Language Arts and Social Studies for the Young Child

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECE 226

       Course Name: Language Arts and Social Studies for the Young Child

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

ECE 102, ECE 104 and ECE 125, all with minimum grades of C, or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course examines language development theory and appropriate language arts and social studies activities for young children.  Topics emphasize design and evaluation of developmentally appropriate, anti-bias activities and instructional materials.

IV.   Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students who satisfactorily complete all work will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the cognitive and language development of young children as well as the unique needs of second-language children.
  2. Identify appropriate language arts and social studies learning objectives for Early Childhood programs.
  3. Develop appropriate learning opportunities for young children in language arts and social studies (structured, individual, small and large groups.)
  4. Select, utilize and evaluate literature appropriate for preschool children.
  5. Plan for and recognize learning opportunities in both language arts and social studies experiences during “free choice” activity time in a preschool.
  6. Identify appropriate software and discuss the use and misuse of computers in preschool classes.
  7. Select and evaluate commercially made materials.

In addition to the objectives listed above, this course also meets the following Illinois Professional Teaching Standards and National Association for the Education of Young Children Teaching Standards.

IPTS Standards

STANDARD 1 – Teaching Diverse Students – The competent teacher understands the diverse characteristics and abilities of each student and how individuals develop and learn within the context of their social, economic, cultural, linguistic, and academic experiences. The teacher uses these experiences to create instructional opportunities that maximize student learning.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
1A) understands the spectrum of student diversity (e.g. race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, special education, gifted, English language learners (ELL), sexual orientation, gender, (gender identity) and the assets that each student brings to leaning across the curriculum;
1B) understands how each student constructs knowledge, acquires skills, and develops effective and efficient critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities.
1C) understands how teaching and student learning are influenced by development (physical, social and emotional, cognitive, linguistic), past experiences, talents, prior knowledge, economic circumstances and diversity within the community;
1E) understands the impact of linguistic and cultural diversity on learning and communication;
1F) understands his or her personal perspectives and biases and their effects on one’s teaching;

STANDARD 2 – Content Area and Pedagogical Knowledge – The competent teacher has an in-depth understanding of content area knowledge that includes central concepts, methods, structures of the disciplines, and content area literacy. The teacher creates meaningful learning experiences for each student based upon interactions among content area and pedagogical knowledge, and evidence-based practice.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
2A) understands theories and philosophies of learning and human development as they relate to the range of students in the classroom;
2B) understands major concepts, assumptions, debates, and principles; processes of inquiry; and theories that are central to the disciplines;
2C) understands the cognitive processes associated with various kinds of learning (e.g. critical and creative thinking, problem-structuring and problem-solving, invention, memorization, and recall) and ensures attention to these learning processes so that students can master content standards;
2D) understands the relationship of knowledge within the disciplines to other content areas and to life applications;
2E) understands how diverse student characteristics and abilities affect processes of inquiry and influence patterns of learning;
2F) knows how to access the tools and knowledge related to latest findings (e.g. research, practice, methodologies) and technologies in the disciplines.
2G) understands the theory behind and the process for providing support to promote learning when concepts and skills are first being introduced; and
2H) understands the relationship among language acquisition (first and second), literacy development, and acquisition of academic content and skills.

STANDARD 3 – Planning for Differentiated Instruction – The competent teacher plans and designs instruction based on content area knowledge, diverse student characteristics, student performance data, curriculum goals, and the community context. The teacher plans for ongoing student growth and achievement.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
3A) understands the Illinois Learning Standards (23 Ill. Adm. Code 1. Appendix D), curriculum development process, content, learning theory, assessment, and student development and knows how to incorporate this knowledge in planning differentiated instruction;
3B) understands how to develop short- and long-range plans, including transition plans, consistent with curriculum goals, student diversity, and learning theory;
3C) understands cultural, linguistic, cognitive, physical, and social and emotional differences, and considers the needs of each student when planning instruction.
3F) understands how to co-plan with other classroom teachers, parents or guardians, paraprofessionals, school specialists, and community representatives to design learning experiences;
3G) understands how research and data guide instructional planning, delivery, and adaptation.

