Here's a comprehensive study from Australia about motivating and engaging our boy learners. As always, I begin my search for materials by reading the "Language and Literacy Strategies segment".
In this study, the good stuff begins on page 42 and runs until page 49.
I keep returning and re-reading this quote about meaning and multimodal literacy from page 46:
"Meaning is made in ways that are increasingly multimodal – in which written linguistic modes of meaning are part and parcel of visual, audio, and spatial patterns of meaning. Take for instance the multimodal ways in which meanings are made on the World Wide Web, or in video captioning, or in interactive multimedia [e.g. mobile phones], or in desktop publishing, or in the use of written texts in a shopping mall. To find our way around this emerging world of meaning requires a new, multimodal literacy. "
(Cope & Kalantzis, 2000, pp.5–6)
Here are some highlights from section 4.4.4:
The positive impact of an integrated culture of literacy – taking an integrated
approach across the curriculum
• effective writing strategies; for example, ensuring that boys understand the
technical skills of writing and understand the meaning and purposes of writing
• effective cooperative experiences – making reading a socially constructed
activity by giving the students the opportunity to discuss between themselves
the relevance of the text to other texts and to their lives
• the importance of oral language in improving in writing
• the value of explicit teaching of reading and writing – providing clear
objectives, a variety of text types, content that engages the interest of boys and
questions that promote understanding
• the value of teacher feedback – effective assessment and constructive feedback
• the need for high but realistic expectations
• the positive impact of the integration of ICT
• linking literacy to boys’ experiences and popular culture
• multimodal texts and boys’ interests
• the dangers of generalizing content for boys
• boys and critical literacy.