that are geared toward boys in your classroom?
- Do you have books with boys as characters in your classroom? Or do you have books with characters boys can relate to?
- Have you asked the boys in your class what books they would like to read? What topics are they interested in reading more about?
In my Kindergarten class, I have more boys than girls. The girls will read just about anything, but the boys are pickier. Some of their favorites are non-fiction books about animals, machine and how they work, and sports. But, they also like books about the topics we are studying. And, if I read a book out loud and then ask a boy if he would like to read it by himself, he almost always says yes. Then the other boys line up to read the same book. Must be something about reading a book the teacher read to the whole class.
Bottom line, boys can be taught to enjoy reading just as much as girls. But, they must have books they enjoy and books they can relate to.