Date Approved

2007

Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department

Teacher Education

Abstract

In schools, students are offered numerous facts and ideas about the world in which they live, in hopes that they will one day become knowledgeable and functional members of society. Students are expected not only to take this information in, but to also make it their own, expand on it, and be able to apply it to situations within their lives. Teachers struggle to share this information through the most efficient and enjoyable mediums possible. How can they achieve the greatest understanding and interest among the greatest number of children?

“Children’s literature is a powerful medium for understanding the world” (Diakiw, 1990, p. 297). Created to amuse or educate, this mass of printed material for young people is becoming much more prevalent as a means of instruction in the classroom. Literature encompasses both narrative and expository trade books, books that are found in a library or bookstore, as well as songs and poems. They are different from textbooks, books used specifically for learning in school, and, therefore, have different strengths and weaknesses. Students benefit vastly from the integration of literature into the math, science, and social studies curriculum.

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