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CASD Department | Brooklyn College Library

CASD 1718 Oral Interpretation of Children’s Literature: Syllabus

OER for Prof. Blyschak

Important Dates

August 25: First day of Fall 2021 classes
August 31: Last day to add a course
September 3 to September 8: No class
September 15 to September 16: No class
December 13: Last day to withdraw from a course with a “W” grade
December 14: Reading Day
December 15: Final Examinations Begin
December 21: Final Examinations End / End of Fall Semester

Here is the link to the full Fall 2021 academic calendar

Learning Objectives

  • To understand genres of children’s literature across cultures
  • To reflect on oral interpreters' performance/storytelling techniques (i.e., evaluate strengths & weaknesses)
  • To effectively employ performance/storytelling techniques (e.g., vocally and gesturally) to interpret and convey themes, emotions/feelings of characters, and create memorable experiences for audiences
  • To provide textual evidence/rationale for performance techniques within a text through literary analysis
  • To qualitatively evaluate children’s literature for use across contexts and carry them over to everyday life (e.g., in the classroom)
  • To leverage the online context (e.g., Zoom platform) as a performer
  • To gain a deeper understanding of language from an aesthetic perspective

Course and Online Classroom Requirements

  • Online meetings will be held on the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra platform unless announced otherwise (BB Collaborate can be found on the “Tools” section of our BB course page)
  • Read the assigned material before online class meetings, come prepared to discuss it and be complete quizzes.
  • Participation will be impacted if you are not present. Please notify me in advance if you will be absent due to illness, religious beliefs or other emergencies via email and provide written documentation if you are absent for more than two class meetings in a row.
  • Students will be assigned performance dates with a random selection process. You are responsible for confirming your presentation slots (and communicating with partners, if applicable).
  • On-camera Interpretive Readings/Presentations are incorporated into this course for your learning experience, but are optional and an alternative writing assignment can always be arranged in place of the interpretive reading, if for any personal reason you can not turn on your camera to present. However, in this case your Presentation Plan will still be due before class.
  • You must have regular access to your email account and Blackboard in order to receive important messages from me. Please let me know of any technical issues in advance and we can surely work to resolve them.

Asynchronous Learning Material

  • Additional learning material (article, excerpt, video, etc.) may be provided once a week via Blackboard with specific instructions to follow for posting on discussion boards, responding to your fellow classmates, and completing comprehension activities or quizzes. The asynchronous content will be curated not only to supplement what we are learning and practicing in class but to also prepare you for live performing/storytelling.

Performance Assignments

  • You will be asked to do a total of 2 presentations. The goal of the performance assignments is to both work on performance and presentation skills but also to introduce the class to a range of different materials. More information about Book Choice requirements to be announced.
  • Please note that I grade your presentations based on your own starting abilities and not in comparison to your classmates

Written Assignments

  • All papers must be typed in: Times New Roman size 12; paginated; one inch margins; include your name, course title, and the date
  • Late assignments will have an appropriate letter deduction. Must be submitted via Turnitin by the due date. No papers will be accepted over GoogleDocs/email.

CUNY Policies

The Center for Student Disability Services is working remotely at this time.  Please email them at for assistance.

Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations.  The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary.

Please provide me with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with me as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email

Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism, is unacceptable at Brooklyn College. Cheating is any misrepresentation in academic work. Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s work, words, or ideas as your own. Students should consult the Brooklyn College Student Handbook for a fuller, more specific discussion of related academic integrity standards.

Academic dishonesty is punishable by failure of the “…test, examination, term paper or other assignment on which cheating occurred” (Faculty Council, May 18, 1954).

In addition, disciplinary proceedings in cases of academic dishonesty may result in penalties of admonition, warning, censure, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, complaint to civil authorities, or ejection (Adopted by Policy Council, May 8, 1991).

NOTE: If you have a question about how to cite correctly ask your teacher BEFORE submitting your work.

  • The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism.
  • Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both.
  • View complete text of CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation.
  • If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member must report the violation.
  • Please read the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin or Graduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations of the College.

Bereavement Policy:

  • Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure. The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice). Contact Email:
  • Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  •  As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  • Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  • Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Bereavement Procedure:

  • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
  • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
  • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
  • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:

  • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
  • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
  • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
  • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
  • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
  • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
  •  Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.
  • The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County

Grading Rubric

  1. Class Participation (includes synchronous and asynchronous class discussions, quizzes/activities): 25%
  2. Midterm Paper Topic TBA: 20%
  3. Final Paper Topic TBA: 25%
  4. Video Performances (includes Performance Outline for each) (2 total): 30%


Grades:  Will be assigned as follows:

Grades Average (%)
A 93-100
A- 90-92
B+ 87-89
B 83-86
B- 80-82
C+ 77-79
C 73-76
C- 70-72
D+ 67-69
D 65-66
F Below 65

Print Syllabus

Course Schedule

Topic Week 1:

  • Course Introduction
  • Syllabus Overview
  • Student Introductions & Learning Objectives
  • Jamboard Intro
  • Oral Interpretation/Storytelling rubric

Topic Week 2:

  • What is Children’s Literature?
  • Art/Aesthetics Enhancing Performance: Picture Books
  • Effective Practices for Reading Aloud


Topic Week 3:

  • Breathing Techniques
  • Art/Aesthetics Enhancing Performance: Picture Books

Topic Week 4:

  • Movement & Dramatization
  • Choose Preschool-Kindergarten Level Book to rehearse (ages 3-5) (4-6 min per presentation)
  • "Think-Alouds"


Topic Week 5:

  • Storytelling techniques
  • Art/Aesthetics Enhancing Performance: Picture Books
  • Incorporating "Think-Aloud" Strategies
  • Preschool-Kindergarten (ages 3-5) or Early Primary (ages 6-7) Level Book Rehearsal


Topic Week 6:

  • In-Class Article Discussion Activity


Topic Week 7:

  • Performance of Poetry
  • Storytelling techniques
  • Midterm Paper Topic Announced



Topic Week 8:

  • Poetry
  • Fairy Tales
  • Performance Techniques



Topic Week 9:

  • Fairy Tales
  • Modern Fantasy
  • Performance Techniques

Week 9 Assignment:

Topic Week 10:

  • Historical Fiction
  • Traditional Literature
  • Article Discussion



Topic Week 11:

  • Rehearsal
  • Nonfiction Books
  • Strategies to improve children’s retention of factual information while reading aloud & discussing



Topic Week 12:

  • Biographical Books
  • Biographical Storytelling Techniques
  • What makes some speakers’ stories unforgettable? (i.e.,TEDx talks)

Topic Week 13:

  • Children’s Literature in the Classroom Context
  • Supplemental teaching materials for literature
  • Final Paper Topic Announced

Week 13 Assignment:

Asynchronous Participation Due

Topic Week 14:

  • Contemporary Realistic Fiction
  • Cross-Cultural Book Choice Due: Choose a Middle Elementary (ages 8-9) or Later Elementary (ages 10-11) Cross-Cultural work of literature to present on 5/19 (4 min per presentation)
  • Goals going forward

Week 15 Assignment:

  • Final Paper Due
  • Final Presentation Due: Choose a Cross-Cultural Folktale or Middle Elementary (ages 8-9) or Later Elementary (ages 10-11) book to present on 12/2 and 12/9 (4 min per presentation)