Assignments for Literacy through Literature for Children
(EDU 600)


   Page contents
  • Overview
  • Discussion questions
  • Activities 1-11

Assignments were created to achieve the course goals and outcomes through discussion, investigation of four focus questions and subquestions, and completion of eleven assignments. It is intended you use research and wisdom of practice to continue your professional development on how to facilitate literacy with literature as described by these principled procedures.

I believe the goals, focus questions, and outcomes are open ended enough to allow each of you to meet your individual needs for a course with this title. If you believe there are activities you would like to alter or substitute with another to meet your needs, then let me know during the first week and we can make adjustments.

Towards the end of the second week send a message to me explaining what you are considering for assignment ten.

Any of the assignments may be done in groups as long as everyone in the group works together on all parts of the assignment. You may physically meet, if possible, and work together, or communicate electronically. However, each person must individually review, read, and become familiar with all the information so every member is knowledgeable of all ideas, their combinations, and rationale for use. It is inappropriate for one person to do most of the work, or to divide the work so each person in a group does part of an assignment and then combine the parts to complete the assignment. When group assignments are submitted, it means each person agrees everyone in the group understands what is included and could recreate and use it individually.

The major source of ideas will be from the class readings, which you have or will be selecting. Choose carefully and select sources with ideas you will want to use in the class assignments and prepare materials and activities for your school and classroom this coming year. This will also provide an opportunity to review your curriculum and maybe update how literature is used.

If you have questions, post them in the Forum under Questions for the professor. As always I am here to help make this class as useful for you as I can.

Discussion questions

The four focus questions are for you to reflect on your present understanding and to incorporate information from the assigned readings and other assignments as appropriate. I have identified several subquestions for each of the four focus questions. You may answer each of the four collectively or, for those among us that are more linear, you are welcome to write responses for each sub question. Your responses will be evaluated by these qualities.

Sample framework for a subquestion: What is literature? In my book, book title, the author defined literature as ... . Other descriptions that influenced me are.... For my purposes I believe I will use literature as ... , which is .... and will allow for .... to better meet the needs of .... students by ...

Assignments 1-11 for the class

1. Your literature reading autobiography. Post for the class to read and respond as desired.

2. Focus questions 1, 2, 3, and 4. Post for the class to read and respond as desired.

3. Report to the class in the Forum in Sakai your ideas related to the Literature, Media, Art worksheet. First, as a pre assignment - copy and paste the list of 15 types of media into the Forum or your word processor and quickly answer yes for each you would consider children's literature and no for those you would not.

Later, after you have read and completed the following:

Complete the Literature, Media, Art worksheet again state your definition of children's literature, tell if you think each example is children's literature, and explain why.

Resources to read for this assignment and also to use as appropriate for other assignments. Source:
Located in the Children's Literature - Teacher tools directory. Recreated below.

Professional Resources - articles, essays, models

4. Read chapter 3 and chapter 4 From Multiliteracies in Motion: Current Theory and Practice. and critique: How the information might be of value and not of value for your professional practices, our children in your school system, and all children in the United States. Post for the class to read and respond to others as desired. Source in Sakai Resources section.

5. Read children's books, critique each, and describe how you will use them with students. Three chapter books or 12 picture books or comparable combination. Critique the quality of three, post for the class to read and respond to others as desired. (use with other assignments and include in #6 annotation of your readings) Sample Critique for Crow Boy - cover and some sample pages from the book, and related activity. Quality critiques describe story elements or genre attributes and use examples from the piece to explain why or why not the reader or viewer believes it is or isn't quality.

6. Class readings. Reference these readings in your answers for the focus questions, periodic summaries, and annotation of your readings. Include reference information, what information you gained from the piece and how you might use it with students. One example from each chapter or every 20-30 pages is sufficient. It's okay to reuse or copy paste from one area to another.
1. One of the four required books. Don't need to read entire book if you believe some chapters are not related to your current needs. However, must read and comment on at least two-thirds of it.
2. 200 pages of optional readings.
3. Children's literature three to twelve children's literature pieces.

7. I believe that we too often make assumptions about education without realizing a significant importance of being educated. When I ask students why education is important I usually get a quick response related to getting a better job. Nothing seems to be thought deeper as to where we would be with out the collected wisdom we have from the years of education that has been freely available in our country. It is my belief that to truly appreciate and advocate for education we need to better understand the complexity of the world and the seriousness of our education for not only our well being, but our survival. Review the seven focus questions I usually have students respond to before I ask them to create their educational philosophy. I am not asking you to do this, but want you to review my responses to these seven questions, and then my philosophy related to education and the seven questions. While there is no specific artifact I want you to create after reading the information at the three links. I hope if your philosophy, doesn't already include these ideas, you might incorporate some so as to help others to better appreciate education and to move toward a more expansive view of what students need to know and do to become educated.

Identify one example of how literature use in your classroom or school will convince students it is powerfully and could motivate them to seek out quality literature for life.

8. Introductory parts of a literature curriculum. Include a definition of children's literature, goals of a literature program (one grade or multiple grades), and student outcomes.

While all the activities can be related activities 8, 9, 10, and 11 can easily be combined. Describe goals and outcomes of a literature curriculum (8), how to conduct a general literature ... (9), outline a specific plan... (10), and use part with someone and reflect (11).

9. Literature teaching model: describe a general model or planning framework to facilitate literacy with children's literature. Describe general steps or procedures on how to conduct a book talk ... or analyze media ... Plan should describe steps, with general guidelines on how it can be used with most pieces of literature to:

10. Create a specific plan to facilitate literacy through literature. Describe specific concepts, outcomes, and procedures to use with specific pieces of literature to facilitate student's learning to achieve the goals and outcomes of literacy through the use of children's literature.

11. Select a piece of children's literature, read it to or with another person, discuss or have a book conference and reflect on the interactions with the other person and the piece of literature.

The instructor reserves the right to change assignments to meet any unexpected needs.

Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes