ERIC Number: EJ1003961
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 9
A Feeling for Books: Using Literature to Promote Social-Emotional Development
Tunks, Karen W.; Gilles, Rebecca M.
Understanding Our Gifted, v25 n2 p14-19 Win 2013
Social-emotional development is a fundamental part of a child's overall well-being. Healthy development forms a critical foundation for building positive relationships and a strong self-esteem. Social-emotional development includes the ability to express and manage emotions and to establish secure relationships. All children have a natural desire to be accepted by peer groups and recognized by adults for their talents. But for gifted students, this can be particularly difficult to achieve. In fact, school environments can be the most restrictive and stressful environment for gifted students. Gifted traits such as perfectionism, emotional intensity, and insistence for logic can make it difficult to "fit in" with peers. Children's literature has much to offer gifted children as they face the social-emotional challenges of being part of a group. There is a wide variety of quality children's books on topics that are relevant to gifted learners including making and keeping friends, establishing an identity, needing time alone, feeling different, and striving for perfection. It is typically easier for a gifted child to think about problems in the context of fictional characters because he or she is personally removed from the issue. A different perspective can open up new possibilities for problem solving and resolving relationship issues. Discussing books about characters facing difficult circumstances similar to their own is less threatening because they are talking about someone other than themselves. Criteria for identifying books that have social and emotional appeal for gifted learners are presented.
Descriptors: Academically Gifted, Well Being, Childrens Literature, Emotional Development, Self Esteem, Social Development, Child Development, Books, Teaching Methods, Reading Material Selection
AppleCore Communications. P.O. Box 40, Tamworth, NH 03886. Tel: 603-662-8252; Web site: http://www.ourgifted.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A