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Alex Connelly
ENGLISH 414
Due: April 30, 2015
Comprehensive Plan for Childrens Literature- 5th grade

1. Governing Principles:
Childrens literature, if used correctly, is vital to the process of
educating children. During one of my training courses, a professor of mine
once said, If a school system gave you a choice to choose one thing to
spend money on- choose items in childrens literature. You can teach
almost anything with a good book.
Childrens books, whether they are fictional novels, non-fiction, picture
books, or poetry, all can offer a variety of topics to be discussed and
examined, skills to be taught, and ideas to inspire children in innumerable
ways. I plan to have literature involved in every area of curriculum
possible, whether it is a Sir Cumference to introduce a math lesson or a
Gail Gibbons picture books to teach a lesson in science, or using poetry to
inspire journal time in language arts.
Books have the ability to teach children, if they are told and are taught
to infer the purpose of why they are reading the literature. This will be
whats important for children, parents, my fellow educators, and those in
authoritative positions above me to understand about my class: I will use
books across the curriculum because they offer more than just one use or
purpose for being read. Childrens literature is informative and often fun. It
is a different medium for teaching subject matter to vocabulary to a
specific and focused skill that should be utilized whenever possible. Most
importantly, many children will simply enjoy good childrens literature
because it can open up new worlds for the children to explore.

2. Class activities: To start with the most obvious use for childrens
literature, language arts is immersed with books and using books to learn
skills for reading as well as for writing. I plan to have, if not daily, at least
bi-daily time dedicated to childrens literature. During a read aloud
session with whole class, as well as within groups and partnerships, I plan
to lead my students in guided discussions, especially with novels. These
discussion and readings will last about 20-30 minutes on the days they
occur. Children will be given time (about 15-25 minutes) at least twice a
week to read assigned readings in class (while other assigned reading
sections will be given as homework.)

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I will encourage students to use free time in between activities or
while I am working on reading groups/ skill developing sessions with
individual student groups to read a book or at least browse a few books
for interesting topics for books reports. The time allotted for free reading
will depend daily, as different in class activities will last different amounts
of time for different students. I plan to allow at least 10-15 minutes total
daily for students to have time to free read or browse the library, if not
more.
As fifth graders, I will assign at least 2 book reports throughout the
year to help prepare them for middle school, where they will be expected
to do book reports. I want one of them to be influenced heavily by me.
Therefore, one of the reports will be done primarily in class and in lab time
to help guide the students with the process. The second will be more on
the students independent time (which will be due around the end of
January, where they will have had winter break to work on the book and
formulating the report.) Students will also be given an extra test grade for
each additional book report they choose to do. For students who are
failing or doing poorly, I may require them to do an additional nonoptional extra credit assignment, to help boost their grade.
I want my students to feel as if literature is an engrained part of our
curriculum as well as a sense of how useful it is further in their studies. I
will require students to reference (in the most basic sense) non-fiction
books in many of their assignments. I also want to encourage them to
enjoy the creativity that comes with literature. I will incorporate arts and
craft activities to go with assigned readings. I will have my children create
puppet shows to go along with our fairytale and picture book studies. I
also will have students engage in having a literature journal, where they
are required and encouraged to reflect often on their free reads.
I plan to use multi-cultural novels to humanize geography lessons,
having the children read a story about the area we study. While social
studies primarily focuses on American History in the 5 th grade, I think
studying about the cultures we are derived from as well as other cultures
that have influenced us and impacted the outcome of our history are very
beneficial for students. At ten years old, students typically dont think
about other cultures, even when studying a different geographical
region. Literature can help aid teachers in explaining about the difference
among people in and out of a culture.
I hope to encourage children to read different genres. Therefore, we
will have a unit on many of the different genres (and sub-genres) where
we focus our attention on reading and use some of our writing time to
have the students write a similar novel, create a picture book in a
group, or develop poetry and turn it into a masterpiece to be displayed.
I want to have opportunities to showcase my students work.

