English 3053-01

Children’s Literature: Generating Wonder through Literature, K-12 



Time: 2:30-3:45 T/H

20 August – 5 December 2018 (Fall 2018)

Classroom: RISH 009

Course Wiki: 


Instructor: Dr. Abigail Heiniger 

Office: 002 Rish Hall

Office Hours: MW 8:00-11:00; T/H 8:00-9:30; 12:30-1:00  

Contact information:


phone: (276) 326-4275



Registration Information

Last day to ADD or WITHDRAW from course without a “W” is  29 August 2017.

Last day to WITHDRAW from course is 11 November 2017.


Course Description

Students successfully completing the course will have demonstrated basic knowledge and understanding of the following. The student will: 


Learning Objectives

The purpose of this class is to understand the world of children’s literature for grades K-12 and how to use it effectively and joyously with students. More specifically:

  1. To understand the role of books in a literate world.
  2. To understand the role of literature in culturally responsive teaching and with literature from many cultures.
  3. To understand and promote healthy responses to literature for children.
  4. To understand all major genres in the field, their definitions, uses, how to select high quality titles, and the awards involved.
  5. To understand the role of key literacy components including reading aloud, shared and guided reading, independent reading, literature and discovery circles, and the use of writing with children’s literature.
  6. To explore critical literacy and interactive learning.
  7. To teach close reading through discussion and writing.


Texts and Supplies



Required Reading: Author Publisher Edition ISBN  
Essentials of Children's Literature (ECL) Kathy G. Short, Carol M. Lynch-Brown, and Carl M. Tomlinson Pearson 8th 9780133066739  
Journey Aaron Becker  
The Invention of Hugo Cabret Brian Selznick     978-0439813785 Caldecott
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon  Grace LIn      978-0316114271
Carver: A Life in Poems  Marilyn Nelson     978-1886910539 


Coretta Scott King Award

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom  Margarita Engle      978-0312608712  Newberry 
Al Capone Does My Shirts Gennifer Choldenko     978-0142403709 Newberry
Bomb Steve Sheinkin     978-1596434875


National Book Award

Sibert Medal

Glow W.H. Beck     978-0544416666  
35-50 books (see Browsing Project Guidelines)   


All required texts are available through the college. Other books must be retrieved from libraries or Dr. H's browsing shelves.  




TOTAL = 1000 pts (approximate)


All written work is to adhere to MLA guidelines (available online through the Purdue OWL website).


All Assignments and Due Dates listed on the Assignments page of the class wiki. 


Attendance and Participation

This is a discussion-based class. Attendance and participation in discussion is mandatory. Participation and quizzes (given randomly throughout the semester) cannot be made up except in the case of a university-accepted excused absence.



There will be quizzes over the ECL chapters (and theories). Quizzes will be posted online through MyBC and must be completed before class on the day they are due. Attendance on exam dates is mandatory; exams and quizzes cannot be made up except in the case of a university-accepted excused absence.


Group Presentation

Students will present a range of 7-10 books for grades K-12 and share how these books relate to the assigned chapters in Essentials of Children’s Literature (ECL). Three - five books should be for elementary age children, at least two for middle school and at least one for high school students. 

Students will sign up for three presentations: 

  1. Fantasy Children's Group Presentations  (30 pts)
  2. Poetry Group Presentations (30 pts)
  3. Multicultural Group Presentations (40 pts)

These presentations should build on material from browsing projects.  

This assignment fulfills learning objectives 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.


Browsing Project (5 due)

For each session where a topic or genre is presented, class members are expected to have browsed a library collection, and bring to class a selection of books (about 7-­10) that are good representations of the genre or topic based on learning from reading and class sessions. Class members must have selected and sampled all the books they share, and should be prepared to talk about their selections. By sampling, I mean that you would have read some sections of the book. This assignment fulfills learning objectives 1, 3, & 4. (10 points each/50 points total)

This assignment fulfills learning objectives 4 & 5 (and is the basis for group projects).


Illustrator Project

For this project, students will analyze the works of a single award-winning illustrator across 3-5 books (see the list of awards in ECL).

This assignment fulfills learning objectives 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.


Bibliography Project

In the course of assignments and browsing, you will have read parts or all of many books. Clearly identify which text fulfills which criteria in the bibliographic information (i.e. label your graphic novel, controversial title...). You will prepare one annotated bibliography of your readings. This is INCLUSIVE of what you read for any assignment, but must include a minimum of:

This assignment fulfills learning objectives 1, 3, & 4.


