Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes frequently happen across the world. Many of these natural disasters bring destruction to homes, loss of loved ones, and emotional or physical trauma. For children who are still developing coping skills, these natural disasters can bring them emotional distress because they are unable to processes their experiences in a healthy way. In a review of literature on the topic of bibliotherapy and reflective writing to help children learn coping skills, I discovered a need for these processes to be introduced in normal settings, such as school and home, to help children who have experienced natural disasters develop coping skills.
My goal in conducting this research was to create a resource that includes a variety of children's literature on the topic of a natural disaster and that demonstrates a coping skill for that trauma. Guiding questions and reflective writing prompts were also added to this resource for the users to guide children in identifying and learning the demonstrated, healthy coping skills. I selected twenty-one quality and award-winning books that address natural disaster for review. Nineteen of them demonstrated a healthy coping skill within the book. Using the information from the book, I created guiding questions and reflective writing prompts to help guide the children in connecting with and learning how to use the coping skill demonstrated.
Future developments from my research may include a website with the resource information or a hard copy that can be sent to areas of high-need or high-risk for natural disaster. My goal is that my resource will foster healthy coping skills for children in the school setting, home, or alongside professional help.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
Zenz, Connie T., "The Use of Children's Literature and Reflective Writing as a Means to Help Primary Elementary Students Cope with Natural Disaster" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 610.