2022 Student Research Conference:
35th Annual Student Research Conference

Analyzing Adoption in Children’s Literature

Hannah R. Green
Dr. Heidi Cook and Dr. Ashley Ramsey, Faculty Mentors

Imagine a second grader looking around their classroom for books that represent them as an adopted child. There are plenty of books depicting nuclear families, but they cannot find any books relating to their own personal experiences. Many teachers realize they can use children’s books to promote empathy in classrooms by showing students diverse children’s literature. However, in the growing scholarship on diversity in children's literature, there has been little research done on adoption in children's literature, especially as it relates to cognitive development. In this presentation, I am going to analyze three children’s books that portray the adoption process and contain different points of view to consider how literary themes can help manifest empathy in students ages 5 to 8. Looking at these children’s books through both a cognitive developmental and literary lens, I will then explore how teachers can use adoption books to spark empathy in lower elementary classrooms. 

Keywords: adoption, children's literature, cognitive development, elementary education, empathy

Topic(s):Interdisciplinary Studies Capstone

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

Session: 102-2
Location: SUB GEO A
Time: 8:45

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