"I believe in you as a writer."
What can we do?
- Boys are often judged on what they write, how they write it, and how it looks.
- Give positive and specific feedback on boys' writing.
- Allow boys to discuss and comment on other boys' writing.
- Be flexible (to a point) about the language students use in their writing.
"Sticks and Stones: Language Issues" and "Writing Conferences"
From Ralph Fletcher's Boy Writers
How can we do it?
- Find an "in" with boys' writing. Try to connect to it and validate its qualities
- Be careful not to shut them down
- Give positive, concrete and tangible feedback
- Introduce boys to high interest male writers
- Give compliments that compare their writing to other male writers
- Discuss how these writers use humor/violence in a way that your students can achieve