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High School Literature & Composition

High School Literature & Composition – level 1

This High School Literature and Composition course is taught in two parts: as a literature class and as a composition class.  When taken together, these classes introduce students to great works of literature, and allow them to deepen their understanding of the work and themselves through discussions, projects, and essay planning.  In the composition, students work on writing the essays, moving through pre-writing, drafting, and editing.  They will also learn to be more effective writers by more deeply studying five-paragraph essay structure and MLA format.  Taken together, these two courses, fulfill high school A-G requirements with some homework.  Taken separately, students may still fulfill these requirements, but will have more homework and schoolwork to complete independently.  Either class may be taken separately for enrichment and skill-building, and both classes are designed to help students learn in an enjoyable, personal way.  The syllabus below might be modified slightly to best suit the needs of the students in the class.

This class is designed for those new to writing or who are not completely comfortable or experienced with writing high school-level essays. This class will prepare students for high school level work and introduce them to the standards required for college-level writing.  For those who have already had significant experience with five-paragraph essays and high school literature, there is a “level 2” version of this class that focuses more deeply on MLA format, research papers, and more extensive essays.


High School Literature: Writing, Discussions, and Games:

Learning to analyze and discuss literature is an important skill for high school students, whether they are fans of reading or reluctant readers.  This class is designed to help students deepen their abilities in this area and have a good time doing it!  It is for students who want to connect with what they read, and learn more about literature at the same time.

In the first semester of this yearlong class, students will study high school English literature and poetry in an engaging and personal way.  We will read, analyze, and discuss The Outsiders, by S. E Hinton, and Veronica Roth’s Divergent.  We will also read and analyze Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose and Our Town, by Thornton Wilder; short stories from O Henry, Kurt Vonnegut, Shirley Jackson, and Edgar Allan Poe; and poetry by Poe, Frost, and more.  Additionally, we’ll look at what makes a speech great, and analyze FDR’s Inauguration speech and response to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  In the second semester, students will read The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and several short stories and poems.

Students will work on creating their own poetry and short stories, write essays about the works we study, and complete tests and study guides designed to deepen understanding of the material.  In-class discussions will engage students’ interest and help them relate the ideas within the reading to their own lives and perspectives.  We will also study relevant vocabulary words through games and in-class activities, and complete some relevant projects.

Because this class requires reading, roughly 1-2 hours of homework per week are required.

This class follows standards for A-G-approved coursework and common core standards so that students from charter schools may receive credit for high school literature (grades 9-11) if both semesters are taken and all assignments are completed.  Taking the writing class in conjunction with this one is highly recommended as it will help students build their writing skills to more easily complete the writing assignments from this class.


High School Writing: Essays, Quick Writes, Editing, and More:

People who can express themselves well through writing have an advantage in school and in the world at large.  This class is designed to help students to develop their writing abilities so that they are more comfortable and competent with all types of writing: essays, essay questions, poetry, letters, and general written communication.

Students will hone their writing skills with regular in-class writing exercises, editing activities, and games that reinforce the correct use of commonly missed spelling and grammar conventions. In addition, we’ll write several essays from the pre-writing stage to the final draft, helping one another along the way. Format is vital for high school and college writing, so we will also focus on MLA formatting with each essay.

Whether students are comfortable with writing or reluctant writers, this class is designed to foster growth and raise students’ speed and comfort level with all forms of writing, particularly those needed for high school and college.  In this class students will touch on different types of essays such as persuasive, compare and contrast and response to literature.

This class is recommended to be taken in conjunction with the Literature class before it, but can be taken as a stand-alone class as well.  If taken with the Literature class, students can fulfill A-G requirements for high school literature (grades 9-11), and can work on developing writing skills to complete assignments from that class.  Roughly an hour of homework is required for this class each week.

Teacher: Lizzie Scott

About the teacher: Lizzie Scott is a published author, fan of reading, trained counselor, and teacher who loves to make learning fun whenever possible.  Therefore, this class will meet high school literature and composition standards, will focus on proper writing conventions and personal reflection, and will also employ the use of games whenever possible.

Ages: 13+yo.

Cost: $575 per semester for the 3 hour course (class is intended to be taken both semesters for full credit, but semesters are billed separately)

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