Close Reading and Critical Literacy Project

For this project, students will create a series of assignments and lessons that teach close reading and critical literacy practices for a chapter book by a minority author that addresses issues of diversity. This project includes:

This assignment fulfills learning objectives 1, 2, 3, 5, & 6.  


Final Portfolio and Presentations

For the final portfolio and presentation, students will revise all material from the class projects and expand on one or more projects to develop a complete unit with lesson plans, assignments and rubrics. Lessons should center around close reading and critical literacy. The unit will be accompanied by a reading schedule for the course of the year and a 3-5 page proposal to guide the literature class.






This assignment addresses all the learning objectives in this course.


Grading Papers


This course uses the official grading scale included on MyBC: A 100-94%; A- 93-90%; B+ 89%: B 88-84%; B- 83-80%; C+ 79%; C 78-74%; C- 73-70%, D+ 69%; D 68-64%; D- 63-60%; F 59% and below. Although some questions on quizzes are simply objective, the general rubric for written responses and for the final paper in our course is as follows:


The "A" Paper

The "A" paper has an excellent sense of purpose. Its aim is clear and consistent throughout the paper. It attends to the needs of its audience and the topic itself is effectively narrowed and clearly defined.

The content is appropriately developed for the assignment and the text it is analyzing. The supporting details or evidence are convincingly presented. The reasoning is valid and shows an awareness of the complexities of the subject. If secondary sources are used, they are appropriately selected and cited.

The organization demonstrates a clear and effective strategy. The introduction establishes the writer's credibility and the conclusion effectively completes the essay: paragraphs are coherent, developed, and show effective structural principles.

The expression is very clear, accessible, concrete. It displays ease with idiom and a broad range of diction. It shows facility with a great variety of sentence options and the punctuation and subordinate structures that these require. It has few errors, none of which seriously undermines the effectiveness of the paper for educated readers.


The "B" Paper

The "B" paper has a good sense of purpose. It shows awareness of purpose and focuses on a clearly defined topic.

The content is well developed and the reasoning usually valid and convincing. Evidence and supporting details are adequate.

The organization is clear and easy to follow: the introduction and conclusion are effective, and transitions within and between paragraphs are finessed reasonably well.

The paper has few errors, especially serious sentence errors. Sentences show some variety in length, structure, and complexity. Punctuation, grammar, and spelling conform to the conventions of edited Standard American English.


The "C" Paper

The "C" paper has an adequate sense of purpose. Its purpose is clear and it is focused on an appropriate central idea. The topic and analysis may be unoriginal, but the assignment has been followed, if not fulfilled.

The content is adequately developed. The major points are supported, and paragraphs are appropriately divided, with enough specific details to make the ideas clear. The reasoning is valid.

The organization is clear and fairly easy to follow. The introduction and conclusion are adequate; transitions are mechanical but appropriate.

The expression is generally correct, although it shows little competence with sentence variety (in length and structure) and emphasis. The paper is generally free of major sentence and grammar errors and indicates mastery of most conventions of edited Standard American English.


The "D" Paper

The "D" paper has a limited sense of purpose. Its purpose may not be clear, its topic may not be interesting to or appropriate for its audience.

The content is inadequately developed. The evidence is insufficient, and supporting details or examples are absent or irrelevant.

Organization is deficient. Introductions or conclusions are not clearly marked or functional. Paragraphs are not coherently developed or linked to each other. The arrangement of material within paragraphs may be confusing.

Expression demonstrates an awareness of a very limited range of stylistic options. It is marred by numerous errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation that detract from a reader’s comprehension of the text.


The "F" Paper

There is no sense of purpose or of the objectives of the assignment as described in the syllabus.

The content is insufficiently developed and does not go beyond the obvious. The reasoning is deeply flawed.

The organization is very difficult to follow. Sentences may not be appropriately grouped into paragraphs, or paragraphs may not be arranged logically. Transitions are not present or are inappropriate.

The number and seriousness of errors—in grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.—significantly obstruct comprehension.


Course Policies:


Late Work

I do not accept late work - for your writing and course work to receive credit it must be posted in the appropriate space in Turnitin on MyBC (and on the course wiki/blog) by the deadline, otherwise I will comment on it, but it will not receive credit. 


