Saturday, September 11, 2010

Here's One I Guarantee Boys Like...

...and this is how I know. One of my kids, C, brought in a book, and within two minutes, every boy in my class was hovering over his shoulder.

I had to see.

It was the Lego Star Wars Visual Dictionary. And it is a HIT! I watched them for a few minutes and then got involved.

Me: Hey guys, do you know there are special muscles in your brain that help you read this kind of book? Them: Oh. But we want to tell you what we know about these guys... Me: ok, you tell me a little bit, then I am going to tell you something I learned by reading this little graph/chart over here. Them: Lots of chatter about fifty different movie based things having to do with the pictures on the page. Later...Me: ok, I know that this character was created in 1992. This one was a series in 1986. Them: Wow! I didn't know that.

So there. I knew I had material I could use to teach how to read nonfiction text features (how to read a visual dictionary/encyclopedia of a certain subject): facts about Star Wars...which is Science Fiction and something they are completely into.

In fact, almost all the boys had been to the new Lego store that opened about a month ago at our local mall.

Here's what I did. I went over to the computer during indoor recess (it rained HARD this week) and bought it. I announced it as they were free drawing and playing board games, and everything stopped. "YOU DID???? JUST NOW??? JUST LIKE THAT???" I could hear the excitement.

Next questions - will we get to read it? can we check it out from you?

And here's how I am going to handle it. I am going to use it to teach small groups. Girls invited, if they so desire. But if they aren't interested, I am already on a mission to find a book of the same type that draws them like a fly to flypaper.

A few things I want you to notice: I watch them. I get to know what they like. I listen to their side first. And I keep my agenda in my mind too. In the end...I bet we both win!

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