ENGL 355:
Literature for Children
Summer 2001 -- MTWRF 9:50-11:50 a.m.
Schedule of Classes | Resources | Group Web Project |
Bulletin Board | Daedalus Online
Children's Literature Online
Professor Karin Westman
108 Denison Hall
Office Hours: T, W, R 8:30-9:30 a.m. and by app't
Office: 532-2171
Required Texts
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland, edited by Donald J. Gray, 2nd ed. (Norton).
Molly Bang, Picture This (Seastar).
Leo Lionni, Frederick (Knopf).
Crockett Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon (HarperCollins).
Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are (HarperCollins).
The Classic Fairy Tales, edited by Maria Tatar (Norton).
Arnold Lobel, Frog and Toad Together (HarperCollins).
Patricia MacLachlan, Sarah Plain and Tall (HarperCollins).
Andrew Clements, Frindle (Aladdin Paperbacks).
L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (Puffin or any full-length edition).
Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963 (Bantam).
Tor Seidler, A Rat's Tale (HarperCollins).
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Scholastic).
Janice Walker, Writing Online bundled with Daedalus Online PIN Card (Longman).
Class Pack (Available at A&S Copy Center in Eisenhower Hall on 5/31/01).
Course Objectives
English 355 is therefore not a "methods" course, though you are welcome to appropriate the different techniques we use during the course for your teaching. Instead, our syllabus is designed to broaden your "intellectual life" — what Richard E. Ishler identifies as a key component to the lives of elementary school teachers who are often children's primary "intellectual role model." "Other than a student's parents," writes Ishler in "The Preparation of Elementary School Teachers" (Phi Kappa Phi Journal, Spring 1995), "no other person has such an opportunity to influence, to motivate, and to inspire a child to value the intellectual life." As a way of developing your "intellectual life" in anticipation of your role, you will read a substantial amount of literature and apply a variety of critical and theoretical perspectives to that reading.

Readings and Class Participation: Any summer literature course is a reading-intensive experience, so plan accordingly! You are expected to complete each reading assignment before coming to class. You are further expected to think carefully about what you read and to make notes in the text prior to each class meeting. For each class, bring the appropriate book or xeroxes and additionally mark passages that we discuss; this process will help you understand, remember, and review.
This class will be based on discussion, so class participation is expected and will count for 15% of your final grade. This grade includes your contributions to our discussions in class (in large and small groups) and to our discussions on the Electronic Bulletin Board. I will expect at least two postings a week from each student on the Electronic Bulletin Board; the guidelines and instructions for using the Bulletin Board appear on a separate handout.
Attendance: Obviously, you can't participate effectively if you aren't in class. Since the University requires that students attend all classes in which they are enrolled, there are no excused absences. If you are absent for more than nine classroom hours (five class periods during our summer session), you will fail this class automatically. If you are absent for more than two, you jeopardize your final grade for the course: each absence over those two will lower your final course grade by one grade increment (i.e.: A to B). Two tardies will count as one absence.
If you wish to receive a passing grade in this class, then, attendance is very important. Classroom work or homework assignments missed due to absence cannot be made up. If you are absent, it is your responsibility to find out from another class member any announcements or assignments.
Quizzes: You will have between seven and nine quizzes over the next four weeks; some will be announced and others will be unannounced. Quizzes are designed to test your knowledge of the reading assignments and the analytical skills we develop and practice during our discussions. Quizzes will be graded out of 10 points each, with 10=A and 1=D (0=F); I will average the points at the end of the course after dropping the lowest quiz grade.
Papers: You will write only one paper in this class, given our short time together and the other projects you'll be working on. If your paper is late, it will be penalized a full letter grade (i.e.: A to B) for each day it is late. Papers must be typed, double-spaced, with one inch margins (one page = 250 words); the pages should be spell-checked, proof-read, numbered, and stapled or paper-clipped together. Your name, my name, the date, and the type of assignment should appear in the upper-left hand corner of the first page. Your take-home midterm will be an essay, too, so you should follow these guidelines for it as well as for the paper.
A note on sources: a "Works Cited" page should accompany any assignment that refers to outside sources, and you should use the MLA method for documenting sources. When you turn in a paper, you pledge that the work is your own and that you have faithfully abided by the guidelines for documenting sources. The University's Honor Code obliges you to cite the source of any idea that is not your own. If you quote, paraphrase, or use another's ideas, you must give credit to the person whose ideas you are using. Otherwise, you have plagiarized. If you have any questions, please ask. If you do plagiarize, you will fail this course.
Computing: Our section of ENGL 355 will emphasize technology, which is now a component of the state licensure requirements, including the standards for English Language Arts. Consequently, we will be meeting in EH228, a computer lab classroom, and we will use the computers on some days. You will also be asked to participate in web-related projects: an Electronic Bulletin Board, a Group Web Project, and Daedalus Online. (Daedalus Online is a computer software that you have access to by purchasing a Daedalus Online PIN Card at the bookstore; the PIN card is bundled with Walker's Writing Online). Our work with computers is designed not only as another forum for discussing our reading, but as a way for you to sharpen your communication skills, media skills, and web skills for an increasingly technological age.

If you do not yet have an email account, I encourage you to activate your KSU account. I highly recommend email as a way of touching base with me about your work for the class -- a kind of virtual office hours. You can send me queries about reading or writing assignments, your thesis statement for an essay, or anything else that could be handled with a quick exchange of messages. I check my email in the morning before classes, in the afternoon, and in the evening.

Conferences: I want you to succeed in this course, and I am happy to meet with you about your work and your progress. I encourage you to see me before writing assignments are due, or if you have questions about material we discuss in class. Please feel free to stop by during office hours (T, W, R 8:30-9:30 am), or contact me by phone or email to arrange a more convenient time to meet.
Note: If you have any condition such as a physical or learning disability that will make it difficult for you to carry out the work as I have outlined it or which will require academic accommodations, please notify me in the first two days of the course.
 Quizzes  20%
 Class Participation  15%
 Paper  10%
 Midterm  15%
 Group Web Project  20%
 Final Exam  20%

Schedule of Classes
(Subject to change.)
[CP] = Class Pack. [R] = On Reserve (at Hale Library).
Links will take you to related web resources.
 Introduction to Literature for Children
 T 5
Course Introduction
 W 6
Nodelman, "How to Read Children's Literature" (15-24), "Teaching
Children's Literature" (25-28) and "Common Assumptions about
Children's Literature" (67-70) [CP]; Russell, "The History of Children's
Literature" (3-24) and "The Study of Literature" (57-74) [CP]
Log on to Daedalus Online using your PIN Card and initiate your account.
Fairy Tales and Revisions
 R 7
The Classic Fairy Tales: all "Little Red Riding Hood" tales (3-24)
Introduction to Web Projects: Walker, Writing Online, "Getting
Started" (1-27) and "Designing Your Project" (85-93, 101-104,
108-110); Nodelman, "Finding Out More About Children's
Literature" (273-281) [CP]
 F 8
The Classic Fairy Tales: all "Snow White" tales (76-96); Van
Allsburg, The Widow's Broom (1992) [R]; Scieszka and Smith,
The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf (1989) [R]
Russell, "Responding to Literature" (75-89) [CP]
Extra Credit Option (Due by 6/11): Watch Disney's Snow White
(1939) after reading the selections in The Classic Fairy Tales, and write
a 2-page typed response paper on how Disney's interpretation compares to
the traditional versions.
Sense and Nonsense
 M 11
Russell, "Poetry" (174-189) [CP]; Jarrell, from The Bat Poet (12-23) [CP]; Lear, "The Owl and the Pussycat," "The Jumblies," and "The Table and the Chair" from Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets (1871) from <http://edwardlear.tripod.com/ns/index.html>; Selected Poems [CP]
 T 12
Carroll, Alice in Wonderland (1865, 1872): all of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1-99) and"Jabberwocky" (116-119) and "Humpty Dumpty" (159-168) from Through the Looking Glass
 W 13
Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat (1957), The Sneetches (1961), Horton Hears a Who (1954), Yertle the Turtle (1958), The Butter Battle Book (1984) [all R]; Lurie, "The Cabinet of Dr. Seuss" [CP]
 R 14
Take-Home Midterm due at the beginning of class.
Web Project Work Day: Walker, Writing Online, "Finding Information" (29-52, 77-82) and review "Evaluating Sources" (17-82). Bring IBM-formatted disk to class; see Group Web Project Schedule for more information. Meet in Fairchild 202.
Picture Books
 F 15
