Boys Less Likely To Enjoy Writing Than Girls- A Poll Suggests

A survey from the national Literacy Trust suggests that boys are twice as likely as girls to say ‘they hate writing and find it embarrassing.’

Some 35,000 pupils aged between eight and 16 took part in the UK-wide survey

Over a fifth (20.9%) of boys surveyed said they did not enjoy writing at all compared with 8.6% of girls.

According to the National Literacy Trust, “Reading and writing go hand-in-hand and it is through writing that children learn to formulate thoughts and improve their creativity and thinking skills.” The Trust is calling for parents to encourage their children, particularly boys, to write more

Here are some tips that parents can use to encourage a reluctant writer:

  • Choose subjects your child loves, whether that is dinosaurs, superheroes, shopping or football. Your child will write best if they write about topics that they know about or that are hobbies.
  • Laying a story out visually can help. Work with your child to develop a “story map” where you draw pictures of key elements of a story in a line and build a piece of writing from there. Boys are often visual learners so this can work particularly well for them.
  • Thinking about character and location before beginnings, middle and ends can help. Start by asking ‘Where is the story going to happen? In space? In the desert?’ and ‘Who is your main character? Who are the other characters?’
  • Ask your child to think “what if?” to various scenarios. What if a film you have watched together had ended differently or the book characters met in a different country? Giving a child the freedom to adapt a story will make it fun.
  • Keep a box of interesting objects to weave into a story, or get things started with an interesting first or last line. Playing verbal games such as ‘Luckily, Unluckily’, (in which you make up a story by starting alternative lines with the word luckily or unluckily) can also be good practice for thinking of plot twists!
  • It’s not just about fiction; boys in particular often enjoy reading non-fiction so may well prefer writing other genres. Your child may prefer to draw a comic strip, write a report of a football match they have watched or a computer game they have played, or make up a recipe instead of writing a traditional story.
  • Why not put together a range of writing types to make your own family book, magazine or newspaper?
  • Look out for children’s writing competitions – you can often find one on the National Literacy Trust website.
  • Be appreciative of the time and effort your child has put in to a piece of writing; if they are having fun and feel good about their work they will be more likely to persevere.

www.bbcnews/education (Run by the National Literacy Trust)

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