LIBR 263-01
Materials for Children Ages 5-8
Spring 2009 Greensheet

Penny Peck

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
ANGEL Tutorials
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Angel Information: This course has an Angel site.  The enrollment code for our Angel "classroom" will be distributed to all students the first day of the semester via MySJSU messaging.

Course Description

Survey of materials in a variety of formats including nonfiction, beginning chapter books, fictional genres, paperback series and electronic resources, and how they can help meet developmental needs. Collection development tools and techniques for this material will also be included.

Course Prerequisites: LIBR 200 required.

Course Objectives

Student Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the external (societal) and internal (developmental) forces which influence children's choices of recreational and informational sources and materials.
  • Evaluate selection tools, and demonstrate the ability to use appropriate resources to develop a collection of materials for the elementary school aged child, including all appropriate formats.
  • Critically examine representative materials designed for the elementary school aged child, including but not limited to books, television, movies, and the internet, and apply criteria to evaluate them in relation to child development, multicultural concerns, and meeting the informational and recreational needs of this age group.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of learning to read and how to work with parents, caregivers, and teachers in the teaching of reading.
  • Create an appropriate materials collection for this age group, including print and nonprint materials.
  • Assist parents and caregivers with questions about appropriate materials for their children.

LIBR 263 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  1. articulate the ethics, values and foundational principles of library and information professionals and their role in the promotion of intellectual freedom;
  2. compare the environments and organizational settings in which library and information professionals practice;
  3. recognize the social, cultural and economic dimensions of information use;
  4. apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy;
  1. use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information;
  2. understand the system of standards and methods used to control and create information structures and apply basic principles involved in the organization and representation of knowledge;
  1. describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors;
  1. demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations;
  2. evaluate programs and services on specified criteria; and
  3. contribute to the cultural, economic, educational and social well-being of our communities.

Course Requirements

Course Format
This is a web-based course. All of our interaction will take place on the SLIS Angel site; Students must self-enroll for this course on Angel, beginning on January 22, 2009, and must be self-enrolled by January 31, 2009. You will be required to use a password access code that will be provided through the MYSJSU messaging system. Course materials will be available primarily through the Lessons section on Angel, children’s books from your public library, and journal articles available on the SJSU library database. Assignments for the course should be posted electronically. Our class discussions (worth 20 percent of your grade) will be conducted using an Angel Discussion Forum - your responses to a different discussion question posted each week. You will be graded on both the content of your posts (not just “I agree”), and meeting the minimum of posting at least once a week.

Class Discussion
Our class discussions (worth 20 percent of your grade) will be your responses to a different discussion question posted each week. Always post to the Discussion Question by the date listed on our Reading Assignments calendar (which is available on our Angel course under Lessons Week 1). You will be graded on both the content of your posts (not just "I agree"), and meeting the minimum of posting at least once a week. Last day to post to the Angel Discussion Board is Friday, May 8, 2009. Related competencies: A, B, C, D, F, G, M, N, O

All assignments should be sent as a Word document attachment to email or to our Angel site.  All assignments must use APA format for sources and all assignments must have sources.

Assignment 1:  Due Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 by 11:59pm.

Assignment 2:  Due Monday, March 9, 2009, by 11:59pm.

Assignment 3:  Due Monday, March 30, 2009, by 11:59pm.

Assignment 4:  Due Monday, April 20, 2009, by 11:59pm.

Assignment 5:  Due Monday, May 11, 2009, by 11:59pm.

Course Assignments
This course requires a number of assignments designed to introduce students to the concepts covered in class and in the text, as well as to practical applications of methods. Students will work indivdually and participate in group discussions on Angel.

Assignment 1: Folklore:  Choose one illustrated folktale - not a collection of folktales or fairytales, but a single tale published with illustrations, like a picture book.  This should not be an original story or spoof, but a folktale, fairytale, tall tale, legend - a traditional tale (see pages 46-68 in Horning).  It should have been published between 2000 and 2009, not earlier.  Give an evaluative review of at least 250 words, commenting on the text and the illustrations, including the media used for the artwork.  Things to include:  brief plot description, description of artwork, do the illustrations and text work together or not?  Are the text and/or illustrations true to the culture from which the folktale originated?  Is the source of the story documented?  Comment on the source note (see p. 52-56 of Horning), the book must have a source note.  Related competencies:  F, G, M, O

Assignment 2: Easy Readers and Transitional Fiction: Choose four easy readers to read and evaluate and four Transitional fiction chapter books to read and evaluate.  Write a book review of each of the eight books. Each book review should be at least 150 words in length, not counting the bibliographic information.  Look at reviews in School Library Journal or Horn Book for a model.  These are evaluative reviews, not just plot descriptions.  Evaluate the text and illustrations, commenting on the media used for the illustrations and how (or if) the text and illustrations work well together.  The Easy Readers should be aimed at the age group that reads Green Eggs and Ham, Frog and Toad, and Are You My Mother?  Make sure these are not picture books!  For the Transitional fiction chapter books, see the definition in Horning, p. 121-148, and the Lecture marked "Transitional Fiction."  If you are not sure, email me the title so I can okay it.  Related competencies:  F, G, M, O.

