Getting Boys to Read, Story of Food

Two resources that explore how to get boys to be lifelong readers and where our food comes from.
December EdNews snapshot

Great Resources for Teaching

from the December 2010 YES! Education Connection Newsletter

Read the newsletter: Getting Boys to Read, What Makes Students Successful?

Resources from these two organizations are bursting with stories: stories that will get your "guy" students to read, and where your food comes from.

Guys Read

Guys Read


Jon Scieszka is perhaps known best as author of The Stinky Cheese Man and Time Warp Trio.  He also is the founder of Guys Read.   After 10 years teaching elementary students and 15 years as an author, Jon noticed boys aren’t too crazy about reading.  This observation is substantiated by U.S. Department of Education reading test scores that show for the last 30 years, boys score worse than girls in every age group, every year.

Guys Read is a positive force in getting boys to read. Its main strategy? Finding text guys want to read and letting them choose what they want to read. In addition to an incredible reading list recommended by guys, Guys Read offers other resources, practical information, and humorous inspiration to help …. guys read.


Guys Read: About

Guys and Reading

About Guys and Reading explores the landscape of boys and literacy and why boys may have trouble with reading.

EXPLORE: About Guys Read


Guys Read: Books

Books That Guys Read

Books for Guys is the place to visit for finding a book for guys. Teachers, librarians, booksellers, parents, and guys have contributed to this collection, and it keeps growing. You can find books by the usual
method – title, author, and subject.  What’s most appealing are the categories outside the usual sports, adventure, and war. Try:  "At Least One Explosion," "Outer Space, but with Aliens," and  "People Being Transformed Into Animals!".

EXPLORE: Guys Read Virtual Vault of Good Books


Guys Read: Listen

Guys Listen

Guys Listen acknowledges that for some boys - reluctant or voracious readers—, tuning into an audiobooks is more appealing than sitting down and flipping through print pages. Guys Listen expands the reach of Guys Read by recommending great nonfiction and fictional story audiobooks . It is a collaboration of National Ambassador of Literature for Young People Jon Scieszka and middle school media library specialist Rose Brock, and Listening Library.

EXPLORE: Guys Listen


VISIT the Guys Read website for more resources and inspiration to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.

Guys Read began when author and former elementary school teacher Jon Scieszka noticed a lot of boys aren’t too crazy about reading.  Jon, who grew up in a family of six boys, wants to motivate boys to read by connecting them with material they’ll want to read and in ways they like to read. Guys Read offers many resources to get boys to read, including a long and luscious list of books that guys like, recommended by librarians, teachers, parents, and …. guys.


VISIT WEBSITE: Nourish: Food + Community


Food isn’t just about what we eat.  Food touches on a myriad of contemporary issues and fires up essential questions, such as Where does my food come from? What are the benefits of eating with family? How do ads affect the food choices we make?

Nourish, an education initiative from WorldLink, provides a PBS special, short films, and other learning tools to spark conversations about our food system, particularly among young people and families.

Here’s a taste of what Nourish has to offer: 



The Nourish School Curriculum Guide is a colorful collection of six lessons with accompanying activities, actions projects, and more to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability. Themes include: The Story of Food; Seasonal, Local Food; Food Traditions; Food and Ecosystems; Analyzing Food Ads; and School Lunch Survey.

Please note that lessons may be used with or without the Nourish DVD and are adaptable to both elementary and high school grades.

Of particular interest:

Nourish: Local, Seasonal Food

Lesson Two: Seasonal, Local Food
For our health and the planet, there are many benefits to eating local and seasonal foods.  What happens when eating local isn’t practical? In this lesson, students also will research and create a “seasonal circle” on what produce is available in their area. (see p. 26 of guide)




Nourish - Food Traditions

Lesson 3: Food Traditions
Throughout the world, food is the heart of holidays, rituals, and family gatherings.  It also connects us to our history, local environment, and communities. What can your students learn about cultures and each other through the food we eat?  (see p. 35 of guide)



Nourish - Analyzing Food Ads


Lesson 5: Analyzing Food Ads
Most food advertising is for highly processed or fast foods – have you ever seen a TV ad promoting quinoa? In this lesson, your students will become privy to the marketing techniques food companies use to get them to eat more and buy more. With this insight, your students will be able to look at these promotions with critical eyes and make more informed and healthy food choices.  (see p. 48 of guide)


DOWNLOAD: Nourish Middle School Curriculum Guide (pdf)


Try Something New

Short Videos:


This collection of short films introduce a range of topics and perspectives on food that will nudge students to think more deeply about what they eat. Here are three to wet your appetite.


Jamie Oliver: Try Something New

When it comes to music and shoes, your students know what’s the latest and
greatest.  Boring is not cool.  It’s the same with food!  Jamie Oliver
encourages your students to keep an open mind and try something different.
Fancy purple mashed potatoes?

Michael Pollan: Supermarket Secrets

Supermarkets are sophisticated landscapes designed to get you to buy, buy,
buy. From the number of beats in the music to the location of the milk
case, food guru Michael Pollan uncovers supermarket secrets so you’ll be a
smarter, healthier consumer.

Nourish Crew: Nourish Means

Eleven food experts—including farmer, doctor, and chef—share what the word
nourish means to them. Their literal and emotional definitions will
inspire your students to think about what nourishes their bodies and souls
– from local apples to a bike ride on a sunny day.


To view all 10 videos, click here.

VISIT the Nourish website for more resources and information.

Nourish is a multi-year media and education initiative. The purpose of Nourish is to open a broad public conversation about our food system that encourages citizen engagement, particularly among young people and families. Nourish combines television programming, short films, web content, and learning tools to celebrate both food and community.

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