Make Cycles

Our course is organized by two week “make cycles,” a term I borrow from Connected Learning. We will read, discuss, and make things based on the children’s books we’re reading. You can find the “weekly work” for each cycle in the drop down menu above.

Currents Community

We will share most of our work in a Currents Community. We can upload images, respond to each other’s ideas, and share links and artifacts here. (Instructions for joining on the Assignments page.)

Syllabus & Book Selections

Syllabus & Book Selections

ENGL 341: Reading Literature for Future Teachers
Fall 2021
Dr. Kim Jaxon
Section 72: Online (asynchronous)

Office Hours: If you’re on campus, then you can find me in my office Wednesdays 2:30-3:30, Thursdays 1:00-2:00, and by appointment (ARTS 262). For our online course, I check email all the time. I’ll respond within 24 hours for sure, and usually within the hour. 😉 
Email for sharing Google Docs:
Twitter: @drjaxon

CSU, Chico stands on traditional Mechoopda Indian tribal lands. Without them and other native peoples, we would not have access to this campus or our education.

Course Description

Welcome everyone! As the title of the course, “Reading Literature,” suggests, students will read an array of literary genres, including short stories, novels, poetry, and drama. We 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. 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.

But beyond the official goals for the course, ultimately, my hope is that we create a community of readers who enjoy reading and discover lots of resources for finding texts to read for kids and ourselves. 

Required Texts

There are 6 books total you’ll need for the semester. The good news: the selections of books are mostly ones that you could keep for your future classrooms. I am hoping you’ll start to build your class library (which can take a lifetime as you might imagine…I’m constantly scouring bookstores and yard sales for children’s books). Total cost is around $60-$70, but feel free to check out from your local library, or listen to audio versions etc.  But, you must have the books so you can participate (audio and ebooks are great if you prefer; I love listening while driving. “Read/Listen” to these books in whatever way works best for you. Or mix it up with audio/etext and physical books). 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. You can find these texts at your local library, used bookstores, (great site for supporting local book sellers), Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the Chico State library, etc. The links below will typically take you to the Goodreads site or the author’s site so you can preview the selections (Goodreads is a great platform for finding books, not buying books. But they do have links to sellers under the descriptions of books).

Six books total:

  • 1. Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits by Donalyn Miller. We will all read this book together to talk about the teaching of reading. Our Chico State library has a free eText of this book that you can read online or download PDF; you’ll just need to log in to the Chico State library with your credentials when prompted. If you can buy it, this will be a book you return to as a teacher many times so I would encourage you to get a copy. 
  • Then, these choices: 
    • 2. One Series Study book choice (see options below)
    • 3. One Chapter Book choice (see options below)
    • 4. One Novel in Poetry or Verse (see options below)
    • 5. One Graphic Novel (see options below)
    • 6. One YA Novel book choice (see options below)

2. Series Study: choose ONE book from the series choices below. You do not need to start with the first book in the series: choose one in the series that looks interesting to you. BTW: series books are often the way kids get excited about reading. The more series you’re familiar with as a teacher, the better chance you can recommend books to your students. #winning 

3. Chapter Book: choose ONE from the list below

4. Novels in Poetry & Verse: choose ONE from the list below

5. Graphic Novel: choose ONE from the list below

6. YA Novel: choose ONE from list below

My advice for choosing: click on the links and take a quick look at summaries. You could easily put together a set of readings that feature strong girls (any of the series choices, Inside Out & Back Again, Out of My Mind, etc) have sports as a theme (The Crossover, Dragon Hoops, Furia) have family as a theme (Front Desk, Brown Girl Dreaming, I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter…), follow LGBTQ+ characters (Melissa’s story, The Magic Fish, Aristotle and Dante...). Hoping you can curate your reading list for the semester with these options. 😉

–> In the first week of class, you’ll let me know your text choices by filling out our book form: HERE.

VERY IMPORTANT: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE order all your books asap. I know it’s tempting to order as you go, but often students order them used and then it takes a month to get them. Please have them ordered, so they can be ready to go for the semester, by the end of the first week of our class. And, ebook or audio book is totally fine if you prefer. 

 Your Grade (see Assignment tab for full descriptions)

Discussion Posts (21@10 points each; 210 points)

Makes (6@15 points: 90 points): we will create artifacts based on the books you are reading.

Reflection and Manifesto (25 points): we will 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: 325 points

Any student who has difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in the course, is urged to contact the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry. Furthermore, please notify the professor if you are comfortable in doing so. This will enable her to provide any resources that she may possess. You can find many, many campus resources HERE too.

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: