Boys Ed Workshop

Boys & Literacy

"Boys learn through their teacher, rather than just learn from what is taught. Indeed boys who feel liked, valued and accepted will perform better in our classrooms."


Thanks for your participation and feedback following our workshop last week. There have been quite a few follow up requests. So, Please enjoy these additional resources!

Col & Jacqui

Top Tips to get Boys Reading


  • Connecting the learning is particularly important for boys. If they don’t see a clear sense and purpose, many won’t engage.
  • Give them the big picture. Mapping out ideas using graphic organisers of any kind can really aid a boy’s engagement with learning.
  • Create as many opportunities for reflection as you can. For many boys this is the weakest link in their learning process.
  • Give boys a system. Checklists, learning mats, success criteria really help boys.
  • Talk, talk, talk and more talk prior to writing. For many boys, writing without talking their ideas first can be a real problem.
  • Short term goals and short term rewards. “Boy friendly chunks” work best for most boys.
  • For many boys, to function effectively in group work there needs to be a clear outcome. They need to be grouped effectively, have clear roles and there needs to be an element of challenge.
  • Present a challenge the minute they set foot in the classroom - problem-solving works best.
  • Make sure there are some opportunities for active learning in all lessons.
  • Reduce peer pressure by giving peer leaders a positive focus for their natural leadership ability.
  • Reflect on how you talk to boys and how you talk to girls - look at the frequency, the nature and the quality of those interactions. Many boys believe teachers prefer girls just because of the way we talk to them.
  • Make it fun! Relate to their personal interests - value what it is that boys bring to the table.

- Gary Wilson

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Have you tried any of these tasks in your classroom?

Kung Fu Punctuation

. Full stop = turn around

, Comma = twist

" Inverted comma = fist pump

! Exclamation mark = house

Paragraphs end = ninja 'ehh ahh'


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Books for Boys

Here are some books that should capture the interest of boys.


1. For boys aged 3-5 years


'In My Backyard', Nette Hilton & Anne Spudvilas

'Toot, Toot, Beep, Beep', Emma Garcia

'Looking for Crabs', Bruce Whatly

'Mr Archimedes Bath', Pamela Allen

'The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek', Jenny Wagner

'The Fisherman and the Theefyspray', Jane Tanner

'Terry's Brrrmmm GT', Ted Greenwood

'Where the Wild Things Are', Maurice Sendak

Where the Forest Meets the Sea', Jeannie Baker


2. For boys 6-8 years


'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day', Judith Viorst

'Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Sight, Sherri Duskey-Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

‘Charlotte’s Web’, by E. B. White

‘Dragon Ride, by Helen Cresswell

‘Fantastic Mr Fox’, by Roald Dahl

‘Grandma Cadbury’s Trucking Tales’, Di Bates

‘James and the Giant Peach’, by Roald Dahl

‘Mr. Popper's Penguins’, by Richard & Florence Atwater

‘Superfudge’, by Judy Blume

‘The BFG’, by Roald Dahl

‘The Shrinking of Treehorn’, by Florence Parry Heide

‘The 27th Annual African Hippopotamus Race’, by Morris Lurie

‘The Eighteenth Emergency’, by Betsy Byars

‘The Iron Man’, by Ted Hughes

‘The Enemies’, by Robin Klein

‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’, by C.S. Lewis

‘The Twits’, by Roald Dahl

‘The Turbulent term of Tyke Tiler’, by Gene Kemp

'The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales', by Jon Scieszka


3. For boys aged 9-11


‘Boy’, by Roald Dahl

‘Callie’s Castle' by Ruth Park

‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, Roald Dahl

‘Charlie up a Gum Tree, by E. A. Schurmann

'Encyclopedia Brown', by Donald J. Sobol

‘Foggy’, by Allan Baillie

‘Frog Thunder’, by Jill Morris

‘Just So Stories’, by Rudyard Kipling

‘Matilda’, by Roald Dahl

‘Mike’, by Brian Caswell

‘Misery Guts’, by Morris Gleitzman

'The Chronicles of Narnia' by C.S. Lewis

'The Adventures of Captain Underpants', by Dav Pilkey

‘Storm Boy’, by Colin Thiele

'Rowan of Rin' by Emily Rodda


and so many more...share what you find & use the great 'boy friendly' resources in our library.

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Additional Resources to Explore...

1. Engaging Boys in Reading. A step into a boys classroom using a variety of learning strategies.

2. Guys Read: a web based literacy program with a mission to help boys become self motivated, life long learners. Also visit, Guys Listen. There are some great stories to use in the classroom. Our favourite was - Sideways Stories from the Wayside School by Louis Sachar

3. Me Read? No Way! A practical guide for improving literacy skills for boys.


4. Top Ten Tips to get Boys Reading - Maureen Lewis


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Start exploring some new possibilities for boys...