Sharing Student Work

This is a collaborative course, as such we will be sharing our writing throughout the semester as a means to helping each other become better writers and thinkers. To better facilitate this process, I will be using selections of your work during class as examples. If you would prefer that I not use your work, please let me know by the end of the first week of the semester.


Media Policy

  I encourage you to use your laptops, computers and Internet connections to search out information relevant to class during class. However, browsing unrelated to the class (as well as other media use - texting, IMing, etc.) will be grounds for expulsion from the course.


I expect professional behavior in the classroom. Please do not allow cell phones or other electronic devices to interrupt class. Please refrain from texting. Repeated interruptions will be held accountable as one unexcused absence.


Official Bluefield Policies:


Bluefield College Attendance Policy Statement

Regular class attendance is recognized as critical to the teaching and learning process.  Students must attend a minimum of 75% of classes in a course to receive academic credit. This college-wide policy serves as the basis for the instructor’s individual attendance policies as described in her or his course syllabi.  This policy clarifies the consequences of the student’s decision for not attending class sessions.  Instructors will maintain class rolls for all courses.  At the discretion of the instructor, unexcused absences can result in severe academic penalties ranging from: academic withdrawal; reductions in course final grades; out-of-class reading assignments with in-class oral reports, to out-of-class meetings with the course instructor.  All such penalties must be included in the course syllabi. For this course, 12 absences (class meeting and conferences) will result in failure of the course.


As this is a discussion and workshop-driven class, attendance of all participants is particularly important. You are also encouraged to make use of office hours.


Please be on time and prepared to learn. In respect for your classmates and professor, once the attendance sheet is passed, you may not sign in and receive credit for attending. You are welcome to stay and listen to the lecture and participate, but it will be marked as an absence. Leaving early without prior permission will also count as an absence. If you are caught signing in a classmate who is not present, you will both receive an honor code violation.


N.B. Attendance and participation in class, conferences, and rough draft workshops comprises 10% of the final grade.


Plagiarism Statement

Students in this course as in all Bluefield College courses are expected to complete their own assignments and to cite all sources for material they use. See the Bluefield College Student Handbook for information on plagiarism and the Honor Code.


Honor Code

“Honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.” Proverbs, 29:2

Bluefield College is committed to the pursuit of truth, the dissemination of knowledge, and the high ideals of personal honor and respect for the rights of others. These goals can only be achieved in a setting in which intellectual honesty and personal integrity are highly valued and other individuals are respected.  This academic code of conduct reflects our corporate and earnest desire to live lives of honor that are above reproach, based upon Christian principles.  Each member of the community is called upon to understand and agree to its concepts and to operate within its spirit.


Honor is an ideal and an obligation that exists in the human spirit and lives in the relations between human beings.  An honorable person shall not lie or cheat or steal. In all scholarly work produced by community members, academic honesty is inherent and apparent, the work being the original work of the author unless credit is given through the use of citations and references.


In all relationships, the college community expects respect and integrity between its members and toward all peoples and organizations. Honesty and civility are required elements of an effective learning environment. Truthfulness and respect for others are shared values of Bluefield College and are expected characteristics of its members


Plagiarism is the unacknowledged use of ideas and information from sources without proper citation and documentation (e.g., copying from texts or pasting from websites without quoting, and not providing a complete list of Works Cited). Students are required to sign a plagiarism statement, declaring all work is original.


In this course, the first instance of plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the entire assignment. Any subsequent infringements will result in a failure of the course. See the Bluefield Honor Code for more information.


To prevent and detect plagiarism in this course, all major assignments will be submitted to Turnitin. Writing assignments will ONLY be graded through Turnitin. 


Incomplete Policy

I generally do not allow “Incompletes,” it is the responsibility of students to complete all work in a timely fashion; failure to do so will be reflected in the student’s grade unless that student withdraws from the course. Exceptions to this policy are rare and will be decided on a case-by-case basis. If you decide to leave the course, be sure to withdraw within the allotted time. Failure to do so will demand a failing grade at the semester’s end.


Dual Enrollment

For dual enrollment students, remember that you have enrolled in a college level course with high expectations. Each course is different in its requirements to include theory, application, and depth of reflection and research. Occasionally, the title of a course has been chosen to broadly describe the course content. Please do not make any assumptions about the course based on the title or your preferences for learning a subject. As a Dual Enrollment student, you should communicate with the instructor to gauge your ability to meet these requirements within the first 2 days of the course--prior to census--giving you time to select another option if you believe the course requirements might extend beyond your current level of learning. Course expectations will neither change nor be amended for you as a Dual Enrollment student since courses are designed to meet certain learning objectives and produce specific learning outcomes.


