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EDE 311 Children’s Literature for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers
Hennessy, Gail B.

Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


EDE 311 Children's Literature for Early Childhood and Elementary Teachers


UU 2006 HO


Hennessy, Gail B.


Adjunct Professor

Office Location

Copley Room 211


Semester Dates

June 6- July 27

Class Days


Class Time

12:00 - 2:30 PM

Credit Hours


Cullinan, B., & Galda L. (2006) Literature and the Child (6th ed.). New York:  Harcourt Brace.

Course Description:
A survey of traditional and modern literature best suited to children from  early childhood through the elementary grades. An attempt is made to  develop an appreciation for prose and poetry suitable for children of  different ages. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's philosophy is one of interactiveness based on literature readings, lectures, dialogues, presentations, projects, and writings.  The instructor will engage each learner in developing a love for good children's books, a feeling for the wonderful possibilities of children's books, the ability to select and use children's books critically, and the desire to share good literature with children in the classroom.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Use available resources to access a wide variety of good literature for children.  (Relevant MOSTEP Standard:  1.2.9) (Framework: Knowledge 4; Skills 18; Dispositions 9, 16)
  2. Critically discuss and evaluate literature for children by using theories, terminology and standards currently used by professionals who know the field of children's literature. (Relevant MOSTEP Standards: 1.2.1, 1.2.9) (Framework: Knowledge 4; Skills 8, 17, 18; Dispositions 2, 4, 6, 9, 16, 19)
  3. Develop instructional activities for engaging children with literature, and for using literature across school subject areas.  (Relevant MOSTEP Standards: 1.2.1,1.2.4, 1.2.5) (Framework: Knowledge 6, 7, 8; Skills 11, 12, 13, 19; Dispositions 2, 4)
  4. Select children's literature that is appropriate in terms of children's developmental levels as well as their prior knowledge.  (Relevant MOSTEP Standards: 1.2.2) (Framework: Knowledge 1, 2; Skills 5; Dispositions 1)
  5. Describe the possibilities for celebrating a diverse culture through children's literature; In addition, incorporate books representing many types of people within instruction.  (Relevant MOSTEP Standard: 1.2.3, 1.2.4) (Framework: Knowledge 2, 8; Skills 5, 12; Dispositions 1, 3, 8)
  6. Effectively and confidently, present children's books to children and colleagues. (Relevant MOSTEP Standard: 1.2.7) (Framework: Knowledge 13; Skills 10, 11; Dispositions 23, 25)
  7. Collaborate with colleagues to share books, resources and ideas within the professional community. (Relevant MOSTEP Standard: 1.2.10) (Framework: Knowledge 5; Skills 7, 9 16; Dispositions 7, 9, 18, 19, 25)

Core Assessment:

Resource file of 100 annotations of
children's books.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
1. Class Participation
  Participation means:
     reading assigments before their due dates so you are able to particpate intelligently in discussions.  Everyone is expected to speak up during class discussions, not just a few students.
     bringing in children's books for sharing with the class.  On lecture days bring in examples of books that fit the genre being discussed.
2.  Two Book Sharing Presentations
    Reading Aloud:  The first book sharing experience will be a reading of a book selected by the student.  This should be "practiced" as you need to use the elements discussed in class and in the text for an expressive, attention maintaining presentation.  This presentation will be graded on a socring guide by the instructor and included as part of the final grade.  Classmates will score the reader for a reflective exercise.  A reflection of the reading experience is due at the class session following the reading.  It should be two or more pages in length.  This self-evaluation should include: what you think went well, what did not, and what you would do differently next time, your response to the class critiques, and general reflections about what you learned from doing this.  Make sure you have thought out your reflection and present it in a clear professional manner. You submit this to the instructor the class period after you hae read the book aloud to the class.
    Lesson Plan using a Book:  Students are to read a book using it as a building block for a lesson plan.  A formal lesson plan will need to be followed and the format will be provided by the teacher.  This book sharing presentation should have a formal lessson plan with three distinct parts
  1.  Some motivational activity or device to get the children's attention, build motivation, and tap into prior knowledge.  It is imprtant to include some open-ended discussion.  This is called an anticipatory set.
  2.  Reading all or parts of the book in a well practiced, interesting manner.  
  3.  An activity that relates to the book.  Again, incorporate open-ended discussion.  There is a wide range of possbilities, but the activity should do one or more of the following:  1.  Integrate with teaching topics and learning outcomes, 2.  Allow students to express themselves creatively, 3. Help students understand the diversity in our society, 4. Build literacy (reading, writing, speaking, listening, critical viewing, visually representing)

