Course details

W 14, W 15, Su 15, Su 16, Sp 17
Course number
READ 590
Course title
Children's Literature, pK-5
Course description

This course is designed for learners to interact with a wide variety of children’s literature that includes a representation of ethnic and cultural diversity. In so doing, learners will share books and book related experiences with children. Learners will focus on current and traditional works as well as authors and illustrators of books for children at the early childhood and elementary level. In addition, learners will explore instructional strategies for using literature to teach reading and content subjects in the classroom.

Rebecca Olien
Instructor bio

 Rebecca Olien, MET, taught kindergarten and fourth grade in the classroom for over 20 years and is currently an education specialist and instructional designer. She is the author of over 50 books for children and teachers, including the design of interactive eBooks with National Science Teachers Association.  She designs curriculum and instructional materials for a variety of publishers, as well as  teaches online courses for several universities. She earned her BS at Michigan State, her MA at the University of Wisconsin. and her MET at Boise State.


There are no required prerequisites for this course. However, learners are assumed to be teachers with access to early childhood or elementary-level students.


2.3 Use a wide range of curriculum materials in effective reading instruction for learners at different stages of reading and writing development and from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
4.1 Use students’ interests, reading abilities, and backgrounds as foundations for the reading and writing program.
4.2 Use a large supply of books, technology-based information, and non-print materials representing multiple levels, broad interests, and cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
4.3 Model reading and writing enthusiastically as valued lifelong activities.

Practical applications

Learners will increase their understanding of all genres and examine criteria to evaluate literature and develop ideas to promote the use of it in the classroom and for recreation. An emphasis will be placed on searching for books that can play significant roles in the lives of children.

Time commitment

Students should expect to spend 9 hours per week for 10 weeks in course-related activities (e.g., reading the text and course materials, posting to discussion forums, completing written reports/papers and assignments). This course is online and does not require in-person attendance. Assignments are completed on the learner’s time schedule and are due as posted.


A textbook is required for this course. Please check with SOU’s ReadOregon program.

Historical offerings

Fall 2003, 2006, 2007
Winter 2004, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2014
Summer 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013