MORAL LESSON IN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE (A case study of four selected children prose)


This study “Moral lesson in children’s literature” In the society we live in, we find norms, value, culture a force to reckon with, most especially when these values have a high potency of affecting the average citizen. Morals have over time been inculcated and instilled into the lives of the people who need it the most, this people are the children as the Holy Bible states; Train up a child in the way he should go and when he’s old, he will not depart from it, haven’t say that, literates, novelist, poets, and play rites have over time occupied themselves with stories that would make for an upright child to groom, nurture and teach them the basic things they should learn at the early stage of their lives. Thus, it is essential and only appropriate that we discuss the moral lessons that can be drawn out of children’s literature for the positive edification of the child. Reviewing this using four selected children prose.



Contents                                                                       Page

Title page                                                                       i

Certification                                                                  ii

Dedication                                                                    iii

Acknowledgement                                                        iv

Abstract                                                                        vi

Table of content                                                            vi


  • Background of the Study 1
  • Statement of Problems 4
  • Purpose of study 6
  • Significant of the study 6
  • Research question 7
  • Scope/delimitation of the study 8
  • Definition of terms 8

CHAPTER TWO: Review of Related Literature

  • literature review 9
  • The concept of children literature 9
  • The concept of moral lessons 21

CHAPTER THREE: Research Methodology

  • Introduction 33

3.2    Research Design                                                 33

3.3    Sample size                                                         34

3.4    Research instrument                                          34

3.5    Techniques of data analysis                               34

3.6    Critical analysis                                                  35


  • The little red riding hood by Charles Perrault 55
    • Introduction 55
    • The story “The little red riding hood” 55
    • About the author                              62
    • About the book 62
    • Impact of children novel (Stories) writters 63

in the society

4.6    Styles of the author                                            71

4.7    Subject matter                                                    71


  • Summary, conclusion and recommendation 72
    • Summary 72
    • Conclusion 74
    • Recommendation 75
    • Suggestions for further studies 76

References                                                                    77




Early childhood is a crucial stage in terms of a child’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. Mental and physical abilities progress at an astounding rate and a very high proportion of learning takes place from birth to age six years old. Neuroscience research shows that the human brain develops fastest within the first years. By the time a child reaches four years old, their intelligence has developed to 50 percent of its future maximum, and by the age of eight, it has increased to 80 percent. Hence, early childhood is also called the golden age as it is during this stage of development that most of the brain cell tissue that controls human activities and qualities is formed.

The objective of early childhood education is to establish a foundation for the development of a child’s character, behaviour, knowledge, skills and creativity to spur further development and growth. There are six aspects of development that are focused on in kindergarten education: Moral and Religious Values; Social and Emotional Development and Independence; Language ability; Cognitive ability; Physical/Motor ability; and Artistic ability.

Civilization starts with the invention of letters which enabled communion with past generations. Flaubert’s dictum Read in order to live suggests that books and literature can teach us something about ethics and the human condition in its intimate and universal aspects, as well as illustrate the follies and achievements of our own epoch. For many centuries in the known Western world, the Bible was the book. The wisdom and moral instruction in the Old and New Testament was the sole template to measure one’s life and account for life’s troubles. With the disco-very of printing, the wider role of literature in moral education was praised while, at the same time, respectable and invariably clerical opinion warned of its subversive nature. But there remained a consensus that in literature could be found answers on the best way, the moral way, to live one’s life. Whether it is the confession of Lear asking Cordelia for forgiveness or the eventual maturity and self-awareness of Pip, or the struggles of Pierre and Mary in War and Peace, these ‘old tales’ are inseparable from the life and thought of their age. There is no doubt that these fictional lives have affected generations of readers and, because of their power, immediacy and beauty influenced many lives in a profoundly moral sense. But the French revolutionary Terror and twentieth century horrors challenged the notion that high culture and moral virtue are particularly linked. Today’s cultural critics can certainly ac-count with wider range offered that contribute to creation of literary works and implication these forces have for shaping of morality, than could their counterparts in times when such creation was seen as a product of divine genius of their authors. Yet, it would indeed be very difficult to argue for denial, or ignore the role literary works play in shaping and cultivating our cultural, aesthetic and moral senses.

In this paper I will examine a variety of perspectives on the moral lessons in children literature and the role of children literature in moral education of children. These proceed from general considerations to more specific issues that remain contested to the present day, such as distinction between individual and social morality. Others bring any literature under suspicion in the post-structuralism era, such as the cultural relativity of morality, distinctions between aesthetic and moral dimensions of literary works, and between moral awareness and behavior. To illustrate the discussion, I will focus on the considerations of the place of literature in English moral ‘ education from the Victorians to the present day using four selected literature prose which are the little red riding hood by Charles Parrault, Omosalewa by Joy Oduwumi, the flower girl by Omefe S., Alibaba and the fourty thieves.


For sometimes now, the teaching of English literature has suffered in the hands of resourceful teachers, who are not also innovative, especially at the primary level, many teachers at this level feel that literature lessons do not necessarily need to be accompanied with the use of children’s literature.

According to D.W. Goodeham (1997), some of the teachers belief moral lessons for children are not derived from the literature books, but from the Holy Book “The Bible”.

The literature learning therefore is very abstract and difficult for learners to comprehend because of the use of Audio Visual and Audio Lingual method due to their age differences among pupils.

It has been observed that literature teachers find it extremely tasking to accomplish their moral lessons with relevant children’s literature books as the literature teachers do not read to find relevant importance to children literature and lessons learnt from the literature segments taught in the classroom. It is against this background that this project will address the ways in which they can be solved.


The purpose of this study is to: First, examine the concept “Moral Lesson in Children Literature”, to determine the impact of children literature on children and the society at large and to appraise literature as reformers.


There are benefits to be derived from this study; a study of this nature will be useful to the society, particularly those who are interested in children education such as early childhood education and parent. The study will inform the uninformed about the value and the impact of children literature in children moral life and to respect the authors and give them their rightful place in the society.

It will motivate authors to know their importance and significance in the society and how efficient they are in achieving the course. It is also believed that the result of these findings will interest existing and intending authors and re-orientate their intent of publishing a literary piece. The study shall be significant in making authors adopt a style that is most effective and efficient in communicating the intent of the writer so as to achieve the desired goal.

The study shall also be significant in convincing the world those literatures and authors are in a better position to restructure the society for good. To the society, the study shall be significant in making the consumers of literary works appreciate the authors more, and put them in their rightful position of reformers in the society. Lastly, the result of this study will provide basis for moral and material support for authors in their tremendous task of reforming and re-structuring the society.


This research study will seek answers to these salient questions:

  1. Do pupils taught with literature books perform differently from those without children literature?
  2. Do children literature books have any moral impact on pupil’s academic performances?
  3. Does children literature help the teacher achieve their primary objective in the teaching and learning of the subject?


This study focuses basically on the influence children literature has on the society and how they can be likened to children moral education and personal life. Also, how they are in a better position to correct the numerous vices in the society. With this intent, the study is limited only to the examining of moral lessons in children literature ranging from primary i-iv, where with the school in view would be visited as a case study.


Moral lesson: – Moral is an adjective that means concerned with principles of right and wrong. The moral of a story is the lesson that story teaches about how to behave in the world.

Children literature: – Children literature can be traced to stories and songs, part of a wider oral tradition that adults shared with children before publishing existed.

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