When I read stories, my questions get resolved! Do fictional heroes have feelings too?

When I read stories, my questions get resolved! Do fictional heroes have feelings too?

The educational activity held at the 1st Nursery School of Megalopolis aimed at fostering the pupils’ literacy and socio-emotional development. Through reading stories aloud, the children learned to identify their feelings, name them and practice ways for dealing with them.

With the help of a glove puppet, book readings would take place twice a week in class, focusing each time on a specific type of emotion. The glove puppet would bring a book twice a week, projected on a screen. The teachers made sure to include open questions to the children addressing the main character’s emotional state, critical thinking questions as well as questions related to the story’s plot and development. There were moments where the story narration was disrupted to allow the children to re-enact a scene with the help of drama techniques (conscience alley, role on the wall, freeze frames, etc.), to suggest a solution to the main character’s issues by using those techniques or to consider what they would do if they were in a similar psychological state as the book’s hero. The narration was followed by comprehension questions, as well as expanded activities utilising visual creations, a retelling of the story, puppetry, role-playing, creative writing, and linking the book’s story to artworks.

Alongside this ''emotions'' programme, two lending libraries were set up on the premises of the nursery school. Every Friday, the children would choose a book accompanied by an envelope, which contained games prepared by the teachers.

The educational activity greatly contributed to improving the children's everyday relationships. Upon completion of the round of emotion identification, the children could elaborate on them and name them, and they also acquired communication, critical thinking, and cooperation skills. The dual-purpose programme of fostering both children’s socio-emotional development and love for reading improved teaching practice and school daily life. The children were eventually able to solve conflicts themselves and seek the teacher’s help later, if necessary.

  • 26 pupils, both kindergartners and pre-schoolers, and 3 teachers participated in this activity
  • In total, 24 books were read aloud in the context of the socio-emotional development programme, 30 books were borrowed from the libraries, while 25 books were made available in a specially designed corner at the school’s common area, where parents and children had the opportunity to read either during morning arrival or when leaving the school.