Dragons in Literature

Kids often relish theme-oriented studies. These studies allow students to study a topic in-depth and at a higher-level of thinking than many traditional units.

One fun, interesting, and non-conventional theme for study is Dragons in Children’s Literature, which can be adapted for students of all ages. If you have a student who might find this topic interesting, there are some good resources available.

Tina L. Hanlon, Associate Professor of English at Ferrum College in Virginia, has assembled an annotated bibliography on Dragon’s in Children’s Literature. Included in the bibliography are picture books, novels, poems, background resources, and a paper/essay (the essay is particularly interesting) that Hanlon presented at the Children’s Literature Association Conference in June 2002. Using the extensive information that Hanlon offers could be a basis for a wonderful study of dragons (from those in Beowulf to Harry Potter) and their role in literature. Sometimes dragons are regarded as a symbol of evil and, as Hanlon states, sometimes as “watered-down images resulting from the attempts of modern Americans to protect innocent children from the violence in traditional literature.”

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