INFO 281-19
Seminar in Contemporary Issues (Storytelling)
Summer 2022 Syllabus

Amanda Choi
Text: ‪(707) 390-0513‬
Office location: SF Bay Area
Office Hours: By appointment via Zoom

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning June 1, 2022, at 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one-unit or two-unit class that starts on a different day. In that case, the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This course examines storytelling within the context of library storytimes, taking a deep look at storytime as an essential library service that bridges equity gaps in access to early education. The course also provides a comprehensive introduction to crafting early literacy-focused storytime programs for a variety of age groups, storytelling techniques, and best practices. You will gain practical experience in presenting and evaluating storytime and develop your confidence in your own storytelling abilities.

Course Requirements


Lectures, discussions, assignments, and rubrics will be shared in Canvas. Links to all assigned readings and additional materials will be provided in Canvas as well.

Summary of assignments:

  • Weekly Discussion Contributions [CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11]
  • 7 Recorded Storytelling Demonstrations [CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
  • Written Analysis and Recorded Read-Aloud of a Picture Book [CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10]
    • Includes participation in a peer critique/peer workshop process
  • Library Storytime Observation and Analysis Paper [CLOs 1, 2, 4]
  • Group Project: 30-minute Storytime Presentation and Annotated Storytime Plan [CLOs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,10,11
    • Includes participation in a peer critique/peer workshop process

Course Calendar

Note: Assignments are due on the last day of the module unless otherwise noted. This schedule is subject to change, please refer to our class Canvas site for the most current version of the course calendar. 

Modules/Dates Topics Assignments
Module 1:  Wed, 6/1 - Sun, 6/5

Course Orientation & Welcome

What is Storytelling?

Why Storytime Matters

Course Introductions

Module 1 Discussion

Module 2: Mon, 6/6 - Sun, 6/12

Early Literacy Overview

Recorded Demo: Hello Songs

Module 2 Discussion

Module 3: Mon, 6/13 - Sun, 6/19  Selecting Age-Appropriate Stories

Recorded Demo: Fingerplays and Action Rhymes

Module 3 Discussion

Module 4: Mon, 6/20 - Sun, 6/26 Reading Aloud: Dialogic and Interactive Reading Techniques

Recorded Demo: Baby Bounces and Tickles

Module 4 Discussion

Module 5: Mon, 6/27 - Sun, 7/3 Picture Book Read-Aloud Workshop

Written Analysis and Recorded Read-Aloud of a Picture Book

Peer-Workshop Participation

Module 6: Tue, 7/5 - Sun, 7/10**

Anatomy of a Storytime

Recorded Demo: Action Songs

Module 6 Discussion

Module 7: Mon, 7/11 - Sun, 7/17 Oral Storytelling with Props

Recorded Demo: Flannel Story or Cut and Tell Story

Library Storytime Observation and Analysis Paper

Week 8 Oral Storytelling without Props

Recorded Demo: Oral Story

Module 8 Disucssion

Week 9 Inclusive Storytime Practices

Recorded Demo: Goodbye Songs

Module 9 Discussions

Week 10 Storytime Workshop

Final Group Project Due: 30-Minute Storytime Presentation and Annotated Storytime Plan

Peer-Workshop Participation

**No Class: Monday, July 4, 2022 (Independence Day)


  • 20% Weekly Discussions 
  • 20% Recorded Storytelling Demonstrations (x7)
  • 15% Written Analysis and Recorded Read-Aloud of a Picture Book 
  • 20% Library Storytime Observation and Analysis Paper
  • 25% 30-minute Storytime Presentation and Annotated Storytime Plan (Group Project)

Many of our class assignments require you to perform in some way--recording yourself presenting a fingerplay or reading a book or telling a story. Please note that your grade is not determined by how "good" of a performer you are. Your grade will primarily be determined by how closely you follow instructions, attention to detail, and engagement in the process. Grading rubrics for each assignment will be available in Canvas.

Late Work

This course is active, collaborative, and hands-on. While lecture will be one method of instruction, most of the learning in this class will happen through participation in discussions and peer workshops, and by creating your recorded storytelling demonstrations. Without each student’s timely participation and engagement, we cannot be successful. If you need to submit work late, please contact me in advance of the due date. 

Other Relevant Information:

I am committed to student success and will do everything I can to help you succeed in this course, but I also acknowledge that learning is a partnership. Please make sure that communication stays a top priority during the semester. Ask questions when you have them, seek clarifications when you need them, and take responsibility for understanding all expectations, content, and assignments for the course.  

I encourage you to work hard and come away with a love of storytelling and its place in the library and beyond.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

INFO 281 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the history of storytelling and its place in today's society.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the different types of stories, why they developed, and how they can be used effectively.
  3. Develop their own storytelling style and be able to articulate it effectively.
  4. Articulate the rationale for selecting one type of story over another.
  5. Adapt or cut a story to make it appropriate for a specific time frame and audience.
  6. Select stories appropriate for the audience, the setting, and the goal of the storytelling program.
  7. Adapt stories, when necessary, to their own storytelling style or to the audience for the program.
  8. Demonstrate the ability to tell a variety of types of stories effectively.
  9. Develop a group of stories that they have mastered.
  10. Move toward some kind of specialization by type of story or by author.
  11. Develop and implement a storytelling program designed for a specific audience and setting.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 281 supports the following core competencies:

  1. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors and how they should be considered when connecting individuals or groups with accurate, relevant and appropriate information.
  2. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.
  3. N Evaluate programs and services using measurable criteria.


No Textbooks For This Course.

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation. You must repeat the class if you wish to stay in the program. If - on the second attempt - you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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