Fostering emotional awareness in a grade two classroom : an approach using literary experiences

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Scott, Candice
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2001
This action research project was created to investigate if purposeful experiences with literature can lead to an increased emotional awareness in students. In my regular grade two classroom of twenty-seven children, I created a teaching model that exposed the students to selected literature through reading and listening. The literature that was presented to the students consisted of a combination of well-known stories and new titles that are rich in vocabulary and character development. Ensuing group conversations allowed the students to reflect on what they discovered in the story and to relate similar experiences from their own lives. Individual and group response work then provided an opportunity for metacognitive processes, creating a greater depth of selfreflection and increased emotional awareness in the students. In the model, individual story writing then served as a culmination by combining real-life experiences, selfawareness, and increased vocabulary to create a permanent record of the emotional growth of the students. The study fit easily into an existing language arts program. It followed the language arts curriculum framework set in place by Western Canadian Protocal. Data sources for the project included videotapes, field notes, journals, student response work and student story writing samples. Data was collected from four students over a period of twelve weeks and was analyzed for evidence of patterns of growth in their emotional development. During the project, careful thought was given to ensuring that the feelings and situations of children were addressed in a positive, supportive manner. The interactions among the students and between the students and myself were genuine and productive. The experiences involving literature served as a catalyst to promote these results. Combined, these two components provided opportunities for individual students to develop their levels of emotional growth. Purposeful strategies can be created and implemented by classroom teachers to foster the growth of emotional awareness in their students. This is important knowledge for educators who feel they have a role in the emotional development of students.
xiii, 101 leaves ; 29 cm. --
School children -- Psychology , Students -- Psychology , Emotions