For lesson presentations, please submit the following:
           A 2 page lesson plan outlining the activities you did before, during, and after reading (or sampling) the book.  At the top, include a full bibliography for the book.  Follow the format given to you for a formal lesson plan.  Include examples of anything you would give to the children if you were doing this with a classroom.  If a creative project is involved, include a sample or samples.  Please make a copy of your lesson plan for each member of the class as well as the instructor (you do not have to make activity samples for everyone, just the instructor).  If this is not financially feasible, please let the instructor know and she will have it done for you.  Do not be afraid to ask.  These should be submitted the day of your lesson presentation.  
      A self-evaluation that includes:  what you think went well, what did not, and what you would do differently next time, how you decided on the book and activity, how you went about planning, other ideas you may have come up with before, during, or after, and general reflections about what you learned from doing this.  These should be two or more pages.  You submit this to the instructor the next class period following your presentation.

·        Accommodations and/or Adaptations for Special Needs Students in the Regular Classroom
    There will be discussions that will focus on the needs of diverse learners. Lesson plans must have 2 identified areas that the teacher will consider.  Each identified area needs 3 possible interventions or considerations.  Points are assigned to this and can be found in the grading plan section of the syllabus.

CORE ASSESSMENT     Children's Literature Resource File

The resource file consists of brief but focused annotations for 100 children's books that you have read this semester.  Each annotation should include the following:

·        Full bibliography for each book
·        The genre(s) it may be categorized under.
·        The age level(s) it should be used with.
        Any awards it has received
·        A one-sentence synopsis of the book.
·        Describe what you think are the 3 main strengths
        of the book.
·        Describe, if any, a potential problem or  challenge of the book.
·        Minimum of 3 uses for the book.

You may keep your file on note cards and store them in a file or on paper and keep them in a notebook.  You may use technology.  You will most likely use at least parts of this file as portfolio artifacts for the departmental portfolio you are working on, so you may use the computer to create the annotations.  It is important that each annotation is done carefully and neatly.  The most be a table of contents and an explanation of how the annontations are organized.

Since many people use their children's resource file in their classrooms, the file should be easy to use and organized.  You will notice on the schedule there are dates for “progress checks” on the resource files.  This is to help you avoid procrastination, to give you feedback as to your progress, and to help me avoid being overwhelmed at the end of the semester.

Book Genres and Distribution of Annotations

Distribute your book cards and your reading, of course, as follows:

·        Traditional Literature/Folklore      15
·        Poetry 15                                        
·        Modern Fantasy/Science Fiction    15
·        Realistic Fiction         15
·        Historical Fiction      15
·        Nonfiction/Biography    15
·        Your own choice    10    (don't need to be labeled choice they should be in a genre)

You do not need to organize the genres in particular order, however, it should be a system that you find easy to use and maintain.  Some students choose to go genre by genre, as we discuss them in class.  Others do not.  You may count a book only once in your annotations towards 100 entries, even if it fits more than one category.  You will need a table of contents with an explanation of your organization system.  Follow the core assessment rubric for your annotations.

At least one-third of your books in each genre (excluding picture books and poetry) should be longer books for older children.   In fiction, these are often called chapter books.  Make time to read some longer books.  If your true interest is in grades 4-6, you probably need larger proportion of such books.  You want to be able to use this resource in your classroom one day.  Think about what would benefit you most.  If you decide to read a majority of longer books and are having a problem reading the number needed, see the instructor for ideas of ways to preview a book without reading every word.  

Look for examples of good children's literature.  Avoid what is called “grocery store books”.  These are the kinds of books that you buy at a supermarket or discount store for a couple of dollars.  Examples might be Little Golden Book, Walt Disney book, R. L. Stine, etc.  Be careful with series books.  Some are fine, but others are the equivalent of “pulp” romances (e.g. Babysitters' Club, Goose Bumps, Bernstain Bears).  If in doubt, consult a librarian, a classroom teacher, or instructor.  However, even in libraries, you will sometimes see this kind of substandard or “commercial” (designed to sell entertainment or merchandise) book for children.  The Cullinan text has an excellent bibliography if you need help.  The instructor will also provide you with others sources for bibliographies of quality.  It is imperative that you select quality literature and not books to simply fill you file.  You will not use inferior books in your classroom but will want literature to inspire, delight, provoke thought, etc. in your students.  Do not settle for less in your resource file.

Resource Notebook
This is an organizational activity arranging teaching materials and lesson plans by the instructor and fellow students.  This is to be submitted the last week of class.  Its organization will be individual preference, but easily understood and deemed functional by the instructor.  

