Teaching Young Adult Books

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

Online Course
Instructor: Sharron McElmeel 
3 semester hours graduate credit 

Fall: September 16 - November 22, 2019
Tuition: $452 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,356 per course)
Fall Tuition Due - October 9, 2019

If you need a copy of the syllabus for your employer to approve enrollment in the class, email: Online Professional Development or call 715-642-0209.

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.
  • the 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.
  • determination of the reading interests, needs, and abilities of children.
  • reading, listening and viewing guidance in the classroom, in school and public libraries.
  • recent developments in contemporary literature for young adults.
  • contemporary literature published within the past five years, with emphasis on relating to curriculum, reading motivation, and connecting to previously published (and readily available) classic/popular titles.

Course Description

Encourage critical thinking in teenage readers.  Explore genres of young adult books. and their use in classroom curriculum. Create and share opportunities for community involvement in building a literacy environment and design lesson plans and classroom activities to improve reading comprehension and meet the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

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
  • Title I reading teachers

Enroll in this course to meet your goals for

  • professional development
  • license renewal
  • continuing education refresher course
  • graduate credits/electives
  • transfer the credit to another university or reading certification program
  • refresher course
  • reading teacher certification

This is one of the required courses for individuals pursuing reading teacher certification, Wisconsin #1316

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

How do I register?

Complete the Online Registration Form.

If you need a copy of the syllabus for your employer to approve enrollment in the class, email: Online Professional Development or call 715-642-0209.

When is the registration deadline?

Reserve your spot now. This program is very popular, and courses fill well before the start date. This course is offered three times each year (spring, summer, and fall).

Withdrawal and Refund Policy


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. (2017). The Best Teen Reads (9th ed.). Salt Lake City: Learning Commons Press/Hi Willow Research and Publishing.
    ISBN  978-1-933170-83-2

In addition to the required textbooks, participants will be asked to read widely in the area of young adult literature.  Focus is on contemporary literature published within the past five years.

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

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

No travel to campus - 100% Online
  • Participate 24/7 from your home or work computer during hours that are best for your work and family schedule.
  • 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 class.