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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, Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate, as a case study to contextualize and understand the lived story of an individual learning a second language and living in a new country. Through the novel, preservice teachers experience the dilemmas faced and celebrations experienced as faced by the protagonist, Kek. 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, Home of the Brave, Katherine Applegate, teacher education, elementary education, children’s literature, novel unit, language learning, second language acquisition, science of reading, pillars of literacy, reading instruction


Applied Linguistics | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Children's and Young Adult Literature | Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Methods | Elementary Education | Elementary Education and Teaching | First and Second Language Acquisition | Gifted Education | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Language and Literacy Education | Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education | Reading and Language

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Home of the Brave Book Study Assignment Description