In Melissa Thibault’s article, she highlights the difficulty teachers face when their students all have different experiences and life events, but are still expected to move past their lives in order to fully engage in the curriculum. She argues that through literature, students can learn how to see a situation from various viewpoints, respect others, and gain more understanding about their own lives. Not only does seeing oneself in a character in a book help students deal with difficult situations, but literature helps broach challenging topics. Books can be used as a catalyst for class discussions, connections between teacher and students, and solving problems.
The article broadened my knowledge about how empathy is represented in literature by expanding it to reader’s theater. I never thought students role playing or acting out situations, characters, and events in books as a means to problem solve and develop empathy. Thibault also provided links to databases of books with themes of empathy, diversity, and tolerance.
Building an understanding of others through literature is connected to my guiding questions because it is connected to empathy. Empathy is a basic understanding of others and Thibault’s article not only provided further insight on the topic, but also provided book lists and ideas of how to apply it.
Thibault, M. (n.d.). Children’s literature promotes understanding. Retrieved July 01, 2016, from