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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Utilizing Literature in the Classroom
REND and MSED-644

  • Template 2015
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/22/2015 to 07/22/2115
  • Modified 07/19/2020

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Explores a wide variety of literature, including informational text; and provides opportunities for locating and evaluating texts appropriate for grade and reading levels of students.  Extensive reading of texts from multiple genres and their connection to Common Core Standards is emphasized.


College of Education Mission

The mission of the College of Education is to prepare competent and caring educators who understand students, serve the community and develop professionally to become ethical decision-makers and leaders.

Understanding Students

Candidates will learn how to meet the developmental needs of children with literature and explore the various ways to help children learn to to discover joy in, and love, reading. They will learn how to link literature to life, to encourage children to discover personal meaning in books in order to better understand their lives and to extend their perceptions of other lives.

Serving the Community

Candidates will examine the components needed to create a true community of readers. Many schools have made the development of readers their top priority. As teachers, they will have an opportunity to be very influential in the development of this framework and will become familiar with the resources needed to integrate children’s literature into the total school environment.

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will develop a repertoire of children’s literature materials and resources for their future in a classroom. As they pursue this research, they will be developing the depth of understanding, resourcefulness, imagination and leadership qualities needed to become an effective teacher in a wide variety of contexts and environments.


Access to standards referenced in this section can be found HERE

By the conclusion of this course, each participant will be able to do the following:

Candidates will use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources. (ILA 2.3; NBPTS 1,2)

  • 1.1 Select ad use quality text from a variety of sources, guided by evidence-based rationale.
  • 1.2 Demonstrate knowledge of texts specific to grade levels, disciplines, ad diversities.
  • 1.3 Evaluate, select, and use a variety of instructional materials to meet specific needs and abilities of all learners.

Candidates will peruse a literacy curriculum and review instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs and engagement with the features of diversity. (ILA 4.2; BPTS 1,2)

  • 2.1 Assess the various forms of diversity that exist in the classroom and community.
  • 2.2 Assess and evaluate the validity of multicultural materials for the classroom.

Candidates will evaluate a physical environment to optimize students’ use of traditional print, digital, and online resources in reading and writing instruction. (ILA 5.1; NBPTS 1,2)

  • 3.1 Evaluate instructional areas and instructional materials for a variety of individual, small-group, and whole class activities and support teachers in literacy instruction.
  • 3.2 Modify arrangements to accommodate students’ changing needs.


All required materials and resources will be provided within the course.


Professional Discourse, Participation and Reflection

Candidates will respond to weekly discussion and reflection prompts.

  • Course outcomes 1,2,3
  • Standards IRA 2.3, 4.2, 5.1; NBPTS 1,2

 Genre Investigation and Book Talk

Candidates will investigate a genre in literature to develop a book talk presentation highlighting a description of the genre, key characteristics of the genre, examples of the genre at primary, intermediate, and secondary level, and a poor example of your genre. 

  • Course outcomes 1
  • Standards IRA 2.1; NBPTS 1,2

 Summer Reading List

Candidates will generate a summer reading list for a level of students (Primary, Intermediate, middle or high school level).

  • Course Outcomes 1,2
  • Standards IRA 2.1, 4.2; NBPTS 1,2

Literacy Classroom Audit

Candidates will audit, critique, and review a literacy environment by surveying an existing literacy environment (classroom or library), applying content learning about best instructional practice, find and read at least two current research sources that pertain to ideal literacy environments, and suggesting constructive modifications.

  • Course outcomes 3
  • Standards IRA 5.1; NBPTS 1,2

Course Policies

Policies for the College of Education at University of St. Francis

CLICK HERE (requires active student account) for policies, including but not limited to:

  • Method of Instruction
  • Expectations of Candidates
  • Online Courses
  • Attendance Policies for Site-Based and Online Courses
  • Minimum Standards for Writing
  • Computer and Digital Information Literacy Skills

Course Evaluations | Surveys

Information gathered through course evaluations and surveys is an important part of maintaining quality and continuous improvement in courses, and it is the University’s expectation that students will thoughtfully participate in this evaluation process.

Institutional Policies

Students should use the USF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the USF portal.

A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Disability Services is in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and is located on the second floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library in room L214. Consultations are welcome, please contact the Office of Disability Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

  1. The Department of Academic Technology (DAT) administers the learning management system Canvas. If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support, including:
  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day 7 days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu, select Chat with Canvas Support for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session,
  2. select Report a Problem to send an email support request, or speak to someone directly by using the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline.

NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email-based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.

2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at LearnItNow

3. Telephone Support from DAT. You can also phone the Department of Academic Technology for personal help at (815) 740-5080 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, please contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via:

Notice of Copyright

This course may contain copyrighted materials that are intended to support the learning experiences of students currently enrolled in the course. No student may retain or further disseminate any copyrighted materials, in their entirety or any portion thereof, under penalty of law.

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room L214 in the Library (815-740-5060) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Additional Items

Course References

Anstey, M., & Bull G. (2006). Teaching and learning multi-literacies: Changing times, changing literacies. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Au, K.H., & Raphael, T.E. (2000). Equity and literacy in the next millennium. Reading Research Quarterly, 35(1), 170-188. Doi:10.1598/RRQ.35.1.12

Children’s Books in Print. New York: R.R. Bowker (published annually).

Coiro, J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D.J. (2008). Handbook of research on new literacies. Mahweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Daniels, H. (2002). Literature circles: Voice and choice in book clubs and reading groups. Honesdale, PA: Stenhouse.

Darigan, D., Tunnell, M., & Jacobs J. (2002) Children’s literature: Engaging teachers and  children in good books. Merrill, Prentice Hall.

Day, J. P., Spiegel D.L., McLellan, J. & Brown V.B. (2002). Moving forward with literature circles. New York: Scholastic.

Farstrup, A.E., & Samuels, S.J. (Eds.), (2002). What research has to say about reading instruction (3rd ed.),Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Fractor, J.S., Woodruff, M.C., Martinez, M.G., &Teale, W.H. (1993). Let’s not miss opportunities to promote voluntary reading: Classroom libraries in the elementary school. The Reading Teacher, 46(6), 476-484.

Hancock, M. (2004). A celebration of literature and response. Pearson Prentice Hall.

Huck, C., Helper, S., Hickman J. & Kiefer, B. (2005). Children’s literature in the elementary school. Brown and Benchmark.

Jacobs, J. S.& Tunnell, M.O. (2004). Children’s literature, briefly. (3rd ed.) Pearson Education, Inc.

Kasten, W. C., Kristo,J.V. & McClure A.A.. (2005). Living literature: Using children’s      literature to support reading and language arts. Pearson Prentice Hall.

McElmeel, S.L. (2000). 100 Most popular picture book authors and illustrators: Biographical sketches and bibliographies. Englewood, CO: Teacher Ideas Press.

McGill-Franzen, A., Allington, R.L., Yokoi, L., & Brooks, G. (1999). Putting books in the    classroom seems necessary but not sufficient. The Journal of Educational Research, 93(2), 67-74. Doi:10.1080/00220679909597631

Mitchell, D. Children’s literature: An invitation to the world. Pearson Education, Inc., 2003.

Russell, David L. (2005). Literature for children (5th ed.), Pearson Education.

Stoodt-Hill, B. D. & Amspugh-Corson L.B. (2005). Children’s literature, discovery for a lifetime (3rd ed.). Pearson Prentice Hall.

Subject Guide to Children’s Books in Print. New York: R.R. Bowker, 2002 (Published annually.)

Williams, N. (2000). Children’s literature selections and strategies for students with reading difficulties.Christopher-Gordon