1st Edition

Teaching with Children's Literature
Theory to Practice

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ISBN 9781462547227
September 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Guilford Press
156 Pages

USD $32.00

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Book Description

Perhaps no factor has a greater influence on children’s literacy learning than exposure to engaging, authentic, culturally relevant texts. This concise practitioner resource and course text helps K-8 teachers make informed choices about using children's literature in their classrooms, from selecting high-quality texts to planning instruction and promoting independent reading. The authors present relevant theories (such as reader response and culturally responsive pedagogy) and show how to apply them in practice. Key topics include teaching narrative and expository texts, tapping into students' individual interests, and conducting text-based writing activities and discussions. Every chapter features case examples, reflection questions, and learning activities for teachers; appendices list exemplary children’s literature.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Elfrieda H. Hiebert
1. Introduction: Beliefs about Children’s Literature
2. What Is Purposeful Teaching with Literature?
3. What Matters When Teaching with Literature in the Classroom?
4. What Do Books Have to Offer?
5. How Can We Help Students Understand the Books They Read?
6. How Can We Encourage Students to Read Widely?
7. How Can We Incorporate Expository Text Purposefully?
8. How Can We Use Writing and Discussing to Make Sense of Reading?
9. How Can We Encourage Reading Beyond the Classroom?
10. How Do We Put It All Together?
Appendix A. Books to Support Student Agency
Appendix B. Books to Talk about Visioning with Students
Appendix C. Books by Genre
Appendix D. Book Awards
Appendix E. Popular Series Books
Appendix F. Book Club Choices
Appendix G. Children’s and Teen Choice Awards
Children’s Literature
Children’s Literature by Appendix

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Margaret Vaughn, PhD, is Associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and Technology in the College of Education at Washington State University. Dr. Vaughn's research explores adaptive and equitable practices to support student agency and literacy learning, including ways literacy instruction can honor and support students’ cultural backgrounds and linguistic strengths. Dr. Vaughn is coeditor of Principles of Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades K-5, and coauthor of Teaching with Children's Literature: Theory to Practice. Her work has appeared in many journals of educational research and practice.

Dixie D. Massey, PhD, is Program Coordinator of the Reading Endorsement at the University of Washington, where she also teaches courses in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Culture. Dr. Massey is coauthor of several curriculum books and series. She has published her research in leading journals of literacy research and practice.


"The authors acknowledge the complexity of teaching literacy and include both theoretical and practical considerations that teachers must weigh when making instructional decisions. The book describes specific instructional approaches, like interactive read-alouds, reader’s theatre, and teaching informational text structure, while 'keeping the main thing the main thing'--immersing students in relevant, relatable children’s literature. I plan to use this text in my undergraduate elementary reading methods course. I look forward to using the case studies and guiding questions to engage my students in discussions about the major themes of each chapter and to help them develop their vision for teaching literacy."--Erika S. Gray, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"There is so much for children to learn, and literature is the gateway to that learning. From text structure to character motivations, children’s literature provides opportunities for students to question, explore, and experience. This book shows us how it is done; how we can develop students’ thinking as we select the materials they will read."--Douglas Fisher, PhD, Department of Educational Leadership, San Diego State University

"This is the quintessential text for either a preservice or master's-level course in children’s literature. Vaughn and Massey highlight the importance of developing agentic readers by providing choice and access to high-quality, culturally responsive children’s literature. Each chapter is well developed and offers an excellent blend of theory and practice. The content in each chapter is followed by a series of reflective exercises that help readers take action on the ideas presented. No matter where teachers may be in their careers, this book will help them be more intentional and thoughtful about the most important thing their students do--read!"--C. C. Bates, PhD, Associate Professor of Literacy Education and Director, Reading Recovery and Early Literacy Training Center for South Carolina, Clemson University

"Vaughn and Massey help teachers consider their beliefs about texts, tasks, and readers toward the goal of cultivating students' agency. What is especially masterful is the authors' ability to clearly and succinctly address the relevant theories that influence teacher decision making and classroom instruction. The book provides numerous activities and vignettes to illustrate the possibilities for purposeful instruction using children's literature. This is an invaluable resource for guiding the new learning of preservice teachers and supporting the continued learning of inservice teachers."--Denise N. Morgan, PhD, Literacy Education, Kent State University-