Story panels and other tools to help boys learn in school

Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC Family Counselor and Author, explains why so many boys struggle with writing and shares advice for parents on how to help theirs son succeed
Parenting Tips | Helping Boys To Become Better Writers
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Story panels and other tools to help boys learn in school

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With boys, writing is a huge deal. There's a lot parents can do to help. Writing is an area where boys fail. They don't do as well in the writing as we'd like, as they'd like. Then they don't turn in the homework because their writing is not so good. They are getting C's and D's. It's a bad thing. One of the problems is that the schools teach writing verbally. They just write it down and says, "Here is the assignment," verbally. The left side of the boys brain might catch that, but that means the whole right side of the brain is not being used. The right side is spatial and visual. Girls do verbals on both sides. Boys do the verbals on one side, right here. What parents can do is say, "Here's the writing assignment. Now I want you to draw it." We tell the schools and parents this. There is great success data D's got up to B's, and C's go up to A's because the boys now draw. For example, Fourth Grade, what did you do over the weekend? Draw a story panel of what you did over the weekend with colored pencils. Do that for a half hour. The boys do that and is very excited about that. Even if he is a bad drawer, he's still excited. Then he sits to write. Now he has all this material to write. That's one thing parents can do to help boys with writing that will change the guys lives.

Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC Family Counselor and Author, explains why so many boys struggle with writing and shares advice for parents on how to help theirs son succeed

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Expert Bio

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Michael Gurian, MFA, CMHC

Family Counselor & Author

Michael Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of 25 books published in 21 languages. He provides counseling services at the Marycliff Center, in Spokane, Washington. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals. Michael has been called "the people's philosopher" for his ability to bring together people's ordinary lives and scientific ideas.

 He has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. A number of his books have sparked national debate, including The Wonder of Girls, The Wonder of Boys, and Boys and Girls Learn Differently!, and The Minds of Boys.



Michael has served as a consultant to families, corporations, therapists, physicians, school districts, community agencies, churches, criminal justice personnel and other professionals, traveling to approximately 20 cities per year to keynote at conferences. His training videos (also available as DVDs) for parents and volunteers are used by Big Brother and Big Sister agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

 As an educator, Michael previously taught at Gonzaga University, Eastern Washington University, and Ankara University.  His speaking engagements include Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Stanford University, Macalester College, University of Colorado, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and UCLA. His philosophy reflects the diverse cultures (European, Asian, Middle Eastern and American) in which he has lived, worked and studied.

Michael's work has been featured in various media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Time, People Magazine, Reader's Digest, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS and National Public Radio.

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