Syllabus Entrance
Printer Friendly
Email Syllabus

ED 531 Literacy Across the Curriculum
Germano, Carol J.


COURSE TITLE: Literacy Across the Curriculum



NAME OF FACULTY MEMBER: Carol J. Germano         


FACULTY OFFICE LOCATION: William Bryant Elementary, Blue Springs R-IV School District

FACULTY OFFICE HOURS:  Monday, 3:30 – 5:00





DATES OF THE TERM:  August 25 – October 13, 2004



PREREQUISITE(S): ED 521 or Introductory Literacy Course




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.



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


COURSE DESCRIPTION: An exploration of new definitions of literacy and strategies for integrating illiteracies (including reading, writing, speaking, viewing, and visually representing) across subject areas in elementary, middle, and high schools.  Literacy research will be examined, and students will create and present an instructional unit designed to integrate literacy within the context of subject area instruction in their own classroom. 3:0:3


FACULTY’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY:  The needs of our students, families, and school systems are changing daily so it is imperative that educators stay current on the best and most effective methods of reading instruction.  Current research indicates that reading, writing, listening, and speaking can’t be taught in isolation anymore, but must be integrated through the curriculum so students have the opportunity for maximum learning. 


COURSE OBJECTIVES: “Literacy” isn’t just reading and writing any more. The most recent definitions of literacy include reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and visually representing. Although written texts are still important, oral and visual texts are becoming increasingly important in classrooms, especially as technology develops. In addition, students need to be actively literate; literate individuals in the 21st century will need to be both intelligent consumers and active constructors of written, oral, and visual texts. State standards, as well as standards from professional associations in various subject areas, call for this type of active literacy. What is more, both current research and standards recommend that literacy be integrated within subject area instruction, and in all subject areas.  This course is designed to orient teachers to this view of literacy, to help them integrate the “new” literacy into the subjects they teach, and to provide a forum for sharing among colleagues who are pursuing the same goals.




  1. Learners will describe current literacy theories and some of the strategies suggested by these theories. (Mo Step Standards 1.2.1, 1.2.2)                                                                             
  2. Learners will describe how current literacy theories could be applied within their specific classrooms to meet the diverse literacy needs of students. (MoStep Standards 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3)                                                                                                                    
  3. Learners will name and be able to access various resources that can assist them in developing literacy instruction across the curriculum. (MoStep Standard 1.2.9)                  
  4. Learners will develop and formulate their own theories of literacy and literacy instruction; these theories will draw both from current literacy theories and from their own classroom experience. (MoStep Standards 1.2.2, 1.2.9)
  5. Learners will design interdisciplinary literacy instruction for their own classrooms that incorporates    literacy skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, viewing, and visually representing) and various kinds of texts (written, oral, and visual) within the context of subject area instruction. (MoStep Standards 1.2.1, 1.2.5, 1.2.7, 1.2.9)
  6. Learners will design interdisciplinary literacy instruction that promotes active learning and student ownership, and that is sensitive to the individual needs of the wide range of students that is found in a typical classroom. (MoStep Standards 1.2.3, 1.2.6)
  7.  Learners will describe and evaluate procedures for authentic literacy assessment, and will design   appropriate procedures to assess literacy within their own classrooms. (MoStep Standard 1.2.8)
  8.  Learners will share literacy theories and strategies with colleagues. (MoStep Standard 1.2.10)
  9.  Learners will describe how to integrate state and national standards within their subject area instruction while still maintaining an authentic approach to literacy. (Mo Step Standard 1.2.4)



COURSE TEXTBOOK(S): Tompkins E., Gail.(2003) Literacy for the 21st Century. Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Merrill


ACADEMIC HONESTY: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”


PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”


ATTENDANCE POLICY: In the accelerated format, regular attendance is particularly important. Perfect attendance would be the ideal. Absences should only occur because of unpredictable and/or uncontrollable events. In such cases, please notify the instructor by phone or e-mail. It is then the student’s responsibility to take steps to seek out the missed material, through the instructor or other colleagues.  Assignments are due upon return unless other arrangements are made with the instructor (as in the case of a serious illness, for example).  It is recommended that class members take phone numbers and e-mail addresses of colleagues so information may be exchanged in case of absence.

