Monday, 9 July 2012

Boys and reading books

I am a primary school teacher.  In New Zealand that means can teach anywhere from the time they start school until Year 8 (after 8 years at school).  It always amazes me that boys tend to have an approach to reading that is different to girls.  I am not saying that they can't read or even that they don't want to read but mearly their enthusiasim towards reading is different than girls.

Now I am not aiming to write an accademic post as I do not claim to be an expert in this area, this is just a collection of my observations as both a teacher and the mother of a son who is a very able reader by not necessarily an enthusiatic reader.

Now back to that fact that I said that boys approach to reading can be and is different to girls.  With this I don't mean that they use different strategies because that is simply not true.  They still need to use their phonic skills, their whole word approach to reading and of course they need to use all the other strategies there are.  For me it seems to be all about the content of the material they are reading that is important.  My son, 8 years old, can't look past the non fiction book.  The book about planes, boats, WWII, and anything along the line of what you might find out when watching Animal Planet on TV.  He was very lucky in his second year at school that his teacher understood this about the boys she had and this is where a keenest to read non fiction started.

It has taken me two years to persuade DS that there are some great books to read if only he stepped over to the other side of the library, to the dim dark (ha ha) world of fiction.  Now I can add to the list of books that like to be read by him are anything in the Tin Tin series.  He has been reading these books for the last 18 months.  In fact they have been read and re read.  Then there are the Dirty Berty stories he reads a little less passionately but still read and finally Captian Underpants.  I have tried many other books but sadly non fiction seems to win out every time.

Finally I read every night to DS just before he goes to bed.  You will never guess what book we are reading ......The Harry Potter series....his choice.

So here are the books on his bedside table.  I wonder what they will be at the end of the year?


Nikki said...

That is our experience with Angus - he loves any non fiction history books (especially on Ancient Egypt). His fiction favourites are TinTin, Asterix, Zac Power, Geronimo Stilton and the Selby Series. This same range of books make it home from the school library each week.

Jen at Semantically driven said...

Mine is into non-fiction too, but once they find that fiction book they like there's no turning back. It was my son's birthday recently and I asked him if he wanted any books. He said he had too many to read at the moment and didn't need any new ones.