Course Material Fee

Bluefield College provides textbooks for all degree seeking students through a course material rental program with eCampus. Each student is charged per semester and will receive all of their course materials by the first day of classes. If a textbook is not returned within 5 days from the end of final exams, an additional charge of 50% of the list price of the textbook will be added to the student’s account. Students who receive Title IV funds are eligible for a reduction of the fee. If a student applies for this reduction or “Opt-Out” they are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks and access codes.  The opt out deadline is July 21, 2017 for the 2017-2018 academic year.


Final Exam Policy

Final examinations are scheduled for the last four days of each semester. Examination periods are two hours with breaks of at least 60 minutes between each exam period. Every class meets during its scheduled examination time and attendance is required. Students are expected to take final examinations as scheduled. A student who has more than two examinations during one day of the examination period may petition the relevant faculty for a makeup examination on a different day provided that proof of three final exams on the same day is documented. Students sharing rides must delay departure from the campus until all riders have completed final exams. The detailed examination schedule is located on MyBC.


Course Evaluations

Ongoing course improvement is an important aspect of effective teaching. Tools used to review and improve courses include student course evaluations and feedback. Therefore, students are urged, not only to carefully complete the course evaluation, but to add comments which explain and give details about strengths and weaknesses of the course.




ACE Center 

Bluefield College’s ACE (Academic Center for Excellence) is located on the lowest level of Rish Hall. Mrs. Brenda Workman, Director of Student Success, Ms. Lelia Fry, Director of First Year Experience, and Mr. Wayne Pelts, Assistant Director of ACE are available to assist with student needs.  They connect students with tutors who can guide student learning.  Students may contact any of the staff members in the ACE to set up an appointment with a tutor in the subject where help is needed.  A list of tutors is available directly inside of the ACE. Students are encouraged set up weekly academic coaching sessions with ACE staff for additional help with organizational skills, time management skills, accountability for grades, and overall academic support.


ACE Hours 

ACE is open and available for students to use for computers, studying, and individually scheduled tutoring sessions Monday-Sunday, 6AM-12 midnight. ACE Staff are available Monday-Friday 8:30am-5pm.



Anyone with a Bluefield College email address may sign up for a FREE account at  Visit and select the sign up button.  When prompted, complete the sign up form using your BC email address. An activation link will be mailed to your BC email address and you must use that link to finish your registration.  After completing this step your account setup is complete.  If you have trouble, please go to the link titled “Instant Writing Help” under the ACE quick link on MyBC.  Email for additional help with Grammarly.



Students may also receive assistance with most writing assignments by using the ACE Writing Lab for face-to-face appointments or by accessing the ACE Online Writing Lab.  Face-to-face writing lab hours will be posted outside the ACE and also on our Bluefield College ACE Facebook page. Students may email Mr. Wayne Pelts ( about connecting with a face-to-face writing tutor if they cannot visit during lab hours.

Students may submit essays online using Smarthinking to receive feedback. Use the ACE link in the lower left-hand corner of the MyBC homepage and then select the link in the left-hand menu to access the FREE Online Tutoring.  Please be sure to plan ahead when using the online writing lab.  Students usually receive responses within 24 hours to 48 hours.



Students may receive assistance with Math courses through the ACE Math Lab.  Math lab hours will be posted outside the ACE and also on our Bluefield College ACE Facebook page.  Students may email Mr. Wayne Pelts ( about connecting with a math tutor if they cannot visit during lab hours. 



Please notify the instructor at the beginning of this course if you are a student with a documented disability who may require appropriate accommodations in order to be provided the opportunity to fulfill course requirements.  More information about disability and academic accommodations can be found on the ACE quick-link under Disability Services. Should you need accommodations, please visit Mr. Wayne Pelts in his office inside the ACE in the lower level of Rish Hall or email him at


Syllabus Contract

 After reading this syllabus, please go to the Syllabus Contract Page (linked to the syllabus page on the wiki). If you agree to the terms and conditions of this syllabus, print out and sign the text from this page and bring it into class by the end of the first week.



The instructor reserves the right to revise the syllabus and assignments during the course of the semester. All revisions to the syllabus, assignments and lectures will be posted on the course wiki in the appropriate places. 


Thanks to the insights and ideas on the syllabi posted on