Please minimize tardies and early departures.  This course has a packed agenda and time must be managed efficiently to cover the necessary curriculum.


Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.


LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: Late work will be accepted but will be noted as late. If a general pattern of lateness is seen across the session (three or more occurrences of lateness), the course grade will be reduced by one level. No work can be accepted after the last class session.


COURSE ASSESSMENT: Students will be assessed through the following methods:

1) Class participation

2) Weekly reflections:  Students will keep a weekly journal to reflect on the information discussed each class session.  Reflections will be written in at the end of each class period and turned in.  The instructor will respond to the reflection and return the following week. 

3) Chapter questions and responses or Chapter teaching strategy with annotation:  Students may choose to write six questions with detailed answers for each weekly reading assignment from Tompkin’s book.  Bloom’s taxonomy must be used to write the questions, with at least one question from each of the six levels.  Questions will be graded on a completion basis.

Students may also choose to demonstrate a strategy that reflects the content of the chapter and include a written annotation of the strategy demonstrated.  Demonstrations and annotations will be graded on the basis of chapter correlation, effectiveness, and curriculum integration. 

4) Journal annotations:  Students will select one journal article for weeks 2 – 7 to study and share in small groups with colleagues.  Students will write annotations for three of the articles selected.  Each written annotation must be in APA format.  The annotations must include a one-paragraph summary of the essence of the article, a one-paragraph critical reaction to the article, and a one-paragraph description of how an instructor might apply material in the article within a classroom.  The article must be attached with the annotation. 

5) Integrated literacy unit:  Students will create and present an instructional unit designed to integrate literacy within the context of subject area instruction.

6) Essay exam:  The final exam will consist of open-ended prompts that detail how literacy will be integrated into the classroom.  The prompts will assess how theories and strategies presented will be applied to classroom planning and instruction.


CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT: The instructor and students will develop a list of classroom norms during the first class meeting. These norms will be followed throughout the entire class.  (For example:  Begin and end class on time, No visiting while instructor or students are making presentations, Be prepared when working in a group, etc.)


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 American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent 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:








Becoming an Effective Teacher of Reading

August 25, 2004

T/Chart on Effective Reading Teacher/Classroom

Weekly reflection

Working with Emergent Readers and Writers

September 1, 2004

Read and Respond:  Chapters 1 & 4:  Tompkins, Gail. Literacy for the 21st Century.

Journal annotation

Weekly reflection

Teaching the Reading and Writing Process

September 8, 2004

Read and Respond:  Chapter 2:  Tompkins, Gail. Literacy for the 21st Century.

Journal annotation

Weekly reflection

Facilitating Students’ Comprehension

September 15, 2004

Read and Respond:  Chapter 8:  Tompkins, Gail. Literacy for the 21st Century.

Journal annotation

Weekly reflection

Assessing Students’ Literacy Development

September 22, 2004

Read and Respond:  Chapter 3:  Tompkins, Gail. Literacy for the 21st Century.

Journal annotation

Weekly reflection

Reading and Writing in the Content Area

September 29, 2004

Read and Respond:  Chapter 14:  Tompkins, Gail. Literacy for the 21st Century.

Journal annotation

Weekly reflection

Basal Reading Textbooks

October 6, 2004

Read and Respond:  Chapter 13:  Tompkins, Gail. Literacy for the 21st Century.

Journal annotation

Weekly reflection

Issues in Literacy Today

October 13, 2004

Integrated Literacy Unit

Essay exam



1.      Read and respond to chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 13, 14  30% of grade

2.      Journal annotations (3):                                                       30% of grade

3.      Integrated Literacy Unit:                                                      15% of grade

4.      In class “final” essay:                                                           15% of grade

5.      Class participation:                                                              10% of grade