Instructional Approaches to Literature for Children and Adolescents – EDUC 315

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/04/2022

Course Description

This course examines literature for children in PreK through Grade 8. Focus is on selecting and using appropriate books for the classroom in literature-based reading instruction and in content curricular instruction. In addition, students explore multiple instructional approaches and strategies for literature use in diverse classrooms, as well as emphasizing selection, critical evaluation, and utilization of literary materials for developmental, recreational, and needs across the curriculum. 

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


This course is designed to provide an introduction to the use of children’s literature from early childhood and adolescent settings with a focus on format, genre, curricular connections, and overall utility in broadly diverse classrooms.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to evaluate, select, and present children’s and adolescent literature based on developmentally, individually, and culturally appropriate practices.
  2. Explore the context within which children experience literature, including how students’ own experiences with literature impact their perspective.
  3. Engage in book discussion to deepen knowledge about and appreciation of children’s and adolescent literature in conjunction with language arts content standards.
  4. Design and use various instructional strategies and adapt each to meet the needs of diverse students.
  5. Integrate strategies into instruction that develop proficient readers as they make meaning of a variety of genres.
  6. Discover a wide variety of resources available to access quality children’s and adolescent literature.
  7. Apply research-based, developmentally-appropriate teaching skills and methods that meet the International Literacy Association (ILA) Standards.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt. The candidate must also provide replies to two classmates' threads. There are three Discussions in this course. 

Discussion: Examining Quality Literature and Discussion: Literary Elements have the same requirements and are graded using the same rubric. Each thread must be 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to two other classmates' threads. Each reply must be 100 words.

Discussion: Adolescent Text Talk

The candidate will choose a selected theme. Using one or two texts from, the candidate will create a text talk with realia/objects, images, and other visual representations of a text he or she plans to use in a future/current upper elementary to middle grades classroom. The Text Talk will be posted as a Discussion initial thread. A template is provided. The thread must be 450-500 words and demonstrate course related-knowledge. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to two other classmates' threads. Each reply must be 150-200 words. (MLO: A, B, C)(MLO: A, E, F, G)

Literacy and Me Assignment

The candidate will write a 750-word reflective paper that describes personal experiences with literacy and discusses how these experiences have shaped their goals for teaching literacy. The first section of the paper is an invitation to recall and record the experiences that have shaped his/her relationship with, and attitudes and feelings toward, reading. The second section is an invitation to discuss how these experiences have shaped the candidate's goals for future literacy instruction. The paper must include at least 2 scholarly references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. A template is provided. (MLO: B, G)

Guided Reading Lesson Plans and Reflection Assignment

The candidate will choose three high-interest children’s books and develop three differentiated lesson plans to plan for guided reading groups in a classroom. The instructional plan will focus on one specific reading comprehension skill based on a common core or state standard, and will be differentiated in these areas: book, level, objective, key vocabulary, book introduction, during reading, after reading, and sample activity. The candidate will teach one of the lesson plans to a child and then reflect upon the guided reading lesson. A template is provided. (MLO: A, C, D, E, F)

Genre Study Log Assignments (3)

The candidate will discuss, evaluate, and critique quality children’s and adolescent literature in 3 separate Genre Studies. Each Genre Study has a distinct focus: 1) Fantasy or science fiction picture books,  2) Diverse Perspectives in books, and 4) Realistic or Historical fiction books. The candidate will select and read 3 books for each Genre Study and apply state standards and instructional activities for each genre study. A template is provided. (MLO:  A, B, E, F, G)

Interactive Read Aloud and Reflection Assignment

The candidate will record himself/herself reading a high quality children’s book written to teach and model a specific reading comprehension skill. The video will be 10-12 minutes in length. After viewing the video, the candidate will write a reflective summary. A template is provided. An additional submission in Livetext is required. (MLO: A, E, F, G)

Windows and Mirrors Project Assignment

As a common analogy used for books, the “Mirrors and Windows” project is a culminating project for this course. There are 4 parts to the project:  1) Mirror Books - Select 5 books that act as mirrors for you and identify which parts of yourself are reflected in those books, 2) Window Books - Select 5 picture that act as windows that allow you to understand others' perspectives and experiences 3) Class Collection  - Choose a grade level and develop a class collection that includes 20 books that represent both windows and mirrors for your classroom 4) Interview - Share your collection with a teacher/educator and gain their perspective of the collection. A template is provided for the assignment. An additional submission in Livetext is required. (MLO: A, B, C, F, G)

Quizzes (4)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 20–30 questions, and have a specified time limit. (MLO: A, B, D, E, G)