STANDARD 4 – Learning Environment – The competent teacher structures a safe and healthy learning environment that facilitates cultural and linguistic responsiveness, emotional well-being, self-efficacy, positive social interaction, mutual respect, active engagement, academic risk-taking, self-motivation, and personal goal-setting.

Knowledge indicators – The competent teacher:
4B) understands how individuals influence groups and how groups function in society;
4C) understands how to help students work cooperatively and productively in groups;
4E) knows how to assess the instructional environment to determine how best to meet a student’s individual needs.

STANDARD 5 – Instructional Delivery – The competent teacher differentiates instruction by using a variety of strategies that support critical and creative thinking, problem-solving, and continuous growth and learning. This teacher understands that the classroom is a dynamic environment requiring ongoing modification of instruction to enhance learning for each student.

Knowledge indicator – The competent teacher:
5A) understands the cognitive processes associated with various kinds of learning.
5B) understands principles and techniques, along with advantages and limitations, associated with a wide range of evidence-based instructional practices;
5C) knows how to implement effective differentiated instruction through the use of a wide variety of materials, technologies, and resources;
5E) knows techniques for modifying instructional methods, materials, and the environment to facilitate learning for students with divers learning characteristics;
5F) knows strategies to maximize student attentiveness and engagement;
5G) knows how to evaluate and use student performance data to adjust instruction while teaching.
5H) understands when and how to adapt or modify instruction based on outcome data, as well as student needs, goals, and responses.

STANDARD 6 – Reading, Writing, and Oral Communication – The competent teacher has foundational knowledge of reading, writing, and oral communication within the content area and recognizes and addresses student reading, writing, and oral communication needs to facilitate the acquisition of content knowledge.

Knowledge indicators – the competent teacher:
6A) understands appropriate and varied instructional approaches used before, during, and after reading, including those that develop word knowledge, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and strategy use in the content areas;
6B) understands that the reading process involves the construction of meaning through the interactions of the reader’s background knowledge and experiences, the information in the text, and the purpose of the reading situation;
6C) understands communication theory, language development, and the role of language in learning;
6D) understands writing processes and their importance to content learning;
6E) knows and models standard conventions of written and oral communications
6F) recognizes the relationships among reading, writing, and oral communication and understands how to integrate these components to increase content learning;
6G) understands how to design, select, modify, and evaluate a wide range or materials for the content areas and the reading needs of the student;
6H) understands how to use a variety of formal and informal assessments to recognize and address in the reading, writing, and oral communication needs of each student; and
6I) knows appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word knowledge, vocabulary, comprehension, fluency, and strategy use in the content areas.

STANDARD 7 – Assessment – The competent teacher understands and uses appropriate formative and summative assessment for determining student needs, monitoring student progress, measuring student growth, and evaluating student outcomes. The teacher makes decisions driven by data about curricular and instructional effectiveness and adjusts practices to meet the needs of each student.

Knowledge indicators – the competent teacher:
7A) understands the purposes, characteristics, and limitations of different types of assessments, including standardized assessments, universal screening, curriculum-based assessment, and progress monitoring tools;
7B) understands that assessment is a means of evaluating how students learn and what they know and are able to do in order to meet the Illinois Learning Standards.

STANDARD 8 – Collaborative Relationships – The competent teacher builds and maintains collaborative relationships to foster cognitive, linguistic, physical, and social and emotional development. This teacher works as a team member with professional colleagues, students, parents or guardians, and community members.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher:
8A) understands school as organization with the larger community context;
8B) understands the collaborative process and the skills necessary to initiate and carry out that process.
8D) understands the benefits, barriers, and techniques involved in parent and family collaborations;

STANDARD 9 – Professionalism, Leadership, and Advocacy – The competent teacher is an ethical and reflective practitioner who exhibits professionalism; provide leadership in the learning community; and advocates for students, parents or guardians, and the profession.

Knowledge Indicators – The competent teacher:
9A) evaluates best practices and research-based materials against benchmarks within the disciplines;
9E) is cognizant of his or her emerging and developed leadership skills and the applicability of those skills within a variety of learning communities;
9H) understands the roles of an advocate, the process of advocacy, and its place in combating or promoting certain school district practices affecting students.

