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Educators know that the most exciting classrooms integrate literacy-based teaching and learning across all subject areas.  Join fellow educators to continuously explore how your students become more engaged readers, writers, communicators and learners in your classroom through traditional and creative forms.

Note: UArts does not issue graduate certificates in Literacy. Courses in this subject can be taken as an area of emphasis within the MEd in Educational Program Design.

  • Foundations of Literacy in the Classroom

Literacy is the foundation for student achievement regardless of the subject matter. This course provides K-8 educators with tools and strategies needed to teach the foundational skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening and language using best instructional practices, differentiated instruction and formative/substantive assessment. Curriculum design and classroom organization to optimize learned best practice are examined. Each participant contributes to the group’s learning by researching teaching skills in one of the five foundational areas and presenting that research to the class. Participants then practice teaching skills from each foundational area in both small group and individual mock scenarios and develop lesson plans and classroom design models that enhance instruction and learning.

  • Enriching the K-7 Language Arts Curriculum

This course is a hands-on approach to the creative teaching of language arts, reading and children’s literature and integrating them into the general elementary and middle school curriculum. Learn creative techniques for teaching spelling and vocabulary development, creative writing, literature appreciation and critical thinking, plus lectures on authors and illustrators, poetry, public speaking, creative problem solving and classroom research projects. Produce projects that use visual arts to create enthusiasm in the classroom.

  • Exploring Literacy Through the Performing Arts

Appropriate for educators who are currently teaching literacy in the K-5 classroom, this course develops understanding, knowledge and skill for designing performing arts-based lessons for literary development. Participants learn how to adapt traditional theater games for use as warmups in literacy lessons. Playwriting activities are examined for their unique potential in leveraging the listening and speaking skills that are innate in children for developing their reading and writing competency. Teachers create performing arts integrated lesson plans to understand why movement, music and drama can be powerful tools for the literacy teacher.

  • Exploring Literacy Through the Visual Arts

This course is appropriate for K-8 classroom teachers, special needs and ELL teachers, and teachers of science, mathematics and social studies who see literacy as a skill that extends across all content areas and wish to investigate how an integrated curriculum with visual art at the core will increase the overall literacy of their students. With the goal of transforming literacy acquisition from learning to read, to reading to learn across all academic content areas, educators will gain a basic understanding of how the brain learns and why a visual art integrated approach can build both the acquisition of literacy skills and the fluency students need to become proficient and advanced learners.

  • Exploring Multicultural Literature

Teachers, librarians and reading specialists can learn to enrich student awareness and appreciation of diverse cultures though literature centered on the experiences of African-American, Hispanic, Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. Participants read Zora Neale Hurston, Chris Soentpiet, Faith Ringgold and Mildred D. Taylor and the poetry of Joyce Carol Thomas, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes, and focus on their incorporation into cross-curricular studies.

  • Foundations of Reading - Phonics + Vocabulary

Research and explore standards, initiatives, cutting-edge programs and multimedia options that focus on the three building blocks of reading and English language arts instruction: phonics, spelling and vocabulary. Topics include vocabulary development, building fluency, phonics, sound instruction basics, advanced spelling, whole language, Internet teaching supports and current research. This course provides various vocabulary games and puzzles for the classroom and considers techniques to work with many levels of student readers, including programs for special needs and at-risk students.

  • Integrating Children's Literature into the Classroom

The works of contemporary authors and illustrators – as well as classic – are the springboard to the study of children's literature and how to incorporate it into the classroom. Lectures include developing a classroom literature program, exploring emerging literary technologies and examining the thematic approach to literature using literary themes to teach mathematics, science and history. The works of Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, John Bellairs, Van Allsburg, Roald Dahl and Maurice Sendak will be included.

  • Exploring Literacy Through Poetry, Introductory

Participants learn basic skills and strategies for the classroom while improving their own poetry and writing techniques. References, resources and materials necessary for the development of fundamental and advanced poetry and writing skills are emphasized. Topics include poetry readiness from couplet to quatrain to completed poem; writer’s resources, from books to the Internet; poetry for profit, with outlets for students and teachers; integrating poetry with mathematics and science; and narrative and historical poetry. Develop poetry centers, PowerPoint presentations and web activities to support integrating poetry across the curriculum.

  • Exploring Literacy Through Poetry, Advanced

Starting with the writings of contemporary and classic poets such as Frost, Longfellow, Angelou, Hughes, Shelley, Viorst, Silverstein and Carroll,this course instills an appreciation of poetry and helps participants develop stronger creative writing, vocabulary, comprehension, public speaking and critical thinking skills. This course covers poets and their craft, teaching to state literary standards, classroom activities and strategies for all levels. This course can be taken as a follow-up to Literacy through Poetry, Level 1, or as a new course.

  • Reading + Writing Across the Curriculum

Explore a variety of reading, writing, speaking and literature experiences designed to encourage students. This course helps classroom or reading teachers discover national programs and new avenues and strategies including: making children independent and reflective learners, interactive instruction, teaching across the curriculum, alternative assessment, divergent teaching strategies and interdisciplinary teaching.

  • Reading Strategies - Storytelling I

This course is designed for teachers, librarians and reading specialists interested in exploring the history of storytelling, creative storytelling programs in the classroom and dramatic usage of this medium to improve ELA areas (poetry, phonics and spelling). Explore how to use this art form to improve student reading ability and literature appreciation. Storytelling topics include cross-cutting curriculum ideas, improving student self-image, artists in residence, career directions, Internet explorations and creative performances.

  • Reading Strategies - Storytelling II

Extend the storytelling history, research, and practical applications presented in ED 5553 Reading Strategies — Storytelling. Explore audio, video and paper mediums that support the oral and written tradition of storytelling,and investigate how these mediums help to improve reading comprehension, cultural literacy, critical thinking, student-teacher relations and student responsibility. Research and design lessons for children’s videos, books on tape, storytelling kits, computer-generated literature programs, reading centers and standards-based curriculum. Guest lecturers from storytelling programs throughout the area share their expertise.