Children's Literature


Competency 152.1.2.: Literary Analysis – The graduate analyzes the uses of literary elements and conventions in children’s literature.
Competency 152.1.4: Genres and Themes of Children’s Literature – The graduate differentiates among various characteristics of genres and traditions within children’s literature.
Competency 152.1.5: Visual Analysis – The graduate analyzes the relationships between visual illustration, narrative, text, and the reader in children’s literature.


As a classroom teacher, you will be integrating quality children’s literature into academic instruction. In order to do this effectively, you will have to analyze quality children’s literature and determine how to connect it to academic content. Children’s literature can anchor a lesson in the classroom and enhance students’ interests, understandings, and comprehension of a lesson topic.

Note: Do not use the following types of children’s literature for this task: books written by celebrities; books based on comics, cartoons, toys, athletes, or celebrities; books with religious instruction; or activity-type books. Do not use multiple books written by the same author, even for different genres. Use only one book for each representative genre. Careful book selection is critical for meeting all of the task requirements.


A. Identify three high-quality children’s books with a common theme.

Note: You should identify a total of three books from three different genres (e.g., folklore, fantasy, science fiction, contemporary realistic fiction, historical fiction, biography/memoir, nonfiction) appropriate for the age and grade ranges within the elementary classroom.

1. Identify the common theme that connects the three books identified in part A.

2. Identify the genre of each of the three children’s books identified in part A.

3. Explain two common literary conventions found within each of your identified genres from part A2.

4. Identify one literary element in each book (e.g., plot, setting, characterization, point of view, mood, style) that relates to the dominant theme.

Note: The literary elements can be the same for all three books, or each book can have a different literary element.

a. Explain how the literary elements identified in part A4 help to convey the dominant theme within the selected books (suggested length of 1 paragraph for each of the selected books).

i. Provide one specific example from each of the three selected books that illustrates how the dominant theme is revealed.

B. Create an original lesson plan that applies your understanding of literary and thematic analysis at the elementary education level, using the three books identified in part A, ensuring that the lesson plan includes each of the following:

• identification of general information (e.g., lesson title and subject, topic, grade level, instructional setting)

• identification of state core curriculum/student achievement standards

• identification of lesson objectives (should be measurable: condition, behavior, and criterion)

• identification of materials/resources for students and teacher

• description of prerequisite skills or connections to previous learning (i.e., What previously learned skills are necessary for students to be able to participate in and benefit from the planned lesson?)

• explanation of presentation procedures for new information, guided practice, independent practice, and culmination

• description of technology use for teacher and/or student

• explanation of assessment

Note: You may use the attached lesson plan template or any other lesson plan template of your choosing. In addition to the template, your task may require you to incorporate additional elements. Be sure to review all materials carefully.

1. Explain the modifications to your lesson plan that are necessary to address the needs of English language learners (ELL).

a. Provide course source material or other academic research to support your explanation from part B1.

2. Explain the modifications to your lesson plan that are necessary to address students with special needs, identifying the exceptionality.

a. Provide course source material or other academic research to support your explanation from part B2.

3. Discuss a scaffolding technique that could be included in the lesson plan to better meet diverse learner needs.

a. Justify the scaffolding technique discussed in part B3.

C. Analyze how images from one illustrated book or picture book contribute to and support each of the following aspects of the story, using one image and one textual example for each (suggested length of 1 paragraph for each aspect):

Note: For part C, you may select a book used in part B, or you may select another high-quality illustrated book/picture book.

Note: The cover art is not an appropriate illustration. You will need a different illustration for parts C1–C3, as a single illustration rarely serves for all three aspects.

1. development of plot

2. development of setting

3. development of characterization

D. Include a copy of each illustration within your analysis for part C.

E. When you use sources, include all in-text citations and references in APA format.

Note: Be sure to cite any images or illustrations you used in your task. Provide a full, APA-formatted reference citation for each book. Citations for illustrated books should include the name of the illustrator with the full reference according to APA Style guidelines.

Note: For definitions of terms commonly used in the rubric, see the Rubric Terms web link included in the Evaluation Procedures section.

