Ten short stories included in this resource are intended to teach social skills in a fun and familiar way. They are all based on actual events that took place in a classroom or school yard. Each plot is a situation that all children will encounter during their elementary school years. Children identify with the situations and enjoy the characters in each story. The plot of each story revolves around a social problem and how the children deal with it. The questions at the end of each story are for the children to consider before they decide on a course of action. Children are asked to solve the problem peacefully and make appropriate decisions about solutions that do not require a violent or hurtful response. They are also asked to identify their feelings and the feelings of others. By identifying feelings, children start to see other perspectives and this leads to development of empathy for others.
By asking questions and offering alternatives through regular class discussion, the children learn to choose solutions that lead to positive outcomes. The consequences of their actions also become evident through discussion of the stories. Children begin to see that appropriate, peaceful actions lead to positive results and that hurtful actions lead to undesirable or even painful endings. Researchers and educators have been concerned in recent years that most of the violent material children view never deals with the reality of the hurt, disappointment and pain caused by acting in a mean-spirited, aggressive manner when solving problem situations. Exploring the possible negative consequences of hurtful behaviour through discussion serves to address that missing element of many programs available through the mass media.
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