Cook What You Read: A Multimedia Cookbook for Middle Childhood Literacy Development

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts

Degree Name

Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media

First Advisor

Eric Mason

Second Advisor

Melissa Bianchi


multiliteracies, composition, multimodal, transmedia


Though literacy is often thought of as just reading and writing, the New London Group of scholars reminds us that, in order to engage contemporary students, teachers need “to broaden this understanding of literacy and literacy teaching and learning to include negotiating a multiplicity of discourses” (61). Scholars have also shown the complex literacies that circulate around preparing food (Mirabelli; Appelbaum; Cognard-Black; Fussell), and cooking is an activity that can engage students in negotiating such “multiliteracies” (Theophano). This multimodal thesis project serves as an example of a text that can be used to improve multiliteracies in middle school readers. The project—a literary-themed cookbook—includes both written and visual texts and is informed by transmedia storytelling techniques in which elements of stories are told through multiple channels with the goal of increasing audience engagement. To create this project, I applied skills learned in the CRDM program associated with the work of researchers, editors, writers, and designers, and acted as a project director, collaborating with a number of subject matter experts who contributed during the development of this project.


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