Syllabus & Books Selections

ENGL 341: Reading Literature for Future Teachers
Spring 2016
Dr. Kim Jaxon
Section 01: MWF 12:00-12:50 in MLIB 442

Office Hours: Mondays 1:00-2:00pm & Wednesdays 1:00-3:00pm (*Note: Check-in to the English Dept office first in Siskiyou 109; the office staff will let me know you’re there to meet with me.)
Email for sharing Google Docs:

Course Description

This course is required of all Liberal Studies majors. As the title of the course, “Reading Literature,” suggests, students will read an array of literary genres, including short stories, novels, poetry, and drama. Students will also read books and articles by teacher-researchers about reading pedagogy. By the conclusion of the term, students will be able to read a wide array of literary texts, both those written for adult readers and those written for younger readers; students will be able to identify literary devices and consider their effects; students will be able to select literature for children to read and develop teaching plans to help students read literary texts with understanding and pleasure. Students will demonstrate their learning through successful presentations/performances, group projects, and written/visual assignments. This course addresses the literary study areas specified by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing as requirements for multiple-subject teachers: literary concepts and conventions; literary genres; interpretation of literary texts.

Required Texts:

There are 9 books total you need to have your hands on for the semester. The good news: all but one text are children’s books and I tried to make selections that you could keep for your future classrooms. I am hoping you’ll start to build your class library. Total cost is around $80, but feel free to check out from library, swap books, etc.  But, you must have the book in class so you can participate (ebook is fine if you prefer). You’ll also notice a lot of choices in book selection: my mission is to support you as you find books you like to read.

These texts we will all read (3 total):

  1. Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits by Donalyn Miller
  2. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  3. One picture book (I’ll explain in class)

These texts you will read in teams. You can choose from the lists below (6 total):

Series Study: choose TWO books from the same series below

Book Club 1: choose ONE from list below (The selections are from Newbery Winners and Honor books)

Novels in Poetry & Verse: choose ONE from list below

Graphic novels: choose ONE from list below

Book Club 2: choose ONE from list below

In the first week of class, you’ll let me know your text choices by taking this survey: HERE

 Other things you’ll need to do to be a full participant in our class:

    • Create a Twitter account. Then, follow me and others who talk about children’s and young adult books.
    • Create an account on Goodreads

 Your Grade (see Assignment tab for full descriptions)

Blog Posts (8 @5 points each; 40 points)

Picture Book Presentations (20 points): in trios, you’ll do a short presentation about a picture book author.

Reviews on Goodreads (5 @5 points each: 25 points)

Gallery Walk (2 @20 points: 40 points): We will create artifacts based on the book club books you are reading. Artifacts can be created individually or in teams.

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.

Total: 150

A note about attendance: This class is highly participatory and we need each other to do the work of the class. For this reason, you can miss 4 times (I don’t distinguish between excused and unexcused). After four, you cannot pass the course.

I look forward to reading together this semester!



Americans with Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability or chronic illness, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Please also contact Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) as they are the designated department responsible for approving and coordinating reasonable accommodations and services for students with disabilities. ARC will help you understand your rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide you further assistance with requesting and arranging accommodations.

Confidentiality and Mandatory Reporting

As a Chico State professor, one of my responsibilities is to help create a safe learning environment for Chico State students.  It is my goal that you feel able to share information related to your life experiences in classroom discussions, in your written work, and in our one-on-one meetings. I will seek to keep information you share private to the greatest extent possible.  However, I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct with the University.

Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting the Counseling and Wellness Center (898-6345) or Safe Place (898-3030).  Information about campus reporting obligations and other Title IX related resources are available here: