Masters Theses/Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Reading (MAE)

First Committee Member

Carrie Scheckelhoff


Carrie Scheckelhoff

Second Committee Member

Diane Ross

Third Committee Member

Grace McDaniel


Literacy, Curriculum, Social Justice, Mentor Text

Subject Categories

Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Elementary Education | Higher Education


The purpose of this study is to present a literacy curriculum designed specifically for fifth grade students. The curriculum utilizes Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (1995) and Learning for Justice (2018) social justice standards and domains, in order to provide best practices for all students to achieve academic success, celebrate diversity, and take action against injustices in the world. The following question framed the literature research that was conducted to develop this curriculum: How can we create a literacy based curriculum through a social justice lens that utilizes diverse children’s mentor text in order to create equitable school experiences? The question was answered through literature research regarding best practices for utilizing diverse mentor text, equitable reading and writing practices in an elementary classroom, and social justice education instruction. This research was combined with culturally relevant pedagogy criteria to develop a literacy based curriculum that teaches reading, writing, and justice to elementary students. The sample unit plan is a guide for other educators interested in incorporating this curriculum into their own classrooms.

Licensing Permission

Copyright, all rights reserved. Fair Use

sara_barkley_capstone_defense_.mp4 (45184 kB)
Presentation Video



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