Philip Nel > Courses > English 355: Literature for Children (Spring 2012)
To introduce major genres in and conventions of literature for children, and to develop critical skills for reading, thinking and writing about children's literature and culture. In order to foster these goals, you will write three papers, take quizzes and exams, make regular postings to your section's message board, and participate in class discussions. In this class, education will not be a passive experience: I expect discussion, debate, and exchanges of ideas. You must be not only present but an active presence.
Requirements: Papers | Quizzes | Class Participation and Attendance | Technology | Assignments
Quizzes: Approximately 12 times during the semester, there will be a quiz. Sometimes the quiz will be announced, and sometimes it won't. But the quiz will always address the reading for that day. Because everyone can have a bad day, I will drop the lowest quiz grade.
Message Board: Post comments to the message board every other week (or more frequently, if you wish). An average posting should run one or two paragraphs in length. In other words, your postings do not need to be long, but they must be substantive -- long enough to convey clearly the problem you are taking up and your point of view, connecting your comment to others' comments, as appropriate. I will monitor these discussions and asses a grade (at the end of the semester) based on the thoughtfulness of your comments, their ability to foster discussion among your classmates, and their responsiveness to both our readings and to your classmates in comments on the message board. Though extra postings to the message board will not automatically replace participation in class discussions, regular contributions above and beyond your weekly posting can improve your class participation grade.
Access the message board via K-State On-Line.
Note: for the week your response paper is due, it can stand in for your message board posting that week. Just post it (the response) to the message board.
Email: My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the subject line. Due to the increased volume of spam, messages without clear subject lines will be deleted unread. You can write with questions, send a thesis statement or outline for an essay, make an appointment to meet me in my office, or do anything else that could be handled with a quick exchange of messages. I check email several times daily, but I am not on-line at all times.
[W] = Web. [CP] = Class Pack. [R] = On Reserve (at Hale Library). [X] = Not in library; I'll bring this to class.
Note: "through" means "to the end of" (not "up to"). Page numbers refer to the editions assigned.
Introduction to Literature for Children
|January||W 18||Introduction. Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree (1964).|
|F 20||A Brief History of Literature for Children. Item 3 in the Class Pack; Mary Wollestonecraft, Chapter VII from Moral Conversations and Stories (1788); Maria Edgeworth, "The Story of the Purple Jar" (1801); Mary Martha Sherwood, "Fatal Effects of Disobedience to Parents" (pp. 153-161) from History of the Fairchild Family (1818); Robert Southey, "The Old Man's Comforts and How He Gained Them" (1799); Isaac Watts, "Against Idleness and Mischief" (1715) [all CP / W].|
|M 23||Items 1 and 2 in the Class Pack. Anthony Browne, Changes (1990); Bryan Collier, Uptown (2000); Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin, Click, Clack Moo: Cows that Type (2000); Mo Willems, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003); Chih-Yuan Chen, Guji Guji (2004); Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit (1902) [all R]; Perry Nodelman's "Pleasures of Literature" [W].|
|W 25||Paper DUE: How to Read Children's Literature, Part I. In-class discussion of same.|
Fairy Tales and Revisions
|F 27||"Little Red Riding Hood" tales [CP]; Ed Young, Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China (1989) [R].|
|M 30||Joseph Jacobs, "The Story of the Three Little Pigs" (1898) [CP]; James Marshall, The Three Little Pigs (1989); Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf (1989); Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury, The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig (1993); David Wiesner, The Three Pigs (2001) [all R].|
Poetry, Sense, & Nonsense
|February||W 1||Poems in Class Pack; selections from X. J. Kennedy, Knock at a Star: Gwendolyn Brooks, “We Real Cool” (p. 83); David McCord, "The Pickety Fence" (p. 76); Anon., “Spring Is Sprung” (p. 7); Douglas Florian, “Commas” (p. 3); Sarah N. Cleghorn, “The Golf Links” (p. 23); Jack Prelutsky, “I Wave Good-bye When Butter Flies” (p. 109); Ruth Whitman, “Listening to Grownups quarrelling” (p. 35); Ted Kooser, “Country School” (p. 38); Rose Rauter, “Peach” (p. 68).|