Assignment 3:  Children's Media:  Watch five television programs and/or DVDs intended for children ages 5-8.  Write a review of each program/movie, keeping in mind the intended audience.  Was the show well produced (high quality acting, music, sets, lighting, cinematography, costumes, etc.)?  Will the show add to a child's vocabulary or knowledge?  Is the show suitable for a library program or school classroom, or is it just a "timewaster?"  How might it fit into the primary grade curriculum?  List all your sources.  Related competencies:  A, C, F, G, M.

Assignment 4:  Informational/Nonfiction Books:  Choose a nonfiction/Dewey Decimal numbered subject area to do a "collection development" project.  This area should be somewhat limited; i.e. "Insects and Spiders," not animals, or "Baseball," not sports.  Other topics could include poetry from a specific culture (African-American, Latino, Asian-American, etc.), history from a certain time period (the American Revolution, Ancient Egypt), biographies of a specific focus (great African-Americans, Notable American Women), etc. Select ten items to suggest for purchase in that subject, for children grades Kindergarten to grade 3.  All of the items must be "in print," and at least one of the items must be a DVD, CDRom, CD, or other nonbook media you would purchase, and another should be a free website (not a paid database).  Compile these into a list, with each item having a one paragraph annotation that includes both what the item is about and why you chose it.  Write up a 2 or 3 page description of your selection tools, review journals, and other sources you used to select the items; which were most helpful?  What tools did you use to determine if an item is still in print?  How did you decide what to choose?  How does the topic relate to the curriculum?  What did the local library have or lack in the area?  Which items did you actually read or see?  How did you choose the media item?  How did you choose the website?  Be sure to give a list of all the sources you used.  Related competencies: F, G, J, M, O.

Assignment 5:  Readers' Advisory Notebook/Database:  Create an entry for 75 items (books and media but not websites) appropriate for children ages 5-8.  Each entry should include the bibliographic information, a brief plot description, your personal thoughts on the book (yes, you need to read each book), and mention of any books that are similar in style, content, theme or characters.  Also include any of the following items that you think might help you with readers' advisory activities in the future: subject/themes, awards, series information, character names/descriptions, programming/lesson ideas, anything else you'd like to add.  Complete project should include entries for all different book genres and reading levels discussed in class, and media.  Complete project should include several recent (1990 ) award winning titles (such as Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpre, or Caldecott Award picture books, Geisel or Siebert Award or Honor books, California Young Reader Medal nominees, etc.).  Entries must be formatted using Microsoft Word.  You may not use any of the books used in other assignments.  These are 75 other books or media items besides those. They can be a mix of easy readers, transitional fiction chapter books, folktales, picture books for older readers, DVDs, nonfiction, poetry, magazines, or audio recordings for our age group (but not websites).  List all your sources.  Related competencies:  A, C, F, G, M, O.

Course Grading
Class discussions are worth 20 percent of your grade; Assignments 1, 2, 3 are worth 10 percent each, Assignments 4 and 5 are worth 25 percent each. Assignments submitted late are not accepted.

Extra Credit
No extra credit options are available.

Late Work
Penalty for late or missed work – Missed work is an "F;" late work is ONLY allowed by agreement of the instructor BEFORE the due date; late work must be turned in no more than two days late and that is ONLY if the instructor has agreed ahead of the due date and you will be penalized one letter grade for being late.

Textbooks and Readings

Besides our textbooks, be sure to see the Lessons section on Angel for the assigned readings for the class, including the journal articles assigned for the class. You will also see a sequence of lectures, the weekly topic for the discussion question, and more extensive descriptions of the assignments.

You will also want to visit your local public library to find the children’s books you will
use for the assignments as well as reading book reviews in School Library Journal,
Horn Book, Booklist, and Publishers’ Weekly.

Required Textbooks:

  • Horning, K. T. (1997). From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books. HarperCollins. Available through Amazon: 006446167X. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

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;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — 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 the following semester. 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.

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

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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