What is Children's Literature?

flickr photo shared by Lel4nd under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Overview Show

In this module we will try to define what counts as literature and what counts as texts.

  • What does it mean to teach with children's liteature?
  • Is this different than teaching with instructional texts?
  • And who is it that gets to decide what counts as children's literature and what voices are silenced along the way?

Through reading, writing , and particapting as a class we will explore these questions.

The Readings

Tim Martin with an overview of the Question what is Children's Literature?

Fractionated Texts a series of 6 minute talks answering thee question of what exactly counts as a text.

Brigid Alverson asks do graphic novels count?

Maisha Winn explores literacy spaces in out of school spaces in communities of color.

The Tasks


Complete the readings. The expectation is not that you memorize everythign I assign.

I give you a text set. You will read some sources closer than others. It depends on what you are drawn to and what questions you seek to answer.


Write a blog post about your reactions to the reading.

Just remember no word count is required. You are to use exactly the words (or no words at all) to get your meaning across. You do need to draw on the sources you read. That is simply good writing.

Participate-Choose One

Performance Task: share a defintion of literacy without using any words.

This can be a drawing, a slideshow, pictures, or a sketch. Your definition can be made with paper or pixel. Just share your image on the class stream.

Performance Task:Metaphors matter. In many way storytellers are alchemists. What is storytelling? What is alchemy? Explore. Maybe a blog post, a tweet, a video, tell us something.