NAEYC Standards

STANDARD 1. Promoting Child Development and Learning
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs are grounded in a child development knowledge base. They use their understanding of young children’s characteristics and needs, and of multiple interacting influences on children’s development and learning, to create environments that are healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging for each child.

Key elements of STANDARD 1
1B) Knowing and understanding the multiple influences on early development and learning

STANDARD 2 – Building Family and Community Relationships
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that successful early childhood education depends upon partnerships with children’s families and communities. They know about, understand, and value the importance and complex characteristics of children’s families and communities. They use this understanding to create respectful, reciprocal relationships that support and empower families, and to involve all families in their children’s development and learning.

Key elements of STANDARD 2
2A) Knowing about and understanding diverse family and community characteristics

STANDARD 4. Using Developmentally Effective Approaches
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs understand that teaching and learning with young children is a complex enterprise, and its details vary depending on children’s ages, characteristics, and the settings within which teaching and learning occur. They understand and use positive relationships and supportive interactions as the foundation for their work with young children and families. Candidates know, understand, and use a wide array of developmentally appropriate approaches, instructional strategies, and tools to connect with children and families and positively influence each child’s development and learning.

Key elements of STANDARD 4
4B) Knowing and understanding effective strategies and tools for early education, including appropriate uses of technology
4C) Using a broad repertoire of developmentally appropriate teaching/learning approaches
4D) Reflecting on own practice to promote positive outcomes for each child.

STANDARD 5 – Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaning Curriculum
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs use their knowledge of academic disciplines to design, implement, and evaluate experiences that promote positive development and learning for each and every young child.  Candidates understand the importance of developmental domains and academic (or content) disciplines in early childhood curriculum.  They know the essential concepts, inquiry tools, and structure of content areas, including academic subjects, and can identify resources to design, implement, and evaluate meaningful, challenging curriculum that promotes comprehensive developmental and learning outcomes for every young child.

Key elements of STANDARD 5
5A) Understanding content knowledge and resources in academic disciplines: language and literacy; the arts – music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics; science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.
5B) Knowing and using the central concepts, inquiry tools, and structures of content areas or academic disciplines
5C) Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.

STANDARD 6. Becoming a Professional
Candidates prepared in early childhood degree programs identify and conduct themselves as members or the early childhood profession. They know and use ethical guidelines and other professional standards related to early childhood practice. They are continuous, collaborative learners who demonstrate knowledgeable, reflective and critical perspectives on their work, making informed decisions that integrate knowledge from a variety of sources. They are informed advocates for sound educational practices and policies.

Key elements of STANDARD 6
6B) Knowing about and upholding ethical standards and other early childhood professional guidelines.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
www.oakton.edu/studentlife/student-handbook.pdf

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Overview of curriculum models; planning an integrated curriculum for Early Childhood Centers
  2. Language Arts in the Pre-School
    1. Development of Speech and Language
    2. Development of Listening Skills
    3. Development of Writing Skills
    4. Development of Reading Readiness
    5. Children’s Literature
    6. Storytelling
    7. Poetry
    8. Lesson Plans and Activities in Language Arts
  3. Social studies
    1. Self Awareness and Identity
    2. Interdependence of Family, School and Community
    3. Jobs and Products
    4. Community Customs, History, Differences Among People
    5. Geography
    6. Field Trips
    7. Lesson Plans and Activities
    8. Theoretical Perspectives
    9. Anti-Bias Curriculum

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Introduction to the criteria for evaluating instructional materials.

This course will be taught on three levels:

  1. Theoretical
  2. Curricular
  3. Practical

Lectures, workshops, student activities/demonstrations, reports, films and guest speakers will be included.


Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught face-to-face, hybrid, or on line course.

Students are required to attend class, actively participate in discussion, presentations and activities, complete assigned work.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Attendance, participation, written and oral assignments, class presentations and examinations.

XI.   Other Course Information

The instructor will provide each class with further information as to attendance, policies, and support systems.

Plagiarism/Cheating policies are covered under the Academic Dishonesty Section of the current catalog.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.