Wednesdays 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Friday Skypes by appointment
Literature Through the Ages is a year-long, hands-on, differentiated instruction course in which we will examine great works of classic literature chronologically, from ancient to modern, comparing them for their literary features and discerning their messages for relevance to our lives today.
Materials and supplies needed:
- Wide-ruled composition notebook
- Pencil, sharpener, eraser
- Ink pen with blue or black ink
- Sticky notes: pink, yellow, blue, green, 2”x2”, or 3”x3”
- Physical copies of assigned works under study.
Book list and Sequence of Study
Reading the great books of Western literature establishes a baseline of quality and rigor, provides a context for modern literary and cultural references, and allows you to engage in the great conversation that has taken place between thinkers across the ages. The great books are worthy of your attention and effort. They improve your intellectual maturity and reading comprehension, and allow you to experience recreational reading that speaks to your highest self.
Fall 2016 Semester
- August 17 through September 4: "Black Ships Before Troy: The Story of The Iliad", by Rosemary Sutcliff.
- September 4 through September 28: “Beowulf: A New Telling”, by Robert Nye.
- October 12 through November 2: "Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There", by Lewis Carroll. Any edition with illustrations by John Tenniel.
- November 2 through November 16: “How to Eat a Poem: A Smorgasbord of Tasty and Delicious Poems for Young Readers”, by The American Poetry & Literacy Project and The Academy of American Poets
- November 16 through November 30: Mid-Year Projects.
Spring 2017 Semester
- January 4 through January 25: “The Wanderings of Odysseus: The Story of the Odyssey”, by Rosemary Sutcliff.
- January 25 through February 22: “The Canterbury Tales”, adapted by Geraldine McCaughrean.
- March 1 through March 29: “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, by Frank L. Baum. Any edition with illustrations by W. W. Denslow.
- March 29 through April 19: “Half Magic”, by Edward Eager.
- April 19 through May 3: Final Projects
Where “any edition illustrated by ___” has been specified, please select a complete (unabridged) edition that suits your budget and aesthetics. Dover Thrift and Penguin Classic editions are cheap and readable, but you or your parents/guardians may wish to invest in a higher-quality edition for building a home library. Our reading cycle is 3-4 weeks long, so if you borrow a book from the library you will need to plan on renewing the book to ensure that you will have it in hand for the entire study unit.
Each class session includes an experiential activity where you will engage in hands-on investigation and analysis of the works under study. The course will include group and independent research, and a summary project for each book we read.
You will spend 3-5 hour per week on coursework outside of class, depending on your individual pace. This time will include assigned reading, completing and submitting homework, responding to homework review comments, revision of any work as needed, developing and completing a final project for each semester.
Mid-year and Final projects:
Your summary projects will be presented in gallery walk format, and are fragmentary reflections on the works under study. You will receive a checklist and rubric for completing your projects. The checklist and rubric are not the final authority on the projects, but rather tools for helping you reflect and edit.
REVISED HOMEWORK POLICY: Effective Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Homework for each week is posted on the WEBsite no later than 9:00 am on Thursday mornings. Students are responsible for checking the WEBsite for assignments and supporting material. The deadline for completing each week's assignment is the following Wednesday morning at 10:00am. Please drop your composition notebook into the designated basket before going to your morning class. I will review your work during that block. Please retrieve your notebook from the basket before going to lunch.
Past homework assignments will be archived for reference on the WEBsite until the end of the academic year.
Occasionally the assignment will include visiting links online. Please click the links in the presence of your own parent or guardian.
Your original and best effort is required at all times. While collaboration on ideas is expected and encouraged, you must submit your own work using your own words. You must obtain all information by ethical means. If your work includes anyone else’s words, images, or ideas, you must include proper citation that acknowledges the source. If you work on a project with others, you must provide proper acknowledgement of their contributions.
Absences and Missed Assignments:
There is no grade penalty for missing a class. Whenever possible, please notify me in advance so I will know you will be absent. Together we can arrange for you to make up any assignments.
In the event a class is cancelled, the lesson and homework assignment for that week will be posted on the WEBsite no later than 8:00 pm on the evening of the cancelled class. Students are responsible for checking the WEBsite and following instructions, including submission of homework.
In an effort to make grading more meaningful and useful, and to acknowledge the subjective nature of grading creative writing assignments, I am now using a responsive grading system rather than a letter, percentage, or point scale. Should you or your parents/guardians need a specific grade to record for transcript purposes, please let me know and I will share my method for calculating a final grade.
Responsive grade scale:
- IMPRESSIVE. Work is admirable in quality, scope, maturity, etc.
- GOOD. Work demonstrates above average effort and exceeds expectations.
- ADEQUATE. Work is complete and meets all criteria set out in the assignment.
- INCOMPLETE. Work is missing important components.
- NG. No grade issued. Conference required.
There are no scheduled quizzes, tests, or exams in this course. Grades will apply to submitted homework assignments, class contributions, mid-year and final projects.
I am readily available by email or by private message on Facebook. I am not available by text at any time, however I am available during office hours via phone call or Google Hangouts.