Lessons from Literature
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About the Program


Learn About the Program Framework

Step 1: Building Teacher Awareness and Confidence

Goal: To help educators become aware of the effects of physical, verbal and sexual abuse on teens and the role that educators and schools can play in helping to reduce violence.

What are the Lessons we can learn from Literature?
In literature classrooms across the country, students read about the experiences of characters and are challenged to think about and relate to their feelings and circumstances through various assignments such as character interviews, personal reflection journals and essays. Oftentimes, the experiences exemplified in literature portray abuse and violence. These incidents serve as excellent examples for helping teens develop critical thinking and interpersonal skills to create respectful relationships. Literature provides the opportunity to learn important lessons from the experiences of others that students can then relate to their own experiences. This will help students build healthy, respectful relationships, now and in the future.

What Resources Do Teachers Need?
Some teachers may hesitate to approach themes of abuse because they don't feel prepared to handle the discussions that may result. What if a student discloses a personal experience of abuse? What if students are not able to handle the topics maturely? To handle these topics properly and safely, teachers need to feel confident and knowledgeable. Therefore, Lessons from Literature provides teachers with resources, support and background information to help prepare for and respond to students' questions or needs.

Lessons from Literature: Tools for Teaching Violence Awareness
Understanding these teacher needs, we compiled various resources to help teachers gain the confidence and knowledge they need to be able to teach violence awareness using literature as the platform. We invite you to explore the following:

Getting Ready to Teach
Additional Resources
Responding to Relationship Abuse (372 KB)

Step 2: Creating a Respectful Classroom Environment




"Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the U.S. is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner."

–The National Council on Crime and Delinquency Focus