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EDUCATION 415 Language Arts & Social Studies Syllabus

Dr. Cheryl Edwards

Fall Semester 2007

Office: TEC 214                                   E-mail: cedwards@selu.edu           

Telephone Numbers: 985-549-5248, 225-802-0449, & 225-695-3328

Office Hours: Thursday and Friday, noon-4:00, and by appointment 

EDUC 415 Elementary Curriculum and Instruction is a nine-hour integrated course that includes language arts, music, science, and social studies, as related to the needs of elementary school students.  Teaching strategies in the curricular areas will be explored and refined through working with students in a school environment during field experiences.  Primary emphasis of this block is future teachers' performance in working effectively with children and fostering their academic achievement.  Evaluation techniques are reviewed and applied in the experiences gained in this block.  Kinesiology 331 must be taken concurrently.   


Sunal, C.S. & Haas, M.E. (2005). Social studies for the elementary and middle grades: A   constructivist approach (2nd ed). Boston: Pearson.

Thompkins, G.E. (2005). Language Arts: Patterns of Practice  (6t ed.).  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall. 

Abbott, E. (1983). Flatland: A romance of many dimensions. New York: Harper Collins

Note: This book is available from Southeastern’s bookstore, but another edition may be purchased or any edition can be borrowed from a library. 

Select a pamphlet or other document that identifies, explains, and provides examples of Bloom’s Taxonomy.  The taxonomy levels to be included are knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. 

Select any writers’ resource/reference book on grammar, punctuation, and other conventions of writing may be used for this course. 

Hacker, D. (1995).  A writer’s reference. Boston: Bedford 

Hopper, V.F., Gale, C., Foote, R.C., & Griffith, B.W.  (1997).  A pocket guide to correct grammar (3rd ed.).  Happauge, New York: Barron’s Educational Services.

Strausser, J. (2001). Painless writing. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series.

Materials: notebook; pocket folder; Louisiana Content Standards, GLEs for Language Arts and Social Studies, Comprehensive Curriculum for Language Arts and Social Studies; and NCSS Standards  

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the candidate will:

1.      work cooperatively in groups. [SM, CK]

2.      speak and write standard English. [PS, SM, CK]

3.      use technology in the production of assignments and teaching, as applicable. [PS, KL, SM, T]

4.      demonstrate knowledge of the writing process and implement a process approach to writing in elementary classrooms. [PS, KL, SM, CK]

5.      develop and teach two thematic units. [PS, KL, SM, CK, T, D]

6.      infuse language arts into science and social studies lessons. [PS, KL, SM, CK]

7.      employ effective teaching methods to assist elementary students in the development of language arts and social studies concepts, skills, and strategies. [PS, KL, SM, CK, T]

8.      involve elementary students in cooperative learning situations. [KL, SM, D]

9.      participate in service-learning and professional development activities. [SM, CK, D]

10.  conduct formal and informal assessments of elementary students’ work. [PS, KL, SM, CK, D] 

Class Requirements

  1. Class Participation (25 pts.): Candidates are expected to participate in all class discussions and activities and complete assignments in a timely manner.  Candidates should complete assigned readings and be prepared to discuss scheduled topics in class.  Points will be awarded for engagement in class activities throughout the entire class period.
  2. Quizzes (Optional Assignment: up to 50 pts.): Quizzes will be based on readings, classroom activities, and other assignments.  Be prepared for quizzes with or without notification.
  3. Develop two group thematic units integrating language arts, music, science, and social studies.  The lessons will be based on Louisiana Content Standards.  Before a lesson is taught, professors must approve it. Any changes must also be approved. (Points are earned for the practicum grades.)
  4. Oral History Interview and Paper (50 pts.): Choose one of the following options:

(a) a woman who was an adult during World War II --  Interview the woman and write a 2-8 page story about her experiences during that period.

(b)  a person who was a teacher before 1960 -- Interview the person and write a 2-8 page story about his or her career as a teacher.

(c) a man or woman who served in the armed forces during World War II—Interview the person and write a 2-8 page story about his or her experiences during the war.

(d) a person who, as an adult, experienced a significant event or era in American history, prior to 1970.  Interview the person and write a 2-8 page story about his or her experiences during that period or event.  Prior approval from Dr. Edwards is required for this option.

  1. Service-Learning & Professional Development (25 pts.):  Complete 5 actual hours of service-learning and participate in at least three professional development activities for a minimum of 10 actual hours.  The service-learning and professional development activities (15 hours total) must benefit you in the development of your effectiveness and professionalism in teaching.  Complete a service-learning/professional development form for each activity.  If you participate in two professional development activities, for instance, you would complete a form for each activity.  (Note: Candidates can also earn 25 points for Dr. McCormick’s section of the course.)
  2. Literature Circles (50 points):  Read Flatland and participate in a Literature Circle (group) of five EDUC 415 candidates.  Each group will also complete a project of its choice to share with the class.
  3. Elementary Student Books (25 pts.):  Each teaching team for Practicum I will create one or more books of students’ writing.  Each group may choose to create one class book of their students’ writing, one book for each group of students in their class, or individual books for each student in the class.  The books must be based on a unit-related topic. Quizzes and/or examinations will include the writing process and teaching and assessing student writing.
  4. Spelling Folder/Activity-Strategy Sheet (25 pts.): Create a spelling folder for teaching spelling.  Select a strategy for teaching spelling and create or identify an activity for teaching the strategy. Submit the completed spelling folder and class copies of the sheet stating and explaining the strategy and the activity. Quizzes and/or examinations will include the writing process and teaching and assessing student writing.
  5. Mid-term Exam (100 pts.) and Final Exam (100 pts.).

TOTAL POINTS for Language Arts/Social Studies: 425 

Refer to the General Syllabus for the grading scale and course notices. 


§         Examinations, Assignments, Field Experiences: If an emergency arises, it is the candidate’s responsibility to contact the professor ASAP.  If an assignment is late one calendar day, 25% of the possible points will be deducted.  If an assignment is late two calendar days, 50% of the possible points will be deducted. A candidate will receive no points for an assignment submitted more than two calendar days late.  There are deductions for writing errors on all written work.  The minimum amount deducted for one minor error is one point (e.g., missing comma, misspelled word, missing or incorrect use of an apostrophe, incorrect verb usage, etc.). There also will be deductions of from 1-5 points for each error in composition, structure, formatting and content. All citations and references must be in APA format (5th edition).  Expectations for written assignments also apply to responses to questions on Discussion Board and e-mails. Writing assistance is available at Southeastern's Writing Center (D. Vickers Hall).  There are scheduled times for the lab and appointments can be made. A professor may also refer a candidate to the Teacher Development Center for assistance with writing and/or other areas for improvement.

§         Make-up examinations can be given if an emergency arises, but documentation from an official source (e.g., attending physician) is required, and a make-up examination will not be given unless prior arrangements have been made with the professor.

§         No extra credit work will be given.

§         Refer to the General Syllabus for other notices that apply to the course requirements for Dr. Edwards. 




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