Document Type



This interdisciplinary research project integrated training and techniques from two disciplines: English and Elementary Education. The purpose of the project was to immerse myself in the scholarly study of First Encounter (encounter between the natives and English settlers in the New World) texts in order to create a fifth grade text set, a selection of approximately 20-25 quality children’s books that represent a diverse range of reading levels and genres. My research entailed reading a variety of First Encounter literatures and using New Historicism to analyze each as part of my English scholarship. In addition, after reviewing research on literacy education, particularly reader response theory and critical literacy, I developed a fifth grade text set on the First Encounters. This interdisciplinary thesis intertwines my scholarly research in the fields of both English and Education. My thesis begins by outlining the English scholarly texts that I read in order to develop a scholarly foundation in the literature of First Encounters. This includes both texts written during this time period in Early American history as well as texts that discuss these events in Early American history from a modern author’s perspective. The following section reviews the literature on literacy education including critical literacy and reader response theory. The next section of my thesis shares the text set that was developed as a product of both my scholarly foundation in the literature of First Encounters and my knowledge of literacy education. The final section of my thesis is a reflection focused on my selection of texts, my experiences upon my research journey, and the valuable insights that I gained into the fields of English and Elementary Education through the completion of my project.


Elementary Education and English

Thesis Comittee

Jennifer Manak (Thesis Director)

Ann Brunjes

Nicole Glen

Copyright and Permissions

Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.