California State University, Long Beach
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Author of the Month

Trading Cards to Comic Strips: Popular Culture Texts and Literacy Learning in Grades K-8

Shelley Hong Xu, Professor, Teacher Education

Trading Cards to Comic Strips

Published in 2005 by the International Reading Association and co-authored with Rachael Sawyer Perkins and Lark Zunich, Trading Cards seeks to explain how incorporating popular culture texts in the classroom can motivate students—particularly reluctant or struggling readers. This book gives readers everything they need to use television, movies, video games, music, magazines and other media texts to enhance students' literacy learning. The book offers a balance of research, theory and practice, along with numerous classroom teaching ideas and student work samples. Trading Cards is organized into two parts, “Learning from Research and Classroom Teachers” and “Integrating Popular Culture Texts in Your Classroom.” The first section contains chapters on such topics as New Literacy Studies and Popular Culture Texts; Integrating Popular Culture Texts in Primary Grades; Integrating Popular Culture Texts in a Fourth-Grade Class; and Integrating Popular Culture Texts in Developmental Reading Classes for Sixth to Eighth Grade Students. The book’s second part has chapters on Gaining Knowledge of Popular Culture Texts; Using Popular Culture Texts to Enhance Literacy Learning; and Managing an Integration of Popular Culture Texts. The topic of this book has generated an increased interest in connecting popular culture texts to literacy curriculum among teachers and teacher educators in the U.S. and abroad. Xu has been invited as a keynote speaker at Adelphi University’s 19th Annual Summer Literacy Institute and as a plenary speaker at Hong Kong’s First International Conference on Popular Culture and Education in Asia. Xu’s Bachelor of Arts in English Education came from Eastern China Normal University in Shanghai, China. She received her Master of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language in 1993 and her doctorate from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in 1997. She began teaching at Texas Tech in 1997 and joined CSULB in 2002. In addition, she is the co-author of Teaching Early Literacy: Development, Assessment and Instruction (2005) and Literacy Instruction for English Language Learners, PreK-2 (2008).