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Individuals lead storied lives, and everyone has a story to tell. Our stories can be shared orally and documented in print. Often, learners are exposed to stories through novels and other trade books. Teacher educators may benefit from using the stories in novels and trade books as case studies in preservice teacher preparation course. This assignment description outlines how to use the novel, Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, as a case study to contextualize and understand the lived story of an individual living and learning with dyslexia. Through the novel, preservice teachers experience the dilemmas faced and celebrations experienced as faced by the protagonist, Ally. Case studies are an effective teaching strategy for students in teacher education. Willems and Gonzalez-DeHass (2017) assert that case studies are a “vehicle to prepare preservice teacher for future classroom decision making” (p. ix). Further, Gorski and Pothini (2018) stated “case method’s effectiveness in deepening critical thinking abilities, problem-solving skills, and other competencies in professionals from a variety of fields” and allow us to “muddle through the gray areas [practical solutions to complex problems] by considering all that makes them gray” (p. 6).

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case study, teacher education, children’s literature, novel unit, dyslexia, science of reading, pillars of literacy, reading instruction, Fish in a Tree, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, elementary education


Accessibility | Applied Linguistics | Curriculum and Instruction | Disability and Equity in Education | Early Childhood Education | Educational Methods | Elementary Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | Gifted Education | Language and Literacy Education | Other Teacher Education and Professional Development | Phonetics and Phonology | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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Fish in a Tree Book Study Assignment Description