READING: 1. The Hiding Place 2. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring 3. Animal Farm 4. Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry 5. The Language of Literature Level 8 6. TBA
WRITING: 40% Creative Writing 60% Nonfiction Average length of paper 2-3 pages
After four years of offering my Beginner English class, I've decided that there is a need for a bridge class between the Beginner English and High School Literature classes. This class is geared towards seventh and eighth grade students or reluctant freshmen who have written papers, but need help fine-tuning their work.
The Advanced Class will have a heavier emphasis on essay construction (60%) than the Beginner English class. The reading selections are carefully selected to grow your reader and help them conquer classic texts. Be aware that classic texts sometimes have themes/language that might be problematic for some families.
Reading is the most important academic skill a student can develop in middle school. A good reader will be a better writer, absorb more information in Social Studies and Science, and have an easier time learning in every other area. There is a big difference in someone who can read and someone who reads well. Readers who read well look at different types of texts with different types of tools. Just like a brick layer uses a trowel and a plumber uses a plunger, good readers need to know what tools to use at what times. During our reading instruction, we will learn different strategies for reading different types of literature. We will read six books over the course of the year. Every fifth meeting we will have a book club based on our book. During this time we will eat something from the book, create an artistic expression of the story, play a game, and discuss the book in depth. These are my favorite classes!
Grammar will be taught within the context of writing and proofreading. I will ask students to proofread paragraphs and "catch" mistakes. My goal is to help your child spot when they make errors and become writers who revise. These activities should take less than ten minutes a day.
I recognize that not all students enjoy reading and writing. In order to keep students motivated we will periodically celebrate what we have learned. For example, at the end of the poetry unit we will have a poetry coffee/hot chocolate house where we drink fancy drinks, share poems we have written, and recite a poem we have memorized. After we are done reading an example of an autobiography we will write a memoir, revise it and compile it into a class publication. We will invite our families to be part of a Meet the Author/Book Signing of this publication.
Required Texts: Animal Farm, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, Language of Literature Level 8, Hiding Place, and one other novel.