Course Topics: Discussion and Collaborative Planning

Course Topics: Discussion

Below, you will find an overview of the topics we will cover in our course. I would like you to work with a partner to collaboratively annotate the page. Please focus on:

  • What topics do you already know something about? What is it you know?
  • What topics do you want to learn more about? Why?
  • What are you unfamiliar with?
  • Is there something you do not want to learn about? Why?
  • Is there something you think is missing from the list?


Module 1: Introduction to theories and theorists (2 Weeks)

This will lay the foundation for the work we will complete throughout the course as students will need the theoretical underpinnings in order to make connections.

Module 2: Fluency, read-aloud, poetry, music, and performance (3 weeks)

Topics: How children develop, and how children and adolescents play with, the sounds of language

Introduces students to concepts related to phonemic awareness including rhyme, alliteration, and onomatopoeia; concepts in read-aloud, including repetition, refrain, intonation, rhythm, and meter; and strategies for reading aloud and oral reading (with emphasis on using digital technologies)

Module 3: Storytelling and narrative (2 weeks)

Topics: How children develop an understanding of narrative and how storytelling supports children and adolescents’ knowledge of text forms and structures

Introduces students to strategies for using illustration to support students’ learning narrative; strategies for engaging children in storytelling activities and encouraging experimentation with narrative forms; strategies for engaging children with narrative through multiple media (e.g., TV shows/movies, video games); and strategies for assessing students’ knowledge of narrative structure

Module 4: Play (2 weeks):

Topics: How children and adolescents use language and literacy practices to engage in play, to imagine, and to create meaning; how to analyze play as a literacy and language event

Introduces students to strategies for encouraging linguistic development during play, and strategies for analyzing students’ discourse during play

Module 5: Media Literacy and Argumentation (2 weeks): 

Topic: How children and adolescents become aware of and are able to critically evaluate arguments presented through multiple media

Introduces students to strategies for developing children’s and adolescent’s media literacy skills, and

strategies for developing children’s competence with discourse modes beyond narrative

Module 6: Critical Literacy and Inquiry (3 weeks): 

Topics: How children and adolescents can be taught to look, listen, and comprehend with a critical eyes; specifically, how children and adolescents can be taught to identify, critique, and examine patterns

Introduces students to strategies for questioning to foster inquiry and helping children to develop their own questions to foster inquiry; and strategies for engaging students in critical discussions of power dynamics

Module 7: Reasoning and Mathematics (1 week)

Topics: The development of reasoning and abstract thinking in children; how children and adolescents use reasoning and abstract thinking to recognize symbols

Introduces students to strategies to integrate reasoning, specifically quantitative reasoning, skills