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Children's understanding of a tale

Paper i proceeding
Författare Ingrid Pramling
Maj Asplund Carlsson
Anna Klerfelt
Publicerad i Paper presented at the conference "Issues in Australian childhood", Brisbane, Australia, 23-25 September
Publiceringsår 1993
Publicerad vid Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik
Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen
Institutionen för pedagogik och didaktik, enheten för Barn- och ungdomsvetenskap
Språk en
Ämnesord children, tales, learning
Ämneskategorier Pedagogik, Barn


In this study, the tale of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, was read aloud to 93, 6 year old pre-school children who were afterwards asked to make their own drawings of something in the tale. Later they were interviewed about what they remembered of the tale, about their notions about certain details in the tale and also about what they thought children could learn from this tale. In the qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts we found three different ways of recalling the tale, firstly as a narrative recall, where the child recalled a narrative with beginning, episodes and end, secondly as an episodic recall, where the most conspicuous episodes were focused and thirdly as fragmentary recall containing only isolated fragments. In answer to the questions of what children could learn from the tale, some children focused on the tale as an instance of verbal form, as a textual narration of a particular genre. Other children focused more on the content, either on parts of the tale or on an implied thematic message. The children who had been subject to a developmental education focusing the world around them, preferred to recall episodes which were crucial to their understanding of the tale and also had some idea of the meaning of the tale, while children who had been subject to ordinary pre-school activities were more ready to recall the tale with a narrative, and rather focused on the tale as a verbal form; that is, something to read, write, tell or know by heart. Thus, some children focused the tale as something to understand, while other children focused more on the tale as something to know.

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