Date of Award

Spring 3-22-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

First Advisor

Mollie Welsh Kruger

Abstract

This independent study was focused on the creation of an original, social-emotionally oriented “how to” picture and poetry book for children ages five through seven. A wide variety of books for children, from old classics to recent publications, deal with themes relevant to children’s social-emotional lives. However, many of these books are written in narrative fiction form, or are framed using a logical, adult-centered lens. The goal of this book project was to create poetry and illustrations which authentically conveyed the unique emotional textures and roundabout logic of childhood associated with everyday experiences. Child development research included cognitive and emotional development in ages five through seven, as well as perspectives on literacy, language, and functional development. A review of the literature for children analyzed poetry books, how-to books, books dealing with abstract themes, illustrations, formatting, and the depiction of the logical and emotional lives of children. The original work was shared with two groups of children of different ages. Children in both age groups expressed engagement and enjoyment, and seemed to connect readily with the content and form of the book. Major conclusions of the project include the necessity of in-depth investigation of child development in order to authentically capture a child’s viewpoint; the importance of bringing teachers’ creative selves to their work; and the powerful impact that sharing the book with children had on the author’s perspective on the final product.

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