Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Boys2Read

Just back from a trip to Regina where I did a presentation to 150 teachers about how to get boys to read. A hot topic these days it seems--it has been for awhile! I was glad to share whatever tidbits I've picked up. The audience was great, surprisingly chipper since it was their first day back at work (ugh!). They even survived me playing a bit of Iron Maiden's Rime of the Ancient Mariner as an example of how heavy metal helped influence me to become a reader. No one asked the hear the whole song, though!

One of my suggestions was to get the students into podcasting. Perhaps doing short book reviews that would be released worldwide on the net. My hope would be that boys would be that boys who are into tech stuff would take the time to read a book, just so they could be involved. A good example of this is Casey Tolan, a young reader who does his own podcast book reviews.

A similar idea is to do projects that could be posted to Myspace that somehow involve a book, short story, or comic book. There are, of course, all sorts of costs to putting these things together. But hey, I'm just the idea man.

Art

For those interested in this sort of thing, here's the outline.

Boys2Read
1) How I became a reader
2) Getting boys to read
a) Writers on the Wall
b) Guys Write for Guys Read/guysread.com
Discussion of classroom techniques (10-20 minutes)
Break (20 minutes)
3) How boys think
a) Excerpt from John Wilson’s article
b) Fan mail
c) Using examples from literature
Discussion of 6 prose pieces (10-15 minutes)
4) Art’s tips to get boys reading
a) SIBYLs: songs inspired by literature
b) Books based on video games
c) iPods/podcasts
d) YouTube
Discussion of classroom techniques II/Action plan
5) Conclusion

Links for reading
http://www.arthurslade.com -- my website
http://www.guysread.com -- getting guys reading website
http://talestoldtall.com/boybookblog.html --Blog about boys reading
http://bcwriters.com/wordworks/2004/fall/wilson.php John Wilson on boys reading
http://artistsforliteracy.org/display/famous.php Songs inspired by literature
http://web.mac.com/caseytolan/iWeb/Caseytolan/Casey%20Tolan.html Podcaster
http://shaker.us.edu/english8 Podcasts used in classroom
http://www.myspace.com/comicbookliteracy  Comic books and literacy

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blogs/podcast
I featured your latest blog and novel passager on my site
http://urbanhorrors.blogspot.com/
Best of luck

Adrian

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the tips.I plan to explore your suggested sites right after this.

I am starting a Guys Read at my junior high school later in the month (first session 9/25)and podcasting is one of my main hooks. I also plan to get guest speakers to go with book themes, such as a local sports figure for sports books, a video game designer & books featuring video games, a local radio personality for music books.

I am rescuing the guys from boring, end-of-the-day study hall for this, so that's added incentive.

For those thinking of programming to promote boys' literacy--grant reviewers eat that up. I got $500 for books from a local reading council and $200 for podcasting stuff from a local educational foundation.

Can't wait to get started...
Michelle
http://www.unit5.org/cjhsimc

Arthur Slade said...

Glad that people found the talk interesting. I think there's a lot that's untapped in the podcast/blog/youtube world that could actually help readers. It's just whether we're (tech) savvy enough to use it.

Loved urbanhorrors.blogspot.com Good work!

And thanks for the tips about grants and about getting people in to do readings, Michelle.

Cheers,
Art

max said...

It's true, I grew up hating to read. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries especially for boys 8 - 13, who also may not like to read.

NEWSPAPER CAPER, TERROR AT WOLF LAKE, NORTH WOODS POACHERS, MOUNTAIN CABIN MYSTERY, BIG RIG RUSTLERS, SECRET OF ABBOTT'S CAVE & LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF, are compared by readers and reviewers to Tom Sawyer, The Hardy Boys, Huck Finn, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Scooby-Doo, Lemony Snicket, and adventure author Jack London. All are rated by Accelerated Reader.

My blog, Books for Boys, ranks in the top 5 on Yahoo and the top 20 on Google and you can find it at http://booksandboys.blogspot.com There you will also find links to my author's web site and another blog with 50 pages of reviews.

At the present time, I'm posting sample chapters from my books on the above blog.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Thank you,

Max Elliot Anderson
Author

http://www.maxbooks.9k.com
Now, from an author who hated to read...comes books kids hate to put down.