Teaching Boys

Jessica Lahey writes

The authors asked teachers and students to "narrate clearly and objectively an instructional activity that is especially, perhaps unusually, effective in heightening boys' learning." The responses--2,500 in all--revealed eight categories of instruction that succeeded in teaching boys.

The most effective lessons included more than one of these elements:

Lessons that result in an end product--a booklet, a catapult, a poem, or a comic strip, for example.

Lessons that are structured as competitive games. Lessons requiring motor activity.

Lessons requiring boys to assume responsibility for the learning of others.

Lessons that require boys to address open questions or unsolved problems.

Lessons that require a combination of competition and teamwork.

Lessons that focus on independent, personal discovery and realization.

Lessons that introduce drama in the form of novelty or surprise.

So what might a great lesson for boys look like? Reaching Boys, Teaching Boys is full of examples, but here's one I want to try...

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