Friday, January 20, 2012

Motivating Boys to Read

Motivating boys to Read: Using role-playing games and role-play simulations to spark a love of reading in boys. Don't let learning to read and a love of reading, be a dream deferred!
A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode? 

Don't let learning to read be a dream deferred!

Reading as a rhetorical exercise was a laborious and virtually impossible task for me as a boy growing up with severe dyslexia. I avoided reading and books like they were black death. My first literary inspiration was a very special game from my uncle Mike on my ninth birthday. My uncle bought me the CLASSIC RED boxed set of Dungeons and Dragons; that day was the first time, I can remember wanting more than anything to find a way to read these books. The illustrations were fascinating but I wanted to discover what was written on the page. 

Dungeon Master (DM): After passing through the craggy peaks, the road takes a sudden turn to the east and Castle Ravenloft towers before you. Crumbling towers of stone keep a silent watch over the approach. They look like abandoned guardhouses. Beyond these, a wide chasm gapes, disappearing into the deep fog below. A lowered drawbridge spans the chasm, leading to an arched entrance to the castle courtyard. The chains of the drawbridge creak in the wind, their rust-eaten iron straining with the weight. From atop the high strong walls, stone gargoyles stare at you from hollow sockets and grin hideously. A rotting wooden portcullis, green with growth, hangs in the entry tunnel. Beyond this, the main doors of Castle Ravenloft stand open, a rich warm light spilling into the courtyard.  Phillip (playing Gareth): I want to look at the gargoyles. I have a feeling they’re not just statues. Amy (playing Riva): The drawbridge looks precarious? I want to see how sturdy it is. Do I think we can cross it, or is it going to collapse under our weight?

The next few years I proudly saved my birthday money and bought my first collection of Dungeons and Dragons books. I went from a nonreader that hated reading to a passionate reader over the next few years. 

      My family planted the seeds earlier with many wonderful hours playing backgammon, chess, board games and strategy games. I took my deep passion for games and used that as my muse, my fuel to push through the task of learning how to read my D&D books. Finding the catalyst for boys can start with old-fashioned war and strategy games, or give D&D a try.

Last Updated: 05/13/2015



Today  I use many learning simulations and even role-playing games in my classroom to motivate and let kids get into the learning and experience it first hand. Role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons may be out of vogue or nerdy but my boys and girls beg to read my old collections of D&D books. Try taking your boys to a local game shop and see what sparks their interest.  They have 100s of RPG games with as many themes. Sean Taylor Dyslexic Reading Teacher

Dedicated to my Uncle Mike
Dungeons & Dragons (abbreviated as D&D or DnD) is a fantasy role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game has been published by Wizards of the Coast since 1997. It was derived from miniature war games with a variation of the Chainmail game serving as the initial rule system. D&D's publication is widely regarded as the beginning of modern role-playing games and the role-playing game industry. Wiki Article
Wizards of the Coast! The home of D&D!

Great free role playing cards, games and rules for young boys and girls!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you!