Why a good book is a secret door

G+ Community

We will share most of our work in a Google+ Community. We can upload images, respond to each other’s ideas, and share links and artifacts here.


Course calendar can be found above and HERE.



The course is organized around a series of “make cycles.” These cycles will allow us to develop routines: discussing reading, creating/doing things with the reading, and sharing reading. Within each cycle, we will pose questions, write a review on Goodreads, and make an artifact that represents the ideas in our books.

  1. Make Cycle 1: Love That Dog & Fairytales (Kim provides book and links to reading)
  2. Make Cycle 2: Series Books (Series of Unfortunate Events, Origami Yoda Series, King & Kayla, OR Keena Ford)
  3. Make Cycle 3: Chapter Books (George, The War That Saved My Life, Out of My Mind, OR Front Desk)
  4. Make Cycle 4: Free Verse Children’s Novels (The Crossover, Inside Out & Back Again, Mary’s Monster, OR Brown Girl Dreaming)
  5. Make Cycle 5: Graphic Novels (Smile, El Deafo, The Best We Could Do, OR Pashmina)
  6. Make Cycle 6: Young Adult (YA) Novels (Eleanor & Park, I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, Aristotle and Dante Discover… OR We Are Okay)
  7. Make Cycle 7: Remix & Reflection (Battle Bunny-Kim will provide link)

Here are the assignment descriptions:

Blogs (7@10 pts each: 70 points)

Peer Response to Blogs (7@5pts each: 35 points) 

You can find the blog prompts here. Typically due every other Sunday evening on our G+ Community. (NOTE: You need to log in to G+ with your Wildcat email. How-to video that explains how to post HERE.)

(By the way (BTW): you probably would prefer NOT to get an email every time someone posts on G+. Here is a super short “how to” for turning off notifications: HERE)

“Makes”: Sharing Artifacts Based on Our Readings (6 @20 pts: 120 points)

We will end each make cycle by creating an artifact that represents the ideas in your book. You will have a lot of choice here in how you (or as a group) decide to share your book. You can create a visual map, a book trailer or short film, give an Ignite talk, act out a scene for our class, write a song, write fanfiction…lots of possible ways to share. You can decide to do your own thing or work in teams.  

You will also write a brief artist’s/writer’s statement explaining what you were attempting to do with this make: how did you approach this artifact? what worked? what did not work out as planned?

Post to our G+ Community (post an image of the make or a link or…). This assignment has two parts: 1) the make itself (10 pts) and 2) a reflection about your artifact (10 pts)

Here are some great examples from a previous semester.  Another example HERE.

Reviews on Goodreads (5@3 pts: 15 points)

You’ll create an account on Goodreads and write reviews for the books you read at the end of each make cycle. Goodreads is a great space to find recommendations and a community of readers. We’ll write these together in class at the end of our book cycles. You’ll need to be in class to receive credit.

Book in a Box Project (15 points)

dates vary

Each week, a trio of you will individually take home the book What Do You Do With an Idea? (Kim will provide you with a copy of the book). You will annotate the book and leave us some sort of artifact for the next set of readers: you could imagine a lesson plan that might stem from the book, write a review, draw a mind map, create a visual representation or drawing of some kind, share a link (on a post-it) to a YouTube video with a vlog about the book, or even create a kind of pop-up book inside. Ultimately, I would think of these artifacts as a “gift” that you leave for the next set of readers: the artifacts are a reification of the ideas.


After 12 weeks we should have 35 artifacts, which I think will create a pretty cool, tattered, bursting at the seams, book. We will have created a new artifact, a dialogue in material form with the book. For the final class, we could think about arranging our artifacts in some intentional way…

Picture Book Gallery Walk (20 points)

Pairs or trios will be randomly assigned an author from the list below (trading with another person is totally fine). Find books by that author in CSUC children’s book collection, Butte County Library, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc. Kim has many of the books by these authors too that you can borrow.

We’ll lead an open gallery walk in the ARTS building, sharing picture books with our class and the campus community. We’ll create a resource together and create activities that connect to the book and its ideas. We’ll work with other students in English 333 as well to organize the gallery walk. 

David Wiesner 

Grace Lin

Sophie Blackall

Mo Willems 

Yuyi Morales 

Matt de la Peña 

Javaka Steptoe 

Barb Rosenstock 

Carol Boston Weatherford

Ezra Jack Keats

Mac Barnett 

Jon Scieszka 

Bao Phi (A Different Pond)

Reflection and Manifesto (25 points)

We’ll end the semester with a teaching reading manifesto and a reflection on what we’ve learned about the teaching of reading in our course.

You’ll start this paper by reflecting on your work in the class. Read through your discussion questions, think about our Reading in the Wild conversations, your artifacts, silent reading time, your participation on Goodreads, your blogs–what have you learned about teaching reading, about your own reading habits, about students’ reading practices? What is challenging about teaching reading, what is surprising, what do you look forward to?

Then, turn to the creation of a bulleted list…your personal manifesto about teaching reading. Think of it as a “This I Believe About the Teaching of Reading…” Here’s an example from one of my colleagues as it relates to writing: “Things We Know For Sure About the Teaching of Writing…”

Here are some examples from previous semesters: