Google+ bakers and astronauts: And Then a Huge, Huge Giant Grabbed Me!

13 March 2010

And Then a Huge, Huge Giant Grabbed Me!

In the most recent issue of Early Childhood Research and Practice, there is an interesting paper about aggression in children's stories.  It is a good read - and it has me thinking about the stories my students are telling.  About one-third of the stories collected for this study contained aggressive elements.

You can read the paper here.

Much of the dramatic play in our classroom (which goes on with a large group of children for the majority of the day, both indoors and out) includes charcters who die - often princesses - but I think that is as close to "aggression" in narratives as this group gets.  But I am interested in observing more closely.  The paper talks about the action verbs that describe aggressive acts that are about harming characters - hitting, eating, fighting, etc.  I've definitely heard those, especially in the written and dictated stories over the dramatic play.


  1. Thanks for linking to this. I'm sure they're right in concluding that children are using their stories to deal with aggression and negative emotions, but I also believe that many of them include these elements because they have learned that they are storytelling conventions. I mean, almost all of the "best" stories have aggressive elements, they're an easy way to inject drama into a story.

    In our classroom, most of the kids seem focused on telling stories that make their classmates laugh, so we tend to be working on the conventions of comedy. Even our acts of aggression seem to be portrayed in the light of slapstick.


  2. Thank you for posting the fabulous study. Stories must be told and played, and then adults must become part of the discussion/story/play. Removing the difficult parts (unhappy endings, monsters, and even violent conflicts) do not make these ideas go away, and I believe leave children unprepared to think critically and develop a set of morals, ethics and values. Hey, one of the most violent books around is the bible.
    I applaud this statement from the study... "By allowing the stories to be told, teachers allow children to explore the ideas that intrigue and concern them, while also capitalizing on opportunities to guide children’s thinking about aggression. Rather than preventing children from realizing the real-life consequences of aggression, stories with aggressive elements provide a safe space for adults and children to confront and learn about aggression."

    Thanks again for bringing up this conversation.


Thanks so much for joining the conversation!

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