Literature Class Course Descriptions

Grades listed are guidelines. Please select the appropriate class for your student based on academic level, not just age.  

Foundations in Classic Literature - Grade 5
Rowena Aldridge, Instructor
In this course we will examine great works of classic literature, comparing them for their literary features and discerning their messages for relevance to our lives today.  Works under study will include novels, poetic forms, short stories, speeches, and plays. Learning activities will include the study of the historical and cultural backgrounds for the author, the text, and the original audience. Other analyses include classification of the literary devices present within the text and analysis of grammatical and syntactical features in the text itself.  Learning activities will include homework and periodic assessments.

Literary Award Winners - Grade 6
Alyssa Hayes, Instructor
In this course, we will examine works by Newbery Award winning authors.  Our goal will be to examine the characters, settings, and themes of the books.  We will also take a peek into the lives of these authors to find out what inspired their writings.  The first semester will focus on the writings of a few authors to get a feel for writing style and reasons for writing.  The second semester will focus on how we read different genres such as fantasy, nonfiction, and historical fiction. We will write journal entries, summaries, opinion pieces, as well as performance pieces, such as plays and poems, in response to what we read.  We will practice citing the author’s work to support our opinions and responses. My desire for you, as a reader, is to learn to read deeply.  I hope you are able to make meaningful connections to what you read, recognizing an author’s contribution to the world and to your own lives.

A Forensic Look Back at American Literature - Grade 7
Danan Whiddon, Instructor
We will travel back in time to examine important events in America’s history through the literature of the time, beginning with today and ending with early American stories and poems. We will investigate each piece and then write journals and articles  that will culminate in a collaborative book of student generated, peer reviewed criticism of the major works of our nation.

Critical Reading Towards Critical Writing - Grades 8-9
Jessica Conrad, Instructor
How do we read books? Perhaps more importantly, why do we read books? What kind of meaning do we derive from them? We can't answer any one of these questions without also addressing the others: How we read is integral to why we read and what we get out of the experience. This course is guided by such inquiries, asking fundamental questions of reading practices in order to illuminate the varied ways we can—and should—interact with texts.     We will read books on their own terms, and we will read them on ours, learning to reckon first with the words on the page and then with those words in the world. We’ll be tracing contexts, subtexts, and intertexts; digging deep into language and word choice; and examining the critical implications of texts. Ultimately, this class is about learning to see literature as a world within words, and seeing our world according to those words.