Instructional Approaches to Literature for Children and Adolescents – EDUC 315

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/06/2020

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 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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. 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. (MLO: A, B, C)

Blended Literature Circles

The candidate will conduct a genre study using literature circles with selected four books. All samples materials will be included: procedures, role sheets, timeline, and format (traditional or digital). The candidate will prepare a 2–3-minute video clip explaining the genre study, highlighting genre, grade level, state and common core standards, and book sections. (MLO: A, C, D, E, F)

Adolescent Text Talk

Using the website, the candidate will create a text talk in discussion board with realia/objects, short video, images, and other representations of a text they plan to use in a future/current upper elementary to middle grades classroom based on a selected topic from the website. It will be necessary to review materials on the website. The initial thread must be a minimum of 450–500 words, and each reply must be 150–200 words. (MLO: A, E, F, G)

Literacy and Me Autobiography

The student will write a 2-3-page reflective paper in current APA format that focuses on 2 perspectives. 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 reflect on the development of his/her relationship with reading during this course. The paper must include at least 2 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. (MLO: B, G)

Interactive Read Aloud Video and Reflective Response

The candidate will record himself/herself reading a children’s book from a Choice Book list or Award Winning Literature (within the past 10 years). The video will be 10-12 minutes in length. After viewing the video, the candidate will write a reflective summary in a minimum of 500 words.  (MLO: A, E, F, G)

Genre Study Logs (4)

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

Windows and Mirrors Project

This project involves  creating a classroom “Book Collection” for a specific grade level. As a common analogy used when choosing books for children, the “Mirrors and Windows” project is a culminating project for this course, identifying portions of a child’s identities, cultures, and/or experiences. There are four parts to the project:  1) select 5 books that act as mirrors for you and identify which parts of yourself are reflected in those books, 2) select 5 books that act as windows that do not identify as a representation of yourself, 3) create a class reading collection (20 selections) that represent both windows and mirrors; identify a short description for each and reading level, 4) share collection with a teacher/educator or child and gain their perspective of the collection. No field experience is required for this assignment. (MLO: A, B, C, F, G)

Quizzes (3)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25-40 multiple-choice questions, and have a 2-hour time limit. The last attempt will be saved. (MLO: A, B, D, E, G)