This article describes the impact of the mass media on the sensitive mind and imagination of a young child.

alan and graham are both ten. Each Tuesday afternoon I take their class for an English lesson whilst my own boys move across the corridor for a music period. During the half hour that we share, the boys are stimulated to act, draw or write about their daily lives freely and spontaneously. But I had not been working with them for very long before I noticed that whatever Alan drew or wrote or dramatised fell into a continuing pattern. He was absorbed by the prospect of death. He feared death intensely and was disturbed by it in the form of accident or punishment. He needed to explore the experience at the point of dying—and pulled many of his stories around to this characteristic situation . . .

“He was really scared now . . . The police shot them off one by one . . . while he was lying on the stage, half dead and half alive, he must have thought . . .”

Even in the most formal work offered to his own class teacher the controlling meditation breaks through . . .

“I was lying in bed, I was thinking what would happen when I was dead and how it would happen. And then I was thinking what the Romans, Picts and Saxons must have felt like, and now they are covered with dust. They just lie there and will be there for ever. And what it will be like when I am there and covered with dirt, and all kinds of things . . .”