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EDLI 200 – Summer 2009

Children’s and Young Adult Literature


Dianne Tkach, MLS, diannetkach@hotmail.com

Course Description
This course is designed as a survey of the context and the literary
merit of children’s (CH) and young adult (YA) literature, that is,
books written for and read by readers from ages K-17. Our
emphasis will be on literature that is both interesting and of
literary merit, as well as diverse in its genre, characters, cultures
represented, and readers to whom it appeals. The class will
emphasize two strands: reading and teaching. The three main areas
covered will be the principles and processes of written, visual, and
spoken literacy, reader’s advisory, and presenting “books” to
children and young adults.

Required Reading
Tomlimson, Carl & Lynch-Brown, Carol, Essentials of Children’s
Literature, 7th ed., 2009, MA: Allyn and Bacon, Inc.
Brown, Jean & Stephens, Elaine, Teaching Young Adult Literature:
Sharing the Connection, 1994CA: Wadsworth.
Winthrop, Elizabeth, Counting on Grace
Other required reading will be announced and will depend on
choices each topic or genre group makes. Other choices will be
yours. Children’s books are available in libraries, used bookstores,
bookstores, and school libraries. You will be responsible for
finding your own copies.
Other Books (Optional)
Silvey, Anita, Children’s Books and Their Creators, 1995, NY:
Houghton Mifflin.
Silvey, Anita, The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their
Creators, 2002, NY: Houghton Mifflin.
Silvey, Anita, 100 Best Books for Children, 2004, NY: Houghton
Mifflin
Hit List: Frequently Challenged books for Children and
Hit List: Frequently Challenged books for Young Adults, IL, Office
of Intellectual Freedom, ALA
Sutherland, Zena, Children and Books, 9th ed., 1997, NY: Longman
Littlejohn, Carol, Talk That Book: Booktalks to Promote Reading,
1999, OH: Linworth
Nilson, Alleen P., Donelson, Kenneth L., Literature for Today’s Young
Adults, 7th ed., 2004, NY: Longman
Plus additional articles & handouts provided during the course.

Written work: All written work must be submitted on the date it


is due; late work will result in a lower grade. Papers and assignments
must be word-processed, double-spaced and proofread/edited.
Assessment will be based on clarity of expression, evidence of
reflection, development, support and justification of position or
ideas, and appropriate writing mechanics (grammar, punctuation,
spelling, language usage). You may snail mail or email your work.
Hard copies of work must be dated and signed by you.

Class Participation: 10 points-- Students should be involved in


class discussions, group work, writing assignments, all things that
contribute to the development of a classroom community and the
on-going life of the classroom community.
Community Project: 15 points-- Students are required to observe
a program in their community focusing on CH or YA literature.
Examples: observe a story time or book talk at a public library;
arrange to observe something connected with a community event
(i.e. tie in with the YMCA or a children’s club); visit a classroom
during literacy time; listen to a YA librarian get teens excited about
books. Do not use your own school or things you may have already
done. I want you to have a different experience. Do this before
our first meeting on May 30 and come prepared to discuss the
experience (successes/challenges you observed). A write up of this
experience will be due on June 3, but it can be handed in on May 30
as well if you have it completed. Making arrangements, planning and
implementing the event, and writing it up will count as class hours.
Write up should be no more than two pages. Not everyone is keen
about being observed, so if you get a negative reaction, pursue
something else. If you get stuck let me know.

Online Discussion: 15 points -- You will be expected to regularly


write responses to questions posed, selections from the text, and
the discussion questions.

Project: 30 points -- Choose a project that interests you and will


help you to integrate CH or YA literature into a program or
curriculum. No more than 5 or less than 3 pages (including
bibliography). Email your topic to me before you start this
project. Some suggestions:

Do an in-depth study of one author’s works. Why did you


choose this author; what impact does he/she have on readers;
is the author still relevant or dated?
Chose a controversial topic in CH or YA literature (i.e.
homosexuality, birth control, teen suicide, teens and drugs)
and discuss it in full.
Read at least 6 articles over length of course on a topic that
interests you, e.g. book banning, controversial content,
alternative literature (e.g. the graphic novel), collection
development. What stood out for you? How will you relate
this to your own teaching or work? Use journals, educational
resources, web sties, and conference presentations. Develop,
support and justify your position.
Plan a unit around some form of CH/YA literature, e.g. fairy
tales. Organize by theme, issue, topic, author, genre, or
elements of literature. For YA see Brown and Stephens, Ch. 5
for more information. The project must include: age,
instructional objectives, rationale, goals from the Vermont
Framework of Standards, knowledge promoted by the activity
(what will children/YAs learn), your expectations of audience
responses.

Annotated Bibliographies: 15 points -- Develop an annotated


bibliography (may be connected with your final project) of 15
entries of CH/YA literature. Five books from each (CH/YA) area
will be required for all; the remaining 5 can be your choice and from
either CH, YA, or a combination. I will have a handout at our first
meeting of sample annotations.

Booktalks/Storytimes: 15 points -- Give a YA presentation, i.e.


book talk or talks to convince us to read books of your choice, OR
present a children’s program (story time). The class will be your
students. Feel free to use props, music, whatever you want or
need. You will be given 10 – 15 minutes of class time for the
presentation.

Self-Evaluation (optional hand-in/non-graded – we will offer some


of these thoughts on the last day if you are willing to share) – Write
a short summary of your learning and growth during the course.
What was significant for you? How have you changed since
experiencing something read/viewed/discussed in this class? What
do you think your role will be in promoting CH/YA literature and its
ideas and concepts?

Policies

1. If assignments are late, points will be deducted and no


paper or review will be accepted more than 2 weeks past the
due date. No technology excuses are permitted; plan ahead!
2. Attendance is required for all classes; tardiness and
absences will most likely affect your grade negatively. If
you must miss class, please try to let me know in advance,
and be sure to get class notes and contact classmates about
group work. If you must miss a class, please synthesize
readings for that class and class notes (obtained from a
classmate) in a two page paper. This paper is due within
two weeks of your absence and will not be accepted
after that. No absences accepted for May 30 and June 27.

3. Changes in the syllabus may be made during the semester.

4. Learning differences can be accommodated if I am notified


in advance and a satisfactory plan agreed upon.

5. Academic integrity is fully supported and applied by


UVM. Plagiarism is strictly prohibited. All of your work,
including reviews must be your own and your signature
and/or posting of work reflects this.