|F 3||Poems in Class Pack; selections from Kennedy, Knock at a Star: Ted Kooser, “Child Frightened by a Thunderstorm” (p. 94); Morris Bishop, “Song of the Pop-bottlers” (p. 105).|
|M 6||Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865).|
|W 8||Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, cont.|
|F 10||Carroll, "Jabberwocky" (pp. 116-19) and "Humpty Dumpty" (pp. 159-68) from Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There (1872). For those who wish to read these on-line, "Jabberwocky" can be found near the end of Chapter 1 (when you get to the page, scroll down), and Chapter 6 features Humpty Dumpty. Edward Lear, "The Owl and the Pussycat," "The Jumblies," and "The Table and the Chair" from Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets (1871): <http://www.nonsenselit.org/Lear/ns/index.html>. [W].|
|M 13||Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth, illus. Jules Feiffer (1961), through Ch. 10.|
|W 15||Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth, to end.|
|F 17||Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat (1957),The Cat in the Hat Comes Back (1958), Green Eggs and Ham (1960) [all R].|
|M 20||Seuss,The Sneetches and Other Stories (1961), Horton Hears a Who! (1954), Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories (1958) [all R]. How World War II Created Dr. Seuss: images used in today's class.|
|W 22||Seuss, The Lorax (1971), The Butter Battle Book (1984) [both R].|
Picture Books (1): The Art of Picture Books
|F 24||Molly Bang, Picture This (1991).|
|M 27||Leo Lionni, Frederick (1967); Crockett Johnson, A Picture for Harold's Room [R]; Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach (1991); Jon Agee, The Incredible Painting of Felix Clousseau (1988) [R].|
|W 29||Allen Say, Grandfather's Journey (1993); Carolivia Herron, Nappy Hair, illus. by Joe Cepeda (1988); Peter Sis, Madlenka (2000); Justin Richardson, Peter Parnell, Henry Cole, ...And Tango Makes Three (2005) [all R].|
|March||F 2||Lynn Reiser, Margaret and Margarita / Margarita y Margaret (1993); Judy Schachner, Skippyjon Jones (2003); Gary Soto, Chato's Kitchen (1995) [all R].|
|M 5||David Wiesner, Tuesday (1991); Ann Jonas, The Trek (1985); Chris Van Allsburg, Jumanji (1982) [all R].|
|W 7||Ann Jonas, Round Trip (1983); David Macaulay, Black and White (1990); Chris Van Allsburg, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (1984); Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (1992) [all R]; Jon Scieszka, "Design Matters" <http://www.hbook.com/magazine/articles/1998/mar98_scieszka_leach.asp> [W or CP].|
|F 9||Midterm Exam.|
Picture Books (2): When We Were Very, Very Young: The Bank Street Group and Beyond
|M 12||Bank Street: Margaret Wise Brown, Goodnight Moon, illus. by Clement Hurd (1947); Ruth Krauss, A Hole Is to Dig, illus. by Maurice Sendak (1952) [both R].|
|W 14||Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955); Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are (1963), In the Night Kitchen (1970) [R].|
Novels (1): Easy Readers and Middle-Grade Readers
|F 16||Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad Together (1972); James Marshall, George and Martha (1972) [R; the first book in the big anthology].|
|M 26||No class. Work on your second paper.|
|W 28||Paper DUE: How to Read Children's Literature, Part II. In-class discussion of same.|
|F 30||Neil Gaiman, Coraline (2002), through Chapter VI (p. 81).|
|April||M 2||Gaiman, Coraline (2002), to end.|
|W 4||Katherine Paterson, The Great Gilly Hopkins (1978), up to "The One-Way Ticket" chapter (p. 93).|
|F 6||Paterson, The Great Gilly Hopkins, to end.|
|M 9||Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (1998), up through Chapter 8 (p. 82).|
|W 11||Gantos, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, to end.|
Novels (2): Historical Fiction, Realism, Graphic Novel, Fantasy
|F 13||Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 (1995), through Chapter 8 (p. 120)|
|M 16||Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963, to end.|
|W 18||Pam Muñoz Ryan, Becoming Naomi Leon (2004), to p. 136.|
|F 20||Ryan, Becoming Naomi Leon, to end.|
|M 23||Shaun Tan, The Arrival (2006), to end.|
|W 25||Tan, The Arrival.|
|F 27||J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998), through Chapter 7 (p. 130).|
|M 30||Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, through Chapter 12 (p. 214).|
|May||W 2||Russell, "Children's Books and the Censor" [CP]. Paper DUE: How to Read Children's Literature, Part III. In-class discussion of same.|
|F 4||Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, to end. Conclusion and Review.|
|You must take the final exam on the day and at the time scheduled for your section. NO EXCEPTIONS. Mark your calendars.|
|Tu 8||Sec. D (the 2:30 section): Final Exam, 4:10 to 6:00 p.m.|
|F 11||Sec. C (the 1:30 section): Final Exam, 11:50 a.m. to 1:40 p.m.|