Project-based Take-home Midterm and Final
These exams will actually be open-ended activities that will allow you to integrate ideas from your reading to higher levels of learning.  Early in the course, you will receive a set of options.  You will then select one of these options to complete over the specified time.  Options will vary, but each will stress higher level outcomes:  application to the classroom, analysis, synthesis/creative thinking, and evaluation/critical thinking.  They will be keyed to various MOSTEP and ACEI/NCATE standards so you can use them as “artifacts” in your departmental portfolio

Daily Attendance   2 point each session
Chapter Assigments/Participation   3 points each session
Interim Resource File Check   20 points each(checked twice)
Final Resource File Check    80 points
Book Reading    25 points
Book Reading self-reflection  15 points
Book Reading & Lesson Plan Presentation  25 points
Lesson Plan self-reflection   15 points
Lesson Plan   25 points
Accomodation/Adaptation  10 points
Teaching Resource Notebook  15 points
Midterm/Final Project(s)  40 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Timely completion is built into assignment criteria.  Late work of daily assignments will be accepted up to one week late, but the grade will be reduced.  Late submission of reading files will not be accepted and will be recorded as a “zero”.  Late submission of presentations, take-home midterm exam, group presentation, resource notebook, and take-home final exam will result in grade reductions of 25%.  Assignments need to be hard copy and not sent to the professor in an email.  Absolutely no late work will be accepted after the assigned time of the final.  Any missing assignments after the finals date will be recorded as a “zero”.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
As future teachers, the students in the environment should practice dispositions that are listed in the Philosophy and Frameworks of the Education Department.  Each class participant should be a positive, polite contributor to the classroom.  

As computers and technology have made writing and revising easier and more productive, they have also created unique problems.  Printers run out of ink and hard drives crash.  Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines.  Be sure to save your work for backup purposes.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Week Date Topics/Assignments
1 June 6 Course intro, Genres in children's literature, your resource file
Assignment:  Find one or more children's libraries to work with this semester
June 8 Evaluating children's books, sharing books with children
Reading:  Cullinan, ch 1 & 2, Work on Resource File, Resource File check June 22 (have 35-45 annotations done)  
Book Reading June 22
2 June 13 Reading Aloud ,Anticipatory Set, Children's Book Awards, picture book, lesson plan writing formats, Bloom's taxonomy
Reading: Cullinan Ch. 3 & 4
June 15 Picture books, Children's book awards, continue discussion on lesson plans, Poetry
Reading: Cullinan Ch. 3 & 4  Work on Resource File, Resource File Check June 22), Book Reading June 22
3 June 20 Poetry, Traditional Literature/Folklore, Accommodations/Adaptations
Reading:  Cullinan ch 5
Assignment:    Resource File check on June 22.  You should have 35-45 annotations done.  Files will be collected and checked.  2nd Check will be July 6 (65-75 annotations), Book Reading June 22
 Lesson Presentation with Book Reading July 13
June 22 Book Reading, Resource File Check, Peer Reviews of Reading, Traditional Literature, Questioning Techniques/Comprehension
Assignment:  Self-reflection due the next class period on your book reading.  Make sure it is 2 or more pages.
4 June 27 Modern Fantasy/Science Fiction, discuss book reading/lesson plan presentation
Reading: Cullinan Ch. 6, Final exam project distributed
2nd Resource File Check July 6
Final check Resource File is due July 25 (100 or more annotations), Final exam project due July 27,  Resource Notebook due July 27
June 29 Contemporary Realistic Fiction, Cultural Diversity
Reading: Cullinan, ch. 7 & 11
Assignment:  2nd Resource File check July 6 (65-75 annotations)
5 July 4 No class  

July 6 Historical Fiction, Resource File 2nd check, discuss lesson plan presentation
Reading:  Cullinan, ch. 8
Assignment: Lesson Plan Presentation with Book Reading due July 13
6 July 11 Historical Fiction
Assignment:  Final resource file check July 25 (100 or more annotations), final exam and resource notebook due July 27 (will share your final exam with the class)
July 13 Lesson Plan Presentation with Book Reading
Assignment:  Self reflection is due the following class.  It should be 2 or more pages.
7 July 18 Biography/Nonfiction
Reading: Cullinan, ch.  9 & 10
July 20 Developing Responsive Readers
Reading: Cullinan, ch. 12
Final check Resource File (100 or more annotations) is due July 25, Final exam project due July 27,  Resource Notebook due July 27
8 July 25 Final Resource File Check, What book or books were the most memorable to you?
Teaching Ideas & Resources
July 27 Final exam is due.  Present to the others in the class.  Resource notebook due.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2005-2006 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .



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Last Updated:5/1/2006 2:08:25 PM