Inspiring empathy through story

Jo Buchan - Senior Specialist Developing Readers
Rosemary Tisdall – Team Leader Reading Services for Schools

“The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.” Ursula K. Le Guin

Stories are powerful vehicles for helping us make sense of the world, developing empathy and connecting us with others and ourselves in a way that facts alone may not. The best picture books do this through a combination of rich language and illustrations or, in the case of wordless picture books through illustration alone.Picture books aimed at older readers, ‘sophisticated picture books’, often deal with very human issues, values, emotions, relationships and/or global issues, such as refugees, making them ideal resources for developing empathy and exploring values with older students across the curriculum.

This session will explore why and how picture books can be used in secondary schools for stimulating empathy and curiosity, inspiring questions and sharing ideas.