English 280 Spring 2018 Course Calendar

Our weeks will run Sunday – Saturday. We will meet face-to-face on Mondays. Online coursework will be available on Wednesday each week and is due by Saturday. Supplemental readings will be posted weekly as the semester progresses each week in the appropriate BlackBoard folder. They will also be listed here.  

Please note: this is an intended itinerary for the semester. Dates and topics may change, based on class need. If a due date for an assignment is changed, it will always be LATER, never earlier. This calendar will be updated with all changes to reflect where we are in class. Changes will also be discussed in class. If you miss class, you should actively check our course calendar and BlackBoard to ensure that you are up-to-date on our schedule.

Week Fourteen: Wrapping Up, Presentations

4 June (Monday): Presentations, Wrap Up Discussion of The Hate U Give

Due in Class, 4 June 2018: Presentations

Due by 6 June 2018: Revisions of Project #1 or #2

Finals' Week

There is no final exam for this course. Please sign up for an appointment with Liz to discuss your final grade! 

Final Grade Conferences (optional)

Monday, 11 June 2018
10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in E-103 H


Completed Units:


Week One: Introduction to KidLit

5 March (Monday): Introduction to the Course, Discussion of the Syllabus

Please note: 3/7 is the last day to ADD or Change a course and the last day to DROP a class without a “WD” grade.

Online (by Saturday): Read Neil Gaiman's "Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading, and Daydreaming." See BlackBoard Assignment. See Weekly BlackBoard assignment examining Gaiman's concepts to "Latawnya the Naughty Horse" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFC3_ocZLOU) and either "Where the Wild Things Are" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lo4OoLJR9uE) or "Green Eggs and Ham" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJXcCal7994).

What We're Reading This Week (Due Monday 3/12): "Introduction to the World of Children's Literature." (This reading is in the Week One folder in BlackBoard). Also, please fill out the questions on this survey (due by Saturday, 3/10: https://goo.gl/forms/7AjUYC2Mc8AaFIy92 ).


Week Two: What is Children's Literature? What is Kid Lit?

12 March (Monday): Discussion of "Introduction to the World of Children's Literature," establishing terms, considering "what is kid's lit"; Prove It! assigned; Model student work shared 

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

Please note: 3/18 is the last day to drop a course with a “WD” designation

What We're Reading This Week: Choose from E.B. White, Charlotte's Web (Harper Collins, 9780064400558) OR Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach (Penguin, 9780142410363) OR Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (Harper Collins, 9780064401883). Due Monday, 3/19. Please make sure that you have a copy of the text in class!


Week Three: Classic Themes In Children's Literature

19 March (Monday): Discussion of children's classics! What does "classic" mean? What happens when a text is dated? Is it still a classic? How do texts age? What happens when a classic isn't classic anymore?

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due; Do Check In Survey #1

What We're Reading This Week: Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (Harper Collins, 9780142408810) OR Sara Pennypacker, Clementine (Disney-Hyperion, 9780786838837) OR Susan Tan, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire (Roaring Brook, 9781626725515). Due Monday, 3/26. Please make sure that you have a copy of the text in class!


Week Four: Little Kids, Elementary School, and Big Futures

26 March (Monday): Discussion of elementary school and kid lit. How does kid lit function differently for little kids? What milestones are developmentally appropriate for middle grade fiction? What's the difference between chapter books and middle grade? What doesn't "belong" in middle grade?

Online (by Friday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

**Friday deadline this week to get the assignment in before Spring Break. 

What We're Reading Over Break: Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak (Square Fish, 9780312674397) OR Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian (9780316013692) OR Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese (Square Fish, 9780312384487). Due Monday, 4/9. Please make sure that you have a copy of the text in class! Please note: Halse Anderson's Speak has just been released as a graphic novel. Either graphic novel or the traditional version is fine. If you choose to read Alexie, I will also ask you to read some articles on the recent #metoo accusations against Alexie. 

Due by Friday, 30 March: Prove It #1


Week Five: Happy Spring Break!

No classes, March 30 - April 8


Week Six: YA, Tough Topics, Banned Books and Censorship

9 April (Monday): Discussion of tough topics and censorship; What is a banned book?; Exploration of banned books; What do kids have the right to read? Projects Assigned

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

What We're Reading This Week: finish Speak, American Born Chinese, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


Week Seven: YA, Tough Topics, Banned Books and Censorship, Continued

16 April (Monday): Discussion of Speak, American Born Chinese, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

What We're Reading This Week: Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming (Harper Collins, 9780399252518) OR Raina Telgemeier, Ghosts (Graphix, 9780545540623) OR Benjamin Alire Saenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Simon and Schuster, 9781442408937) Due Monday, 4/16. Please make sure that you have a copy of the text in class! 


Week Eight: We Need Diverse Books, Own Voices (#WNDB)

23 April (Monday): Discussion of the We Need Diverse Books movement, Diversity in children's publishing; The state of children's publishing

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

What We're Reading This Week (prepping for Monday): Jennifer Holm, The Fourteenth Goldfish (Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780375870644) OR Madeline L'Engle, Wrinkle in Time (Square Fish, 9780312367546). Due Monday, 4/30. Please make sure that you have a copy of the text in class!

Due by Saturday, 28 April: Prove It #2


Week Nine: STEM & STEAM--Where Science & Literature Collide

30 April (Monday): Discussion of STEM and STEAM in kid lit 

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

What We're Reading This Week: Continue Reading Fourteenth Goldfish and A Wrinkle in Time (extended reading time)

DUE BY SATURDAY, 5 May: Project #1


Week Ten: STEM & STEAM--Where Science & Literature Collide, continued

7 May (Monday): Continued discussion of A Wrinkle in Time and Fourteenth Goldfish

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

What We're Reading This Week: Kate Messner, The Seventh Wish (Bloomsbury, 9781619633760). Due Monday, 5/14. Please make sure that you have a copy of the text in class!

Please note: 5/10 is the last day to WITHDRAW from a class.

Week Eleven: Sadness in Children's Literature / Controversy in Middle Grade--When Books Talk about Hard Topics / The Newbery & Caldecott Awards

14 May (Monday): Discussion of sadness in children's literature; Discussion of controversy surrounding Kate Messner's work, Awards for Children's Literature

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

What We're Reading This Week: Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give (Balzer & Bray, 9780062498533). First half due Monday, 5/21. Please make sure that you have a copy of the text in class!


Week Twelve: Controversy in YA--When Books Talk about Hard Topics

21 May (Monday): Discussion of black lives matter in young adult publishing; Discussion of real life YA topics

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

What We're Reading This Week: Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give (Balzer & Bray, 9780062498533). Second half due Wednesday, 5/30. 

Due by Saturday, 26 May 2017: Project #2


Week Thirteen: Controversy in YA--When Books Talk about Hard Topics

28 May (Monday): College Closed for Memorial Day

Online (by Saturday): Weekly Blackboard Assignment Due

What We're Reading This Week Finish The Hate U Give. Due Monday, 6/4. Prepare your presentation (5 minutes).

Due by Saturday, 2 June: Prove It #3