It took months of persistence, but Ralph was finally able to take a few moments from his crazy schedule to answer a few of my questions. As you likely know, Ralph Fletcher is the industry guru for boys and writing. For years I've freely promoted his book, Boy Writers, as my favorite for getting boys to write - be sure to read my book review. Here are the highlights from my interview with him...
How-to topics appeal to boys' desire for practical, concrete and hands-on information. Reading or writing this sub-genre of non-fiction is appropriate for boys of any age group, reading level, or with any interest – sports, science, hobbies, anything!
Like boys and action, reading and writing go hand-in-hand. Both are critical skills for literacy. It is through writing that boys will learn to formulate thoughts and improve their creativity and thinking skills.
Unfortunately boys who are reluctant to do one, usually resist the other as well. Here are five ideas, that utilize activities and interests that most appeal to boys, to get them writing:
There’s a comic book store in my small town. I never went in it until recently; it’s located right next to the tattoo parlor and gives off a rather shady vibe. Boys lurk about (many tattooed) with paper bags that carry their latest comic-book purchase.
I had always thought those who loved comic books and graphic novels were a small faction of collectors who obsessed over the drawings and the details of vintage Superman stories: kind of like that lazy, overweight, weirdly obsessive guy on The Simpsons.
Other than considering the shop a place I wasn’t particularly interested in entering because its clientele scared me and I’m not really into comic books, I didn’t give it much thought. Now, I’m glad it’s in our small town. Comic books can be literary gems that entice struggling readers into becoming literate, creative, and imaginative beings.
Comic Books are Educational Tools
Comic books are slowly becoming a
Those troubled that the advancement of technology is turning our kids into imbeciles should take a look at this article from Wired magazine: Clive Thompson on the New Literacy.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways that people relate to one another. Through stories, whether fact or fiction, we share experiences and communicate information to one another. Digital Storytelling - which utilizes technology to tell stories - is a modern interpretation of an ancient form of communication.
How it Works
With digital storytelling, boys tell their story using various technologies and media instead of just the traditional paper and pen. They use visuals and audio narration such as: photos, artwork, video clips, music and audio clips. These materials are combined together to create a multimedia story.