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Story is an art-form to itself, a worthwhile experience without teaching follow-ups. It is

much better for teachers if they can enrich and extend learning with story (Booth & Barlon,
2000). Therefore, in our opinion, story is one of the useful techniques that can be used to
enhance the development of pupils cognitive, social, aesthetic and moral dimensions.
However, in order to ensure the development of these dimensions, it is important for
teachers to carefully choose a good story which is suitable for the target learners. Therefore,
based on this task, we have chosen a childrens story entitle Jack and the Beanstalk to be
used in a Year 4 class. This essay will discuss on how the story chosen could develop pupils
cognitive, social, aesthetic and moral dimensions.

In our opinion, the story Jack and the Beanstalk has the ability to enhance pupils
cognitive dimension particularly in language development. According to Cohen and Cohen
(2008), story is one of the excellent ways of developing language which will indirectly foster
cognitive development in all children. In addition to that, Mart (2012) says that story allows
the teacher to introduce or revise new vocabulary and sentence structures by exposing the
children to language in varied, memorable and familiar contexts, which will enrich their
thinking. Therefore, based on the story chosen, we strongly believe that pupils have the
opportunity to learn language through fun and meaningful context rather than in isolation.
This is said so because the wide use of sight words would help pupils to comprehend the
story better. Indirectly, pupils have the opportunity to continuously revise and practice the
use of sight words in constructing sentences. Apart from having lots of sight words, this story
offers pupils some new vocabulary such as cottage, lark and harp. Hence, such new
vocabularies help to widen pupils knowledge. Furthermore, to further enhance pupils
language development, this story can be exploited to teach past tense of both regular and
irregular verbs. This story provides a good model for pupils to learn the use of such
grammatical items correctly.

Apart from that, the story chosen helps to enhance pupils social development which
can be defined as a process that involves learning the values, knowledge and skills that
enable children to relate to others effectively and to contribute in positive ways to family,
school and the community (Kids Matter, 2011).Therefore, based on the story chosen, we
believe that it has the ability to change pupils personality. This is said so because the values
are being modelled by the main character; Jack. The moral values such as responsibility,
hardworking, and bravery are portrayed throughout the story. For example, as a responsible
son, Jack helps his mother to sell the cow so that they are able to get some money to buy
food as the stock of food has finished. Indirectly, the values portrayed can be applied in
pupils daily lives. They will realize their responsibilities as children and they should be aware
that they can lighten their parents burden even by doing simple things such as wash the
dishes and cleaning their house.

Other than that, the story Jack and the Beanstalk also provides a room for pupils to
learn social values. It is said so because the story Jack and the Beanstalk gives pupils the
opportunity to put themselves in someone elses shoes and widen their views on ways of
managing conflicts. This can be done by giving pupils the opportunity to view themselves as
the main character of the story; Jack, who is so determined to change his life. Pupils are
encouraged to think of another possible ways of improving Jacks poor life instead of
accepting the magic beans given by the butcher. By doing so, pupils have the freedom of
expressing and sharing their own views and opinions on how to manage the conflict
positively. Moreover, by providing a chance for them to share their views, pupils are
encouraged to accept and value others opinions as they might come out with different

Besides, the story chosen also helps in enhancing pupils aesthetic development.
This is because according to Antonacci and O Kallaghan (2012), when reading a story,
pupils may take aesthetic stance which encourages them to construct their own
interpretations of the story based on their lived-through experiences with the stories.
Antonacci and O Kallaghan (2012) also state that by using personal experiences, readers
make connections to story characters and events to interpret the text. Therefore, based on
the story chosen, we believe that pupils aesthetic domain can be developed through the
characters and the sequence of events portray in the story. This can be achieved by
continuously probing questions regarding the characters and the sequence of events in order
to elicit pupils personal views. For example, based on this story, pupils may be asked to
choose their favourite character and scene. They have to provide and share their personal
views on how the chosen character and scene are related to each other. By doing so, pupils
are taught to think critically and respond emotionally in response to the substantial events.

Apart from that, the story Jack and the Beanstalk has the ability to enhance pupils
moral development particularly in forming moral judgment. As for us, we believe that this
story really helps pupils to form good moral judgment, in evaluating the characters deeds,
whether they decide to directly approving or condemning them. In order to do this, pupils
need to carefully analyze the main problem faced by the characters. For example, in this
story, as Jack finds out that he could live a luxurious life by stealing the Giants money-bags,
he keeps going to the Giants castle to steal. Based on his actions, pupils have to consider
the pros and cons of Jacks behaviour. This would help pupils to formulate their own
concepts of right and wrong as according to Caroll, Gladhart and Petersen (1997), different
perspectives become apparent when children learn from the characters thoughts and
actions. This is also parallel to the Heinz dilemma proposed by Lawrence Kohlberg.
According to him, the reasoning is evaluated through the use of moral dilemma in which
correct behavior is ambiguous and must be decided on and justified by the person being
evaluated (Ware & Johnson, 2000).

Based on the above justifications, we personally believe that the story Jack and the
Beanstalk has the ability to enhance the development of pupils cognitive, social, aesthetic
and moral dimensions. Different features of the story itself such as diction, conflicts found in
the plot and the characterization have strong influences in improving such dimensions.
However, apart from choosing a good story, it is important for teachers to play their roles in
enhancing the development of those domains.

Antonacci, P. A. & O Kallaghan, C.M. (2012). Promoting literacy development.

United Kingdom: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Booth, D. & Barton, B. (2000). Story works, how teachers can use shared stories in
the new curriculum. United States of America: Stenhouse Publishers.

Caroll, J. A., Gladhart, M. A, & Petersen, D. L. (1997). Character building, literature-

based theme units. United States of America: Teaching and Learning

Cohen, V. L. & Cohen, J.E. (2008). Literacy for children in an information age. United
States of America: Thomson Wadsworth.

Fairy Tales For You, (n.d). Jack and the beanstalk. Retrieved 5 February 2013 at

Kids Matter. (2012). Kids Matter, childrens social development. Retrieved 8 February
2013 at

Mart, C. T. (2012). Encouraging young learners to use english through stories:

English Language Teaching, 5(5), 101-106.

Ware, M. E. & Johnson, D.E. (2000). Handbooks of demonstrating and activities in

the teaching of psychology (2nd ed.). United States of America: Lawrence
Erlbaum Associates, Inc.