EDU 307:

Children's Literature and Literacy

Course Description: Some human stories endure for centuries. Literature sheds light on the past and explores this future. This course utlizes the power of teaching with Children's literature in order to undersatnd how we make meaning in the world. We will cover the content and pedagogical explore foundational knowledge of literature, the social practices of meaning making ,and strategies for teaching

J. Gregory McVerry

Davis Hall 209B

twitter: @jgmac1106

Objective One:

Understand literature as a pathway to literacy.

Objective Two:

Analyze how voices are amplified and lost in children's literature

Objective Three:

Define and identify methods of teaching elements of literature

Objective Four:

Read and review a variety of high quality children's literature

Objective Five:

Compose a variety of published pieces of varying lengths and genres while engaged in a community of readers and writers.

Objective Six:

Teach elements of literature and different genres of children's literature to your peers



Everyone in class will maintain their own blog. If you already have a blog you may use it. If you do not have a blog you should sign up for a free account at Wordpress. You can learn more on the tutorials page.

Each unit of study will have reading(s) and/or tasks assigned about the genre. Each module you will post a reflective essay on the readings. You will also publish a post for any additional activites assigned in that unit of study.

Genre Study

You will choose one genre from the class and write a 2-3 page informational text on how to read the genre and a 2-3 page narrative text in that genre.

We will meet as a classroom of writers and workshop these pieces. While you are writing you will post reflections on the writing process.

Book Clubs

Throughout the semester you will be asked to gather with other students and read books together. You will then share reflections (either a blog post or video) about reading these books on your blog.

Digital Dumps

Throughout the semester you will record a video selfie reflecting on how children's literature influences our identities and what voices are represented and lost in Children's Literature. You can read more about the assignment here


Each module we wild annotate a reading together. We will use a tool called to annotate. After you make an account you can join our group here:

Hybrid Teaching

You will create a video the provides direct instruction in some element of character analysis.

As a group you will plan and teach a module on a genre of children's literature. Groups and topics will be chosen at random.





Introduction: Modules 1 and 2


  • Create A WordPress Blog
  • Publish your first post with your goals for the class and your goals as a writer.
  • Publish a definition of literacy using no words
  • Digtial Dump One
  • Publish a slideck to teach a literary element

Expanding Minds: Modules 3 and 4


  • Annotate Thrice Lesson Learned
  • Read two books with your book club group
  • Evaluate Workshop mini lessons

In the Classroom: Modules 5 and 6


  • Digital Dump 2
  • Case Study on Class Discussion (after digital dump 2)
  • Record a Read Aloud Selfie
  • Complete Poetry Module
  • Build Your Module with Your Group

You Teach, You Learn


Complete the modules created by your peers. Teach your module by sparking conversation and offering feedback.

You Teach, You Learn


Complete the modules created by your peers. Teach your module by sparking conversation and offering feedback.

Wrap Up


  • Complete you genre study paper
  • Annotate What Kind of Teacher Will I Be?
  • Record Digital Dump Three: What Kind of Reacher Will I Be?
  • Post Self Grade Reflection

Required Readings

Alverson, B. (2014). Teachign with Graphic Novels. School Library Journal.

Blanchard, J. S. (1982). Anthropomorphism in beginning readers. The Reading Teacher, 35(5), 586–591. JSTOR. Retrieved from

Clarke, L. W., & Holwadel, J. (2007). “Help! What Is Wrong With These Literature Circles and How Can We Fix Them?” The Reading Teacher, 61(1), 20-29. doi:10.1598/RT.61.1.3

Duthie, C., & Zimet, E. K. (1992). “ Poetry Is Like Directions for Your Imagination!”. Reading Teacher, 46(1), n1. Retrieved from

Farris, PJ; Fuhler, C. (1994). Developing social studies concepts through picture books. The Reading Teacher, 47(5), 380-387. Retrieved from

Flatley, J. K., & Rutland, A. D. (1986). Using wordless picture books to teach linguistically/culturally different students. The Reading Teacher, 40(3), 276–281. JSTOR. Retrieved from

Flickinger, G. G., Garcia, I. M., & Long, E. S. (1992). Beanstalk heroes: Jack and Jim in an integrated primary curriculum. The Reading Teacher, 46(1), 75–79. JSTOR. Retrieved from

Ford, M. P., Opitz, M. F., & Ford, P. (2002). Using Centers to Engage Children during Guided Reading Time: Intensifying Learning Experiences Away from the Teacher. The Reading Teacher, 55(8), 710-717.

Frey, B. B., Lee, S. W., Tollefson, N., Pass, L., Massengill, D., The, S., Jun, N. M., et al. (2005). Balanced Literacy in an Urban School District. The Reading Teacher, 98(5), 272-280.

