Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This study was designed to explore the use of children's literature to engage second grade students in critical literacy. I drew on multiple domains examining the use of children's literature in students' critical literacy development. I used data to analyze the kinds of perspectives children's literature provides, how students interpret different perspectives to solve their conflicts, and in what ways children's literature helps second graders act on issues that are important to them. The duration of the study was five weeks. An inquiry style of research was used. Data was collected through the use of field note observation forms, student surveys, and student response forms. After analyzing data, it is clear that specific, quality, literature has a strong impact on second grade students' critical literacy development. Children' s literature provides unique perspectives that students may be unaware of otherwise. After initial orientation, students are able to contextualize and generalize new findings into their own lives. Children' s literature also helps second graders take action on important issues by providing opportunity to discuss the conflicts that arise in their daily lives and they ways in which they react to those conflicts. The discussion allows students to use their peers as a sounding board for acceptable and unacceptable actions during a conflict. Children' s literature helps second graders act on issues that are important to them by unlocking their critical thinking skills. After having thought critically about a topic provided by quality literature, students will be able to transfer their deep-thinking skills to other aspects of life.