Faculty Blog


Resource: Me Read? And How!

I met a fellow educator at the International Boys’ School Coalition in New York City at the Buckley School. We often share resources focused on boys and best literacy practice. Recently, he sent me a resource from a document released by the province of Ontario, Me Read? And How! Many of the teaching strategies described are often used in Fenn classrooms to encourage and support our boy writers: 

1. Boys who are allowed to choose writing topics show increased motivation and engagement.  p .10

2. Boys are helped by experiencing examples of different text forms. This helps boys in non-fiction writing. p.15

3. Boys planned their writing using graphic organizers both individually and in pairs. p. 17

4.  Boys thrive when given assignments with step-by-step instructions, clear expectations, and a formula to follow. p.23

5. Boys are introduced to the "APE" (answer, prove, extend) strategy to help them to write at a higher level. p.23

6. Boys see the importance of an authentic audience and a real purpose when they produced a "Boys Writing for Boys" type newsletter. p. 23

7. Talk is an important scaffold for boys writing activities. Talk builds social interaction, deepens understanding, and is a precursor to writing. pp.22-3

8. Allowing boys to share their thinking through talk prior to a written assignment improves their ability to communicate through writing. p.34 

9. Boys use of the debate to discuss authentic and relevant issues transfer into their nonfiction persuasive writing. p. 35

10. Boys welcome having male authors as role models. p. 39

11. Boys choice of topics for writing allows for ownership. p. 47

12. Schools can tap into the real-life connection by creating blogs for the students to use for class writing. p. 48.

13. Boys like to write about real-life and hands-on experiences. p.49

14. Boys' writing improved during activities that were highly motivating and grounded in the real world, coupled with direct instruction about the writing form and supported with the use of visuals such as charts, word walls, and graphic organizers. p.49

15. Boys like to write about exaggerations, humor, silly writing, procedural writing, and short scenes. p. 51

16. Use of computers, blogs, wikis and digital voice recorders can be used with boys to reinforce writing skills. p 53 

17. Boys with special needs thrive when given the opportunity to work with assistive technologies: graphic organizers, dictation software. p.53

18. Teachers observe that when the number of drafts was decreased, students were more engaged during the writing process. p. 55

19. Boys feel comfortable requesting boy friendly topics, a clear outline of what is expected, a shorter writing process, and focused list of things to fix when they finished. p.66

20. An emphasis is placed on oral assessment and performance-based assessment such as drama activities in addition to traditional written assessments. p.82 

Posted by J. DeGemmis in Jen Waldeck on Wednesday October, 22, 2014


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