Note: When using sources to support ideas and elements in an assessment, the submission MUST include APA formatted in-text citations with a corresponding reference list for any direct quotes or paraphrasing. It is not necessary to list sources that were consulted if they have not been quoted or paraphrased in the text of the assessment.

Note: No more than a combined total of 30% of a submission can be directly quoted or closely paraphrased from outside sources, even if cited correctly. For tips on using APA style, please refer to the APA Handout web link included in the APA Guidelines section.



Lesson Title & Subject(s):

Topic or Unit of Study:


Instructional Setting:
Describe the learning context and location (e.g., setting, group size, seating arrangement, displays).


Your State Core Curriculum/Student Achievement Standard(s):
Identify the state standard(s) to be addressed in this lesson. Click here to find your state standards, or visit your state office of education website. 

Lesson Objective(s):
All learning objectives must include a specific BEHAVIOR (i.e., identifies an action; what the students will do – use a verb when writing the behavior), CONDITION (i.e., identifies the context or environment the students will prove they learned the skill in; e.g., given a list, given a text, given an opportunity to observe or listen) and measurable CRITERION (i.e., a statement explaining to what degree of accuracy or range on a rubric must be achieved in order to demonstrate an acceptable level of performance).

Lesson objectives should also be ATTAINABLE (reasonable, realistic outcome for this individual lesson) and RELEVANT (aligned with the state standard and assessment listed for this lesson).


Instructional Materials:
Identify materials needed for the lesson (e.g., manipulatives, tools, reading material, lab equipment, construction paper, scissors, PowerPoint, guided note templates).

List any sources used during the planning of the lesson using the APA format. 


Sequence of Instructional Procedures/Activities/Events (provide description and indicate approximate time for each):

1. Student Prerequisite Skills/Connections to Previous Learning:
Identify pre-requisite skills students need to already know (i.e., possess, control, understand) to be successful in this lesson.

2. Presentation Procedures for New Information and/or Modeling:

Presentation Procedures for New Information: 

Explain the purpose of the lesson.

Explain at least one activity which serves as an anticipatory set, schema, or review of definition of terms activity and actively engages students and allows them to do at least one of the following: 
• Make connections to their background knowledge related to the focus skill.
• Make connections to previous learning related to the focus skill.
• Ask themselves questions which will serve as a guide throughout the lesson.


Explain the purpose of the lesson (if not done above). 

Explain how you will model the skill. 
Modeling is a time when the teacher uses ‘thinking aloud’ to show and explain how to ‘do’ the focus skill. (e.g., if you were going to teach a child how to tie his shoes, you would first demonstrate how you tie your shoes and you would explain the steps as you go).

3. Guided Practice:
Explain how students will practice the focus skill with teacher guidance. Students and teacher might work together in a large or in small groups. Students might work independently or with peers as the teacher provides support and checks for understanding.

4. Independent Student Practice:
Explain how students will practice the skill independently. The teacher steps back during this time and allows students to demonstrate their understanding of the focus skill. This can be a pure practice time or a time when the assessment is administered. 

5. Culminating or Closing Procedure/Activity/Event:
Explain how you will end the lesson by describing an activity or discussion which allows students to articulate what was learned during the lesson and how that learning might be applied in the future. You might also include a review of relevant terms and connections to the next lesson. 
Instructional Strategy (or Strategies):
Explain at least one pedagogical strategy used in the lesson. Pedagogy is the way the overall instruction was done; it is the general way we categorize teaching (e.g., direct instruction, interactive instruction). 

Differentiated Instruction Accommodations:
Describe how you will differentiate for two or more subgroups. Describe accommodations for such groups as English Language Learners, students with learning disabilities, students with hearing or physical disabilities, and/or gifted/accelerated learners.

Use of Technology:
Explain how you will incorporate 21st century technology into the lesson.

Student Assessment/Rubrics:
Describe how you will know if students have met the objective(s) for this lesson. Assessment may be formal, informal, formative or summative. All assessments must directly align with the learning objective.


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