HL670 Promoting Critical Thinking through Humane Literature

Course Description

Stories are one of the world's oldest teaching techniques and have long been used to communicate moral virtue and social norms. This course will review the connection between stories and growth of critical thinking skills which that lead to empathetic action towards people and animals. Topics include recognition of the elements of a humane-themed narrative, utilization of age and content appropriate literature across the curriculum, creation of critical thinking questions, and incorporation of literature into current curricula. 3 credits

Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • describe and discuss the history of narrative and implications for imparting moral virtue and creating critical thinking.
  • describe, recognize, and compose strategies and questions that provide opportunity for age-appropriate literature choices, best reading strategies, and critical thinking in literature-based learning.
  • compare literature containing animal themes or characters to identify anthropomorphic and humane-themed works and differentiate between realistic fiction and non-fiction literature.
  • critically evaluate and classify humane-themed literature according to grade level.
  • design lessons and practical units of study which demonstrate use of literature, discussion techniques, and question strategies to enhance critical thinking, engagement, and literacy.

Course Topics

  • recognition of the elements of a humane-themed narrative
  • utilization of age and content appropriate literature across the curriculum
  • creation of critical thinking questions
  • locating and incorporating literature into curricula

Course Materials

(Subject to Change)

  • Kilpatrick, W., Wolfe, G. Wolfe, S. M. (1994). Books that build character: A guide to teaching your child moral values through stories. Touchtone. New York, NY.
  • Norton, D (1995). Through the eyes of a child: An introduction to children's literature. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.
  • Tompkins, G., Hoskisson, K. (1995) Language arts: Content and teaching strategies (3rd edit). Merrill. Englewood Cliffs, NJ.