RDGED 704 Young Adult (YA) Literature in the Reading Program (grades 6-12)

Online Course 3 semester hours graduate credit
Instructor: Sharron McElmeel
Summer: RDGED 704 960 June 6 - August 12, 2016
Fall: RDGED 704 900 September 12 - November 18, 2016

Tuition, Due Dates, and Registration

Who Should Enroll

  • Middle and high school English teachers
  • School library media specialists
  • Talented and gifted teachers
  • Special education teachers
  • Classroom teachers
  • Reading teachers
  • Reading interventionists
  • Reading specialists

You Will Learn

This course focuses on the following key areas in the national reading standards including

  • the role of young adult literature in relation to their culture and development and to build knowledge toward developing a curriculum that promotes “a progressive development of reading comprehension
  • suggestions for “a diverse array of contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects
  • inclusion of classic myths and stories from around the world
  • reading as a means of developing vocabularies and conventions of language
  • integration of technology with literature related activities

This is one of the required courses for individuals pursuing reading teacher certification, WI 316

This course is an approved elective in the Master of Science in Education online degree program.

Meet your goals for

  • professional development/continuing education
  • license renewal
  • elective graduate credit in the Master of Science in Education online degree program
  • reading teacher certification
  • a refresher course
  • transfer the credit to another university
  • transfer credit for school library media specialist or reading teacher certification


Designing strategies to build an appreciation of literature, motivating life-long readers, and using literature to encourage critical thinking across the curriculum.  

Topics include the nature of teenage readers, genres of young adult literature, and its use in classroom curriculum including integration of Common Core State Standards (CCSS).


E-textbooks will be provided when you login to the course. You may open the e-book to read online from your laptop or desktop. The e-textbook software is compatible with an iPad, Kindle Fire or fully internet capable device. It is not compatible with a Kindle Reader.

  1. McElmeel, S., Loertscher, D. V., & Wrenn- Estes, B. (2015). Young Adult Literature and Multimedia: A Quick Guide, 10th Edition. Salt Lake City: Learning Commons Press/Hi Willow Research and Publishing.
    ISBN: 1-933170-81-6 PDF digital edition.

  2. McElmeel, Sharron L. (2013). The Best Teen Reads (8th ed.). Salt Lake City: Learning Commons Press/Hi Willow Research and Publishing.
    ISBN 978-1-933170-71-8

In addition to the required textbooks, participants will be asked to read widely in the area of young adult literature. 

Specific titles will not be required, but readings on each topic or genre will be required to successfully participate in the class discussion.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Articulate a definition of young adult literature in relation to the total body of literature

  2. Analyze the role of young adult literature in the development of a young adult's world view and the development of a role as a life-long reader.

  3. Summarize elements of and reading materials representing pop culture and how those elements affect teen reading interests.

  4. Evaluate fiction and informational books in various genres and areas of interest.

  5. Select an appropriate title for a specific audience and prepare a written plan for a book talk for that book.

  6. Survey books used in the classroom and library and assess goals for creating a climate of understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and ethnic heritages.

  7. Develop activities for motivating young adults to read and discuss books critically, for example, book discussions, literary circles, and so forth.

  8. Analyze literary elements -- for example content, plot, characterization, dialog, and point of view -- in a story and apply critical judgments to selected literature.

  9. Create a literature unit demonstrating an understanding of the body of contemporary young adult literature and best practices for using literature with preteen and teenage readers.

  10. Brainstorm ideas and plan activities to build a literacy awareness and supportive literacy environment to implement in the community; to support reading, diversity, and build a total literacy-focused community.

Content Outline

  1. Getting Acquainted
  2. Investigating Young Adult Literature Resources
  3. Out of Childhood and into the World of Teen/ Pop culture
  4. Getting to Know Teen Literature
  5. Booktalking: Motivating Young Adults to READ
  6. Adult Books taken by Young Adults/Picture Books for Young Adults
  7. Literacy Events List and Planning
  8. Multicultural and Ethnic Diversity and Censorship
  9. Creating Literature Connections (implementing standards)

Alignment with Teaching Standards

Course objectives are aligned with the following Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure (WI DPI) 1, 4, 7

No travel to campus required.

Participate from your home or work computer during hours that are flexible and convenient for your work and family schedule and responsibilities.

The class is highly interactive with a significant discussion component. 

All discussion postings, projects, and assignments will be submitted via the course discussion board and Dropbox. 

Activities are conducted according to a schedule with specific due dates each week; there are no required "live" chat sessions.

This is not a self-paced course.

Sign Up Soon!

Register online

The School of Education reserves the right to cancel classes that do not meet minimum enrollment requirements.

For More Information

Request Information Online
Contact Us: School of Education
Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone: 715-232-2693
Browse Courses

Register Now button

Request More Information

First Name

Last Name  



Our Students Say. . .


"...a fabulous class! Hands down the best class I have taken, including those in my library master's program! Sharron is a rock star instructor and was able to draw out some great discussions among class members and help us think about the importance of helping young people become readers!"
~Sue Knopp, Library Technology Educator, Doherty High School, Colorado Springs


"This class truly rejuvenated me! I have many new ideas, new authors, and even a new (to me!) genre to use in the classroom. Out of the 18 credits I have taken in the last four years this has (by far) been the most well-organized, most fun, and most valuable to me as an educator. "
~ Juliet Corbett, Middle School Language Arts (5-8), Art, and Physical Science Teacher, Park Falls, Wisconsin


"I appreciated being able to have real conversations about race, class, book banning, censorship, diversity, etc... Your class epitomizes that literacy can bring us together."
 ~ Wendy Smith, Academic Literacy Coach, Milwaukee, Wisconsin


"YA Literature allows you to build a solid classroom library that includes a variety of genres and styles to meet the interest of every type of reader. "
~ Carolyn Mertz, Menomonie Middle School, Menomonie, Wisconsin


"The most valuable things I gained through the course were new book titles, new ideas and new perspectives – this has probably been the most useful class I've ever taken! I also enjoyed the online format."
- Wendy K. Baldwin, M.A. English degree student, Nashville, Tennessee 


"My students will benefit (even more than me) from all of this "exploration" as I will be booktalking all of these books within the next month."
~ Evelyn Campbell, Middle School - Language Arts and World Geography Teacher, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Contact Us

School of Education
Email: Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone: 715-232-2693



Read More