This course surveys literature available to children around the world, starting with folk and fairy tales and moving to modern novels. The course will consider cultural assumptions about childhood and differences among the literatures and countries. Special consideration will be given to illustration and translation of literature into English.
- ENG 101: English Composition 1
- ENG 102: English Composition 2
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:
- Read novels and short stories carefully, with understanding, attention to details, tone, audience, cultural assumptions, both of his/her own culture and at least three other cultures.
- Find pleasure in reading.
- Respond to prompts in written English that is clear and mechanically sound. Answers will be elaborated with evidence from the readings.
- Draw conclusions from the readings.
- Reflect on and revise previous assumptions about children, literature, other cultures.
- Show evidence of changes in values and assumptions about literature, based on literature read from other cultures.
- Understand the different expectations of different audiences of readers-children vs. adolescents vs. adults.
- Access and evaluate literature-related websites using an evaluative rubric.
- Recognize the role of editing in the literature read and in his/her own writing.
- Understand cultural, ethnic, and national differences.
- Understand cultural, ethnic, and national similarities.
General Education Outcomes (GEOs)
Course Activities and Grading
Participation in Weekly Discussion Boards
Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore
- Aardema, Verna. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears. Penguin Random House Llc, 1975. ISBN-10: 0-14-054905-6 or ISBN-13: 978-0-14-054905-8
- Erdrich, Louise. Birchbark House. Hachette Book Group USA, 1999. ISBN-10: 0-7868-1454-3 or ISBN-13: 978-0-7868-1454-1
- Haley, Gail E. Story, a Story: An African Tale. Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1970. ISBN-10: 0-689-71201-4 or ISBN-13: 978-0-689-71201-2
- Harris. Complete Tales of Uncle Remus. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002. ISBN-10: 0-618-15429-9 or ISBN-13: 978-0-618-15429-6
- Macaulay, David. Mosque. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003. ISBN-10: 0-547-01547-X or ISBN-13: 978-0-547-01547-7
- Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. Scholastic, Inc., 1997. ISBN-10: 0-590-35342-X or ISBN-13: 978-0-590-35342-7
- Singer, Isaac Bahevis. Stories for Children. MacMillan Higher Education, 1984. ISBN-10: 0-374-46489-8 or ISBN-13: 978-0-374-46489-9
- Steptoe, John L. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale. HarperCollins Publishers, 1987. ISBN-10: 0-688-04045-4 or ISBN-13: 978-0-688-04045-1
Additional Required Textbook (Not available through bookstore)
The following book will need to be found through Amazon or a local library.
- Phelps, Ethel Johnston. Tatterhood. Perseus Distribution, 2016. ISBN-10: 1-55861-929-1 or ISBN-13: 978-1-55861-929-6
PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE TWO LESSONS DUE EACH WEEK, THURSDAYS AND SUNDAYS. Specific course due dates are listed separately in the course.
|Week||SLOs||Readings and Exercises||Assignments|
Lesson 1: Introduction to the Course; The Bible as Children's Reading
Introduction to the class. Please post an introduction of yourself to the class so we can all get to know each other. This is also the time to order books for the future and to get started on the first lesson.
For this week: Get a Bible, preferably one in a modern translation [not King James-usually the title page or the spine of the book will tell what the translation is].
Link and audio available in the course.
Lesson 2: The Brothers Grimm and the German Fairy Tale
The Brothers Grimm-folktales from Germany:
Link and audio available in the course.
Lesson 3: Charles Perrault and the French fairy Tale
Charles Perrault-tales from France: Read all eight stories of Perrault's, all available in good English translation. Here is a site that will get you the tales you need for this lesson.
Link and audio available in the course.
Lesson 4: Women in Fairy Tales: Tatterhood
Tatterhood, ed. Ethel Johnston
Reminder: This is a hard book to find. Start looking early! There is one copy available at openlibrary.
Lesson 5: Hyphenated Americans : Stories from Jewish Americans and Mexican Americans
Lesson 6: Hyphenated Americans, Part II: African-American Stories and Uncle Remus
Lesson 7: Native American Literature: Louise Erdrich, The Birchbark House and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hiawatha
Lesson 8: African Literature for Children and the Picturebook
Lesson 9: Brazil and South America
2. Other Brazilian Folktales - available by link in the course
3. Translated by Monica Mansoldo-Silva, the tales of Monteiro Lobato. Available in course documents
Lesson 10: Literature from the Far East: Mulan, Momotaro, and Walt Disney
Lesson 11: Literature about the Middle East
Before Islam, Middle-Eastern folktales
Links in the course
The basic, authentic stories of Islam:
2. The Muhammad story, located in Course Documents, left column.
Two informational books; authors and/or books recognized by the Middle East Book Awards
4. Rukhsana Khan, The Big Red Lollipop, link in the course
Lesson 12: Australian Literature for children
Learning Unit 13: British Literature? Global Literature? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
By the end of Week 8:
Final exams are due back by 11:59 pm (ET)
What former students have said about this course:
"When you begin this class plan to enjoy the stories but always look at why the stories are similar or different than the other ones that we have read. It might be helpful to keep a running list of differences and similarities. If I were to take this course again I would take better notes throughout the course. I would try to look at the course more globally instead of looking at one assignment at a time."
About the books and the reading, from former students, in their words:
"Make sure you can access the required books either from your local library or can purchase them from Amazon.com or halfprice.com."
"Get your books early; some are more difficult than others to find in a library and you may need to order them for purchase. There are multiple warnings in the lecture material and several times during the announcements. Heed the warnings. In addition, the books are not expensive."
"Collect the books ahead of time. It was much easier and relaxing, reading them in bed, couch, waiting for your appointment, or when you take a break from work. That’s what I did and it worked great. Good luck."
"The reading is very interesting and provocative. None of it is particularly hard to understand, but there is much to be learned from it. This course will expose you to children’s literature from different cultures. Most of Professor MacDonald’s questions are not simple questions you can answer by rote. They will require you to think, analyze and reflect on the readings. You will be called upon to look for similarities and differences between cultures, to evaluate literature, look at social issues such as censorship, and to examine your own viewpoints, opinions and philosophies."
"The most important thing I have learned it to enjoy reading again. I was not looking forward to the stress of having to read a book in a very short period but found out that the reading actually relaxed me, and most of all entertained me. I caught myself telling my husband and best friend about the stories I had read. I bought a copy of The Birchbark House and gave it to my friend to read."
"I am now sharing books with my twelve-year old daughter and we are discussing them as a family. I will admit that I had no interest in reading any Harry Potter book prior to this course. Now that I have read the first book, I am hooked and have already purchased the second book to read."
COSC Accessibility Statement
Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.
COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources
Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.