Philip Nel > Courses > English 355: Literature for Children (Fall 2016) > Journal
English 355: Literature for Children
  Daily, before class*   210-320 (each)   280 (10 each)
  6 Dec. 2016   650-1000   120
*except for first day and day of Midterm

Required Texts
Schedule of Assignments

For each entry, please remember to do the following:

  1. Back up all of your claims with specific examples from the book — refer to text, artwork, layout, design, etc.
  2. Analyze those examples. Show how they support your claims.

Every class day, before class begins

1. Open a new page in your journal. Give it a number (1 for your first entry, 2 for your second, etc.) and a title.

2. Choose an excerpt of text or an image or a combination of the two.

3.  Write a paragraph (150-200 words) on why you chose this text or image.  Address one (or more) of the following questions.  Don’t forget to support your claims with specific examples from the work.

    1. Meaning: What does the passage or image tell you about the work as a whole?  What themes or ideas does it highlight?  Alternately, what questions does it raise?
    2. Genre: In what genre (or genres) might you place this work?  In what ways does this passage or image conform to the expectation of that genre (or genres), and in what ways does it depart from them?
    3. Aesthetics: What literary or artistic devices are key to its success or failure?  Identify where you see them at work in this excerpt or image.
    4. Ideology: What does the work present as normal? Whose views of the world does it endorse? In other words, what assumptions does the text make about its readers and the world in which they live?  

4.  Conclude with a brief reflection (60-120 words) on one of the following subjects:

    1. Why do you find this passage or image personally meaningful (if you do)?  Or what wisdom might you draw from it?
    2. What does this passage or image tell you about what children’s literature is or does?
    3. If you were to teach this work, how might this passage be useful in creating your lesson plan?

5.  Bring each entry to class on the day that it’s due.  You can bring it on a piece of paper or via an electronic device.  If you do the latter, you may only use the device to access this.  Please do not text, check social media, etc.


If you do the assignment each day, you automatically get 80% of the available points.  If you do less, you receive fewer points.  If you exceed expectations, you receive more points.

I will grade this four times during the semester:
After the third class (Tuesday, Aug. 30th) 20 points
After the first month (Thursday, Sept. 29th) 70 points
After the second month (Thursday, Oct. 27th) 90 points.
Near semester’s end (Thursday, Dec. 1st) 100 points.

Final Reflection on Journal (650-1000 words).  120 points

Select two significant entries from your journal, one of which must be from before the midterm.

Recommended Resources: Contexts (for Journals) | Blogs | Censorship | Diversity | Writing | Research | Education

Contexts (for Journals)




  • NAME, the National Association for Multicultural Education
  • Reading While White: “Allies for Racial Diversity & Inclusion in Books for Children and Teens”
  • Teaching for Change: offers an anti-bias curriculum, resources for teaching about the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, recommended books, and ways for parents to get involved.
  • We Need Diverse Books





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