The Art of Picture Books: Bang, Picture This (1991); Nodelman, "Picture Books" (215-244) [CP]; Russell, "Books of Early Childhood" (104-106) [CP]; Lionni, Little Blue and Little Yellow (1959) [R]; Lionni, Frederick (1967); Johnson, A Picture for Harold's Room [R]
 M 18
Ringgold, Tar Beach (1991) [R]; Wiesner, Free Fall (1988) [R]; Van Allsburg, Jumanji (1982) [R] and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (1984) [R]; Myers, Black Cat (1999) [R]; Macaulay, Black and White (1990) [R]; Jonas, Round Trip (1983) [R] and The Trek (1985) [R]; Say, Grandfather's Journey (1993) [R]
Web Project: Biography, Primary, and Secondary Bibliographies Due
 T 19
When We Were Very, Very Young: Brown, Goodnight Moon, illustrated by Clement Hurd (1947) [R]; Krauss, A Hole Is to Dig (1952) [R]; Johnson, Harold and the Purple Crayon (1955); Hoff, Danny and the Dinosaur [R]; Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are (1963); Sendak, In the Night Kitchen (1970) [R]; Rathmann, Good Night Gorilla (1994) [R]
 W 20
Web Project Work Day: Walker, Writing Online, "Designing Your Project" (108-125). Planning session for web page design and for Critical Contexts component; bring design ideas and any preliminary work towards Critical Contexts to class. See Group Web Project Schedule for more information.
Novels (1): Easy Readers and Middle-Grade Readers
 R 21
Lobel, Frog and Toad Together (1972); Clements, Frindle (1996); MacLaughlan, Sarah Plain and Tall (1985)
 F 22
Excerpt fromWilder, Little House on the Prairie (1935) (28-37, 120-131) [CP]; Segal, "Realism and Children's Literature: Notes from a Historical Perspective" (46-47) [CP]; Lindsay, "Packaging the Past" (34-35) [CP]; MacLeod, "Writing Backward: Modern Novels in Historical Fiction" (1-4) [CP]; MacLachlan, "Newbery Medal Acceptance" (407-413)
Novels (2): Realism, Historical Fiction, Adventure, Animal Stories,
 M 25
Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (1908)
Paper due by 5pm to my mailbox in DE122.
Sample papers: Option #1 and Option #2.
 T 26
Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 (1995)
 W 27
Seidler, A Rat's Tale (1986)
Web Project Work Day: Bring final drafts of critical contexts to class for review. See Group Web Project Schedule for more information.
 R 28
Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1997); Russell, "Children's Books and the Censor" (89-92) [CP]
Review for Final Exam
 F 29
Final Exam (ID & Short Answer – 1 hour)
Web Projects Due (Presentation of Group Web Projects – 1 hour)
Recommended Resources
In the Library
Anita Silvey, Children's Books and Their Creators (1995); Humphrey Carpenter and Mari Prichard (editors), The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature (1984); Leonard S. Marcus, A Caldecott Celebration (1998), Author Talk (2000), and others; the Something About the Author series (1971-); the Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 22, 42, 52, 61, 141, 160, 161, 163, and any other of the volumes devoted to Children's Literature (1983-); the Children's Literature Review series (1976-); the Junior Book of Authors series (1934-89); Barbara Rollock (editor), Black Authors and Illustrators of Children's Books: A Biographical Dictionary (1992); Althea K. Helbig and Agnes Regan Perkins, This Land Is Our Land: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults (1994).
On the Web
Children's Literature | Literary Links | Visual Arts | History | Search Engines | Thomas Middle School Library Media Center's Teacher sites | englishcompanion.com
Kansas Dept. of Education
Kansas State Dept. of Education's Licensure Requirements for teaching Elementary and Late Childhood Through Early Adolescent Level (drafts of May 2001)

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Last updated 11 June 2001