Writing for the 21st Century
The Children's Book:
Teaching Awareness Through Empathy
Empathy is a very powerful tool. When people are moved because of another's plight, they are more likely to want to do something to help. Your next task in your cause project is to stir up feelings of sympathy and compassion for the people affected by your cause. You will do this by completing a creative project!
- Write an illustrated children's story in which you construct a story that shows how a person or persons is negatively affected by your cause topic.
- Your main character should be directly affected or befriends someone who is directly affected by the issue.
- Your story should teach little by little the reader about this character's complicated situation. By seeing a victim of a problem and empathizing with him or her, we should learn about the difficulties.
- Your story should be at least ten pages long and have ten illustrations (one for each page). The amount of text you include on each page will depend on your style and message. You may exceed the minimum the pages!
- You must include at least 5 facts you learned in your research into the story. However, remember your goal is to stir up compassion. Therefore, make your facts fit into your narrative smoothly.
- Your ten illustrations may be either (or a mix) of the following: hand-drawn illustrations (pencil, marker, paint), photographs you have taken, collages you make from magazine photos or internet pictures (see example), or any other original work. You may not simply download or paste magazine photos into this! Cut them apart to make meaningful illustrations. Be creative! There should be some of you in the artwork. Even stick figures are OK!
- Follow the guidelines given in class for the text requirements.
- Your story must contain the following basics needed for any good story: at least one main character, a conflict/obstacles, conflict development, climax, and resolution. You should also incorporate dialogue so that your character speaks.
- Provide a compelling title and donít forget a byline.
- You may use any type of paper you prefer.
- Create a cover, bind your book -- basically, make it look like a book!
- Provide either an introduction and/or an afterword to your story so that your reader understands your purpose and motivation.