LIBR 263-10
Materials for Children Ages 5-8
Spring 2012 Greensheet

Penny Peck

Greensheet Links
Textbooks and Readings
Course Requirements
iSchool eBookstore

This course will be available on D2L on Monday, January 23, 2012.  You will be enrolled into the site automatically. I will send more information about course access as we approach this date through MySJSU.

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:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the external (societal)  and internal (developmental) forces which influence children’s choices of recreational and informational sources and materials
  2. 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
  3. 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, multi-cultural concerns, and meeting the informational and recreational needs of this age group
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of learning to read and how to work with parents, caregivers, and teachers in the teaching of reading
  5. Create an appropriate materials collection for this age group, including print and nonprint materials
  6. Assist parents and caregivers with questions about appropriate materials for their children

LIBR 263 supports the following SLIS Core Competencies:

  • D. apply the fundamental principles of planning, management and marketing/advocacy 
  • F. use the basic concepts and principles related to the creation, evaluation, selection, acquisition, preservation and organization of specific items or collections of information 
  • I.use service concepts, principles and techniques that facilitate information access, relevance, and accuracy for individuals or groups of users
  • M. demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for group work, collaborations and professional level presentations

Course Requirements

Course Format
This is a web-based course. All of our interaction will take place on the SLIS D2L site. Course materials will be available primarily through the Content section on our D2L site, 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 a D2L 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 dates listed under each discussion forum.  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 Discussion Forum is Friday, May 11, 2012.  Related competencies:  I, M. Related Course Objectives: 1, 4, 6.

All assignments should be a Word file posted to the D2L site in the assignment dropbox.  All assignments must use APA format for sources, and all assignments MUST have sources to demonstrate that research was done. 

  • Assignment 1:  Due Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 by 11:59pm. 
  • Assignment 2:  Due Monday, March 19, 2012, by 11:59pm. 
  • Assignment 3: Due Monday, April 9, 2012, by 11:59pm.
  • Assignment 4:  Due: Monday, April 30, 2012, by 11:59pm.
  • Assignment 5:  Due Monday, May 14, 2012 by 11:59pm.

Course Assignments

  • Assignment 1: Folklore: 
    Choose three illustrated folktales – not a collection of folktales or fairytales, but three single tales published with illustrations, similar to the format of a picture book.  Each book should not be an original story, but a folktale, fairytale, tall tale, legend – a traditional tale (see pages 48-67 in Horning).  It should have been published between 2000 and 2012, 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 (including media used and artistic style), 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. 53-57 of Horning).  Related competencies: F, M.  Related objectives: 2.
  • 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.  Give full 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 the 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, or Are You My Mother? Make sure these are not picture books (see Chapter 4 in Peck’s Readers’ Advisory for Children and Tweens).  For the Transitional fiction chapter books, see the definition in Horning’s From Cover to Cover, pages 132-137, or Chapter 5 in Peck’s Readers’ Advisory for Children and Tweens, and the Lecture marked “Transitional Fiction.” If you are not sure, email me the title so I can okay it. Related competencies: F, I. Related objectives: 4.
  • 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?  How (in what way, what craft relates, what books relate) could it be used in a library program?  List important information for each DVD such as actors featured, original production dates, network on which it aired, is it based on a book? List all your sources.  Related competencies: F, I. Related objectives: 1, 3.
  • 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 on that subject, for children grades Kindergarten through grade 3.  All of the items must be “in print,” and at least one of the ten items should be a DVD, CD or other non-book media you would purchase, and one other should be a website.  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 the selection tools, review journals, and other sources you used to select the books; which were most helpful?  What tool(s) 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 this 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: D, I. Related objectives: 2, 3, 6.

  • 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 other books that are similar in style, content, theme or characters. Also include any of the following items that you think might help you with reader's advisory activities in the future:
    • Subjects/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 your other assignments.  These are 75 other books or media 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: D, F, M. Related objectives: 5.

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

Be sure to see the Contents area on our D2L course 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. (2010). From cover to cover: Evaluating and reviewing children's books (Rev. ed.). HarperCollins. Available through Amazon: 0060777575 arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Peck, P. (2010). Readers' Advisory for Children and 'Tweens Libraries Unlimited. Available through Amazon: 1598843877. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain
  • Wolf, M. (2008). Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain. Harper Perennial. (Paperback) Available through Amazon: 0060933844. 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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