Gibson, S. A. (2009). Grade Effective Guided Framework Writing Primary- Instruction for. The Reading Teacher, 62(4), 324-334. doi:10.1598/RT.62

Guthrie, J. T. (1983). Research Views: Preschool Literacy Learning. The Reading Teacher, 37(3), 318–320. JSTOR. Retrieved from

Heald-Taylor, B. G. (1996). Three paradigms for literature instruction in grades 3 to 6. The Reading Teacher, 49(6), 456–466. JSTOR. Retrieved from

Helen, R., & Yopp, H. K. (2000). Sharing Informational Text with Young Children. Reading, 53(5), 410-423.

Hiebert, E. H., & Colt, J. (1989). Patterns of literature-based reading instruction. The Reading Teacher, 43(1), 14–20. JSTOR. Retrieved from

Isom, B. A., & Casteel, C. P. (1991). Creating a Writing-Rich Environment in the Preschool Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 44(7), 520–521. JSTOR. Retrieved from

Kelly, P. R., & Marcos, S. (1990). Guiding response young to students’ response to literature. Reading Teacher, 43(7), 464-470.

Kurkjian, C., Livingston, N., & Young, T. (2006). Worlds of Fantasy. The Reading Teacher, 59(5), 492-503. doi:10.1598/RT.59.5.10

Lapp, D., Flood, J., Goss, K., & York, N. (2000). Desks Don’t Move Students Do: In Effective Classroom Environments. Reading Teacher, 54(1), 31-36.

Linaberger, M. (2004). Poetry Top 10: A Foolproof Formula for Teaching Poetry. The Reading Teacher, 58(4), 366-372. doi:10.1598/RT.58.4.6

Miller, W. H. (1971). Organizing a first grade classroom reading for individualized instruction. The Reading Teacher, 24(8), 748-752.

Morrow, L. M., & Tracey, Diane H, Woo, Deborah, Pressley, M. (1999). Characteristics of Exemplary Firs-Grade Literacy Instruction. Reading Teacher, 52(5), 462-476.

Moss, B. (1991). Children’s Nonfiction Trade Books: A Complement to Content Area Texts. Reading, 45(1), 26-32.

Neuman, S. B., Roskos, K., & Neuman, B. (1990). Play , Print, and Purpose: Enriching Play Environments for Literacy Development. Reading, 44(3), 214-221.

Norton, D. E. (2012). ENGAGING IN LITERATURE Webbing and historical fiction. Reading, 46(5), 432-436.

Pentimonti, J. M., Zucker, T. a., Justice, L. M., & Kaderavek, J. N. (2010). Informational Text Use in Preschool Classroom Read-Alouds. The Reading Teacher, 63(8), 656-665. doi:10.1598/RT.63.8.4

Pressley, M., Rankin, J., & Yokoi, L. (1996). A Survey of Instructional Practices of Primary Teachers Nominated as Effective in Promoting Literacy. The Elementary School Journal, 96(4), 363. doi:10.1086/461834

Reutzel, D. R., & Cooter, R. B. (1991). Organizing for Effective Instruction : The Reading Workshop. The Reading Teacher, 44(8), 548–554. JSTOR. Retrieved from

Rickards, D., & Hawes, S. (2006). Connecting Reading and Writing through Author’s Craft. The Reading Teacher, 60(4), 370-373.

Rycik, M. T., & Rosler, B. (2009). The Return of Historical Fiction. The Reading Teacher, 63(2), 163-166. doi:10.1598/RT.63.2.8

Spencer, B. (2003). Text maps: Helping students navigate informational texts. The Reading Teacher, 56(8), 752-756. Retrieved from

Stewart, L. T., & Stewart, T. (1997). Readers Theatre and the Writing Workshop: Using Children’s Literature to Prompt Student Writing. Reading, 51(2), 174-175.

Swift, K. (1993). Try in Reading Workshop in Your Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 46(5), 366-371. Wagner, L., Nott, J. G., Agnew, A. T., Teacher, R., Agnew, T., & Amy, D. (2011). The nuts and bolts of teaching first-grade writing a journal through workshop. Reading, 55(2), 120-125.

Young, T. A., Bruchac, J., Livingston, N., & Kurkjian, C. (2004). Children’s Books: Folk Literature: Preserving the Storytellers' Magic. The Reading Teacher, 57(8), 782-792.

Winn, M. (2015). Exploring the Literate Trajectories of Youth Across Time and Space, Mind, Culture, and Activity, 22:1, 58-67, DOI: 10.1080/10749039.2014.990037