Course Number: CTRD 6030

Course Title: The Reading of Adolescents

Credit Hours: 3 semester hours

Prerequisites: CTRD 6710 and admission to Teacher Education or COI

Corequisites: None

Date Syllabus Prepared: August 1998

Texts: Bushman, John H., and Kay Parks Bushman. Using Young Adult Literature in the English Classroom. Merrill, 1997.

Cormier, Robert. I am the Cheese. Dell, 1977.

Ley, Terry C. Resource Packet for Teaching Literature in Secondary Schools. Curriculum and Teaching, Auburn University, 1996.

An NCTE annotated book list: Books for You (Senior High) or Your Reading (Middle School/Junior High).

Course Description:

Use of young adult and popular adult literature in secondary reading and English language arts programs. Patterns of reading interests, attitudes, and instructional needs of adolescents; motivation of unskilled and reluctant readers; criteria for evaluating reading materials; and self-selection/self-pacing reading programs in middle school and high school classrooms.

Course Objectives:

As a result of their work in this course, students will be better able...

1. To relate psychological-developmental needs of adolescents to what research has discovered about the skills, the interests, and the attitudes of adolescent readers.

2. To use a variety of motivational strategies to encourage students to read and build positive attitudes toward reading for both knowledge and pleasure. ELA(1)(a)6

3. To assess the potential appeal and usefulness of reading materials. ELA(1)(b)6

4. To recommend appropriate and appealing fiction and nonfiction to individuals and groups of students with diverse backgrounds and reading skills. ELA(1)(a)4; PS(2)(c)2(x)

5. To use current annotated book lists and review columns in selecting reading materials for classroom libraries and for recommending books to groups and to individuals. ELA(1)(b)6

6. To examine reading materials for information pertinent to its projected use in the classroom: approximate readability level; highlights of dominant plot and subplots, including major conflicts and their resolution; depth of character development; motivation of major characters; similarities to other selections; and special challenges to reading skills that suggest the need for direct instruction. ELA(1)(b)6

7. To use young adult literature as the basis for teaching skills and strategies necessary for reading texts in a wide range of content areas. ELA(1)(a)9

8. To plan and manage a self-selection/self-pacing reading component appropriate for individuals in a given English or reading class. ELA(1)(a)10; PS(2)(b)2(ii)

9. To offer alternative to traditional book report formats, alternatives that encourage thoughtful response and self expression.

10. To deal wisely and ethically with potential and real problems of censorship related to assigned and voluntary reading of adolescents.

11. To respond freely to literature themselves and to invite and extend the honest responses of their students to their reading. ELA(1)(b)6

ELA = Alabama Standards for English Language Arts

PS = Alabama Standards for Professional Studies, Basic Programs

Course Content:

I. Motivating the Reading of Adolescents (Weeks 1-3)

A. What psychology and linguistics tell us about adolescents

B. What research tells us about the reading interests and attitudes of adolescents and about their habits of reading for knowledge and pleasure

C. Ways of discovering and extending the reading interests of adolescents, e.g., through book talks, storytelling, and dramatizing stories

D. How literature currently popular with adolescents tends to reflect the psychological needs of adolescents

E. The short history of young adult literature

II. Becoming Familiar with a Wide Range of Young Adult Literature (Weeks 4-10)

A. Book lists, reviews, catalogs (Week 4)

B. Skimming procedures (Week 4)

C. Reading young adult literature -- with emphasis on ethnic, cultural, and national diversity; relating young adult literature to classics; poetry collections for young adult markets (Weeks 4-10)

D. Creating teacherˆīs BiblioFiles, including bibliographic information, plot summary, and critical and professional observations and judgments (Weeks 4-10)

E. Criteria for judging quality and potential usefulness of young adult literature (Weeks 4-5)

III. Using Young Adult Literature to Teach Reading (Weeks 11-15)

A. Selecting suitable reading materials for groups or individuals (Week 11)

B. Estimating readability level quickly (Week 12)

C. Stimulating and extending response to reading materials (Week 12)

D. Using literature circles (Week 13)

E. Extending options for individuals through reading workshops and Directed Individualized Reading (DIR) (Weeks 14-15)

F. Book selection and censorship issues (Week 15)

Course Requirements:

1. Read and respond to at least thirteen full-length works of young adult literature or popular adult literature that are likely to appeal to adolescents. Write and submit critiques or BiblioFiles for eight books. Use alternative feedback methods for sharing the others with peers.

2. Keep a response journal in which you write spontaneously about reading and the books that you read for the course.

3. Write a paper based upon interviews with at least three adolescent readers concerning their reading experiences, attitudes, and habits.

4. Conduct individual book conferences with peers who have read a book of their choice.

5. Take a progressive examination that consists of (a) a series of questions assigned throughout the semester, some of them answered in class and some answered outside of class; (b) a series of objective questions based upon assigned reading; and (c) several essay questions completed during the scheduled final examination period. A single examination grade will be determined by the total credit earned on all three examination components.


40% BiblioFiles (8)

20% Response Journal

15% Interview-based Research Project

25% Progressive Examination (Graded on a ten-point scale)

Students must satisfy all course objectives to pass this course.

Class Policy Statements:

Attendance and Participation: Plan to participate fully in discussions, small group activities, and book sharing sessions. Participation will strongly influence borderline course grades. Regular attendance will affect the frequency and quality of class participation and thus can affect the course grade, especially if absences occur during class periods when all students participate in small group/collaborative or laboratory activities.

Academic Honesty: Evidence of plagiarism will result in application of measures outlined in the Auburn University Student Academic Honesty Code (Chapter 1208, Constitution of the Student Government Association, published in the Tiger Cub).

Special Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Anyone who needs special accommodations should make an appointment, as soon as possible, to discuss the Accommodation Memo with me in my office, preferably during office hours. If my office hours conflict with your classes, an alternative appointment time can be arranged. If you do not have an Accommodation Memo, but you need special accommodation, contact The Program for Students with Disabilities in 1244 Haley Center (844-2096 TDD/V).



For 6000-Level Credit

COURSE CTRD 6030 -- The Reading of Adolescents


2. Justification

This course meets Standard (1)(a)(4) required by the Alabama State Department of Education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Accreditation for undergraduate certification of English Language Arts teachers for grades 6-12. It also provides instruction related to numerous competencies listed by the International Reading Association (Standards for Reading Professionals, 1992) for positions as reading teacher, reading consultant/coordinator, or reading teacher educator, certified only at the graduate level in Alabama. Enrolled in this course will be seniors in English Language Arts and graduate students in English Education and Reading Education who have not previously enrolled in a similar course.