When it comes to fiction, children learn lessons most readily from the adventures of characters they know.
Book publishers and TV programme makers have known for years that what children really enjoy when it comes to fiction is a set of characters to whom they can immediately relate and whom they can quickly get to know.
These characters don’t have to be people they like, but where they are identifiable as people with characteristics that the children understand so the children will become more and more engrossed in the story. And from here the children will be able to use the situations the characters face to explore the issues that may well occur in their own lives.
Thus, through the stories they can consider where a character is making a mistake, how that character reacts to a particular situation and what should be done to resolve a problem.
In this way children can come to understand how different people react in different ways, and how sometimes standing back and thinking about a situation before reacting can be the best way forward.
Then as the individuals in the story become known the children can relate to the characters and come to understand more deeply the situations these characters find themselves in and the dilemmas that they face.
Better still, particular stories can be presented to the children at appropriate times of the year or when specific issues arise. Thus situations, actions and outcomes can be debated in relation to the fictional characters in a way that children can then consider in relation to their own lives.
Beyond doubt, one of the best ways to use stories relating to specific characters is in a series of assemblies – which is why we have produced the book “Fifty Fantastic Assembly Stories.”
These tales are set in the fictitious Mill Lane Junior School, and through them children will enjoy getting to know the pupils and staff, the issues the characters in the stories face and how the characters respond to specific situations.
There is a list of the stories, and the areas they explore, and more about the book “Fifty Fantastic Assembly Stories” on our website.
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