Emergent Literacy in the Elementary Classroom, Fall 2019

Course Number: EDU 5620 C07
Instructor: Melissa Knipes
Location: Castleton University, Stafford Academic Center Room 139, & Online
Dates and Times: October 5-December 13, 2019. October 5 and November 9, 2019 at Castleton University from 9:00-3:00 with the remainder in an online environment.
Credits: 3 graduate credits
Tuition: $975

Note: Course payment of $975 by check or purchase order, payable to Castleton University, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form and the purchase order can be uploaded to the registration form. If paying by check, please mail the check to: Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05735. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

Course Description

This course will examine the development of literacy skills in early childhood from PreK through grade 3. The areas of focus will include language development, listening, speaking, reading, and writing to enhance literacy growth. An emphasis will be on current theories, teaching methods, assessment tools, intervention strategies and parent involvement.


Audience: Elementary Teachers, Literacy Interventionists, Reading Specialists, Special Education Teachers

Course Goals & Objectives

 Course Goals:

  1. Students will evaluate curriculum as it relates to early literacy development.
  2. Students will collaborate on appropriate teaching methods for PreK through grade 3 students.

Course Objectives:

  1. Create a literacy rich environment with accessible materials and varied experiences.
  2. Employ effective strategies to support emergent readers and writers.
  3. Explain how language and literacy are intertwined.
  4. Describe the role of phonological, phonemic awareness and phonics.
  5. Describe the value of reading aloud to children and connecting with parents.
  6. Assess achievement frequently, match instructional strategies and use multiple formats for evaluating a student’s reading behavior.

Required Readings/Texts:

Morrow (2015) Literacy Development in the Early Years. Pearson Allyn and Bacon, MA.

Cunningham (2017) Phonics They Use: Words for Reading and Writing. Pearson Allyn and Bacon, MA.

Other Suggested Readings/Texts:

Moats (2010) Speech to Print: Language Essentials for Teachers. Brookes Publishing, MD.

Wood (2018) Yardsticks, Children in the Classroom Ages 4-14. NEFC, MA.


  1. Students will read each required text. Weekly responses will focus on the assigned readings. Students will complete an online response by sharing three learning points in a group discussion using Moodle.
  2. Students will create two phonics activities and present one to the class at the November meeting. An outline will be provided.
  3. Students will submit four article summaries that connect to emergent literacy and chapter topics. Students are encouraged to use the Internet, newspapers and professional journals for this project. Each summary should be one complete page. Please attach a copy/link of the article to the summary. An outline will be provided.


  1. Students will create two interactive read aloud lessons using a fiction and nonfiction children’s book. They will read the book, incorporate open-ended questions with a turn and talk procedure and plan a follow-up activity to the book. Students will present one read aloud at the November meeting. An outline will be provided.
  2. Students will choose an emergent learner and administer an assessment that has been presented in class. They will evaluate the data of the assessment and develop an instructional plan for the emergent learner. An outline will be provided.

For additional course information

Melissa Knipes
(802) 775-3838

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!