Teaching Literacy in the Middle School – EDUC 669

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

This course focuses on promoting the middle level learner's literacy development. Emphasis is placed on current theories, models, and methods of teaching, learning and communicating through the language processes of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the content areas. Students will explore, analyze, and critique research in reading, and the relationship of other disciplines to reading in the context of the middle school.

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


This course allows teacher candidates to explore adolescent literacy to support instructional practices. The candidate will develop a repertoire of middle-school-level literacy activities which promote reading strategies and technology in order to foster literacy progress in middle schools. Additionally, the reading specialist candidate will focus on literacy leadership at the middle level.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of current theories, models, and methods of teaching, learning, and communicating through the language processes of reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
  2. Design strategies that promote the middle-level learner’s literacy development and language acquisition in different content areas.
  3. Examine an understanding in comprehension skills, writing process, questioning strategies, summarizing, and retelling related to adolescent literacies and new literacies.
  4. Critique a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts to support the middle-level learner instruction and independent reading.
  5. Develop a repertoire of reading strategies (including technology) for teaching vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency at the middle school level.
  6. Integrate digital technologies into content area lessons for middle school learners.
  7. RS candidates only: design instruction with a variety of means by selecting fiction and nonfiction texts of appropriate literacy leadership in the middle level classroom.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

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

Discussions (2)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 300–400 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, include at least 2 scholarly citations, and include the candidate’s biblical worldview. Scripture must be included to support the candidate’s thoughts. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to 2 of his/her classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–250 words and include 1 scholarly citation in current APA format. (MLO: A, B, C)

Young Adult Literacy Project

  1. Literacy Activities (3)

The candidate must describe activities which integrate reading strategies in vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency with a fiction or nonfiction text for use in middle school.  (MLO: A, B, C, E, G)

The reading specialist candidate will demonstrate modeling by focusing on leadership and coaching in the literacy activities.

  1. Lesson Plan

The candidate must create 1 lesson plan using the fiction or nonfiction text chosen for the Young Adult Literacy Project. The lesson plan must use the edTPA Lesson Plan Template. Reading strategy activities and digital technology must be integrated into some of the activities and the lesson plan. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E, G)

The reading specialist candidate will demonstrate modeling by completing a leadership and coaching section of the lesson plan.

  1. Young Adult Literacy Project

The candidate must select and read 1 trade book (fiction or nonfiction) chosen from the most recent Virginia Reader’s Choice Awards, a Christian publisher, or other recent books published within the last 10 years. The selection must focus on topics or themes relevant to middle school students. The candidate must include a repertoire of reading strategies (including technology) for teaching vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency to promote middle school literacy, one lesson plan, and a reflection on the project. The assignment must be submitted in Canvas (MLO: A, B, C, D, E, F, G)

Discussion: Journal Article Critiques Topic Selection

The candidate must select a topic from the provided list and must post his/her topic to the provided discussion in Canvas. The candidate may not choose a topic that has already been selected by another candidate in the course.

Journal Article Critiques Paper

The candidate must select 3 journal articles to read, analyze, and critique based on the topic selected in the forum. The candidate must write 3 separate critiques, one for each journal article, to be submitted as one paper. The body of the paper must be 4–6 pages long with an additional reference section. (MLO: A, B, C)

Literacy Autobiography Roadmap Project

The candidate must create a personal roadmap and reflection of his/her literacy development from past to present as an autobiographical account of significant experiences and influences. The paper must be 3–4 double-spaced pages. (MLO: A, D)

Video Presentation

The candidate must create a video presentation using Adobe Spark or YouTube to discuss the importance of promoting critical thinking when reading information on the internet. (The reading specialist candidate must create a professional development video for classroom teachers on this same topic.) (MLO: A, B, C, E, F)

Quizzes (6)

Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the assigned module. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 1-hour time limit. (MLO: A, B, C)