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Some students will appreciate different types of genres, so I will be
sure include incentives for my students to participate in reading and
interacting with the different genres. For instance, I want to incorporate
some kind of monthly appreciation work of literature my students get to
vote on. I may do this by selecting, say two picture books, and have the
students choose which of the two they admire the best and debate
about why, using support and evidence from the book. I will take a poll of
which one the entire class admired the most and that book will go on a
bulletin board, with its reference information and a class created summary
about the book to go outside in the hall. The purpose in all of this is for
students to evaluate what makes a book (picture book, novel, work of
poetry) good and begin to think about what they like and dislike in
literature.
3. Classroom set up:
I intend to have an inviting classroom library. If I had the option, I
would have a vintage look to my shelf case so my fifth grade students feel
as if they have access to an adult library set up, which young
adolescents find cool.
I will arrange my books into two broad categories: fiction and nonfiction. Historical texts and other non-fiction books are necessary for
research and further exploration of subject matter or specific topics. I will
arrange these by topical interests and alphabetize within those topics.
Within the fiction section, I will have the books arranged topically as
well as by the genre of literature within a topic. I will attempt to have my
books alphabetized, at least at the start of every month. I want to have
such a variety of books. I want childrens fiction novels, with options in
each sub-genre like realistic fiction (12-15 options), fantasy (10-15
options) , historical fiction (5-9 options) , as well as multi-cultural novels
(specifically multicultural: 6-10 options). While they are fifth graders, I
want to involve picture books (25+ options) in my library because they
possess so many wonderful characteristics any age can benefit from and
enjoy reading. Also, many children who do not like to read will pick up a
picture book before attempting a novel as a free read. I want multiple
types of poetry books (15-20 options) because in the fourth and fifth
grade, the standards require a lot of work with poetry and expository
writing. Poetry will interest some children while boring others. However, I
think even the most obstinate students will enjoy Dr. Seuss or Shel
Silverstein poetry. Fairy tales can be interesting for any type of students if
presented in a way that interests many students. So, I will try to include
different types of fairytale based books in my library, especially those that
offer multi-cultural value (options ranging from 10-12 different books.) As I
am interested in specializing in science, I may dedicate more of my library
to this type of literature to offer extra resources for my students (30+
options, varying by subject matter.)

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I will assign one or two students each 2 week period to be
responsible to take care of the library after the first month of us taking
time to learn how it should be organized. I feel this will involve my
students with the library, getting them acquainted with the materials
available to them. I hope this type of involvement will spark some
students interest in particular books. From my experience, children often
to not interact with books because they are not forced to and feel they do
not want to dedicate their free time to seeing whats available in a
library.
Children will be able to check out two books at a time, signing them
out on the log and dating the sign out sheet. Each week, children will be
required to return the books, signing them back in and putting them in the
bins to be re-shelved by the attendant for that section of weeks. The
children are allowed to renew the books past that week, but will have to
update the log to say renewed on I want to encourage my students to
read daily, allowing multiple switches per week if they are quick to finish
books. I will require my children to check out at least one of each of the
five main genres of literature per two months, as forcible exposure to
different types of literature.
4. Teacher/parent relations:
At the beginning of each year, I intend to have a conference with my
parents of the class and explain to them my intent on instruction and
curriculum. Part of this conversation will include my explicit instruction
of childrens literature in the classroom as well as inferences to my
indirect instruction of literature outside of language arts time. Books
will be used in my class frequently and, while I will do my best to have
a varying library, I will not have everything; especially a book for every
students interest. Therefore, I will express my aspiration that parents
will have their children go to the school library to check out books for
free reads or book reports or will take them to a public library to do so.
I will have the children do at least one adult interview in
which the children will ask an adult in the house (parents, guardians,
caretakers) about a childrens book they really admire and write not
only the answers to what and why the adult likes about that book, but
their own reflection on that book after the student reads it. I hope this
will connect my students and the adults in their homes through
literature and open a dialogue about books.
5. Integrating childrens literature into other subjects:
As stated in the governing principles, I hope to use literature in every
area of curriculum possible. For math, there are different picture books
that introduce topics in a fun, relatable, and memorable way, even for
fifth graders. There are multiple picture books that are accurate and

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informative for science instructions, as well as instructive guides in the
non-fiction category of non-fiction childrens literature. Historical novels as
well as non-fiction can play a vital role in humanizing history for your
students, as well as inspire activities in language arts. Fairy tales as well
as multi-cultural fiction are excellent ways to examine the elements of
diversity, something I want my children to take away from my class.
Poetry is a great medium to introduce different types of rhyme, word
manipulation, parts of speech and their function within syntactic
perimeters, and imagery within language arts.
Children can use literature to reflect their personal opinions about
what they interpret, expect, and understand in different areas of
curriculum. They can personalize material by writing about it and can
broaden their knowledge by reading about subjects. Literature offers
children the opportunity to learn through something other than the
teacher lecturing them about information that doesnt interest them
without their being some type of connection they can take from it. Putting
information into context with childrens literature solidifies ideas and skill
sets.

6. Resources:
The internet has so many resources that help explain childrens
literature more thoroughly and give analytical breakdowns for the purpose
of particular texts. The internet also is a great resource to have to
summarize different types of literature for quick evaluation of what a book
may be about before investing the time to read it and assign it for
students, such as shmoop, Spark notes, and others found by using google.
There are websites, like Pinterest, that offer ideas on activities to do with
practically anything, even literature. YouTube also has ideas on how to use
literature in your classroom.
There are different professional development courses taught by
authors, experienced educators, reading specialists, and other people and
professionals to help teachers expand their knowledge of literature as well
as how to introduce and use it in the classroom.
There are also manipulative tools for sale online as well as in stores like
ToysRUs and Little Dickens that are educational tools for all subjects.
There are items you can buy to help students interact with literature like
dolls and characters that correspond with stories, to help students
(especially young students) imagine the characters.