Ralph Fletcher is the best-known author of books that get boys to write. Many of his books are written for boys themselves. At a recent reading conference, there were more than 500 teachers that packed the room to listen to him speak. He is gifted! If you need a book to help you motivate boys with writing – LOOK NO FURTHER! Not only did I read every single page of this book from cover to cover, I also wrote notes in the page margins on practically every page. This is how special this book is for getting boys to write.

Highlights from the book:

  • Boys’ perception that writing is soft
  • Boys would rather fail than look weak
  • The gender based difficulties boys have relating to their teachers (90% of US teachers are female)
  • Boys need a real audience. Let them share. They need a trusting community.
  • They like to write for friends.
  • Boys need choice! Encourage obsessions.
  • Strictness = disengagement
  • Guide violent writing, don’t ban it
  • They love humor – p.63
  • Video games
  • Farting
  • They’ll find their own way to write: Texting, Email, IM, drawing

The Big Three:

  1. They need to have choice in their topic
  2. They love humor
  3. They naturally prefer to write about violence

A Question to Comment On:

What are examples of things that boys find humorous and why?

Posted in: Content

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Robyn Russell

    Thanks so much for recommending this! My son loves to read, but is much less enthusiastic about writing. I love to write, and want to share that love with him.

  • Jackie

    My son and his 5th grade friends have started a daily newspaper. They did this after the girls did and invited them to be reporters. Rather than work for the girls they decided to compete. They write stories about cars, wrestling, baseball, playground sports, Greek mythology, book reviews, movie reviews AND they have a cartoon (changeable but one is called Pain Boy). Oh and they write about the other newspaper and occasionally about politics.

    I helped them by setting them up with a template in Word and showing them how to insert graphics, clip art, etc. Now I’m trying to convince them to take a cheap digital camera and capture photos. The writing is short and sweet and I help to edit it.

  • Janet

    I agree on the part where he says they need to have a choice in their topic. I have three boys and the hardest part of their writing assignment for them seemed to be figuring out what to write about. If they were given a specific topic it was much easier.

  • Anonymous

    They discussed the Tucker series and the Brian survival stories like Brian’s Winter.

    3rd grade boys and up enjoy tiffany sterling silver the Time Warp Trio books by Jon Scieszka and so do their male teachers.

  • Emma Madison

    I also wrote notes in the page margins on practically every page.
    MUST High School | MUST High School Legit | MUST High School

  • Emma Madison

    Ralph Fletcher is the best-known author of books that get boys to write.
    MUST High School Real | MUST High School


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