Classes 2015-2016

Through the Lens of Literature (Grades 7/8)

In this literary analysis with writing class for middle schoolers, we will use a selection of great children’s literature to explore topics related to World War II, the New England Witch Trials, the Underground Railroad and the Civil War, space/time travel, and more!

About the Literary Analysis: We will learn literary analysis terms and how they relate to each story. History, geography, even sociology and philosophy, will be artfully woven throughout the study of each novel. The best study of literature connects all of these topics under the umbrella of a great story, making it interesting and relevant. All students will have a chance to share their opinions each week in guided discussions on the reading and related subjects.

About the Reading: Each book will take about three-four weeks to read. We will spend five class meetings on each novel. Each semester will be fifteen class meetings. Students are responsible for securing a copy of the novel. Most are available at your local library or for a few dollars used on Amazon. Quizzes will be provided on book content, vocabulary, and literary analysis as it relates to the book approximately every five weeks.

About the Writing: This is a literary analysis class with a heavy focus on writing. Each week students will engage in “active reading” (making notes as we read), learn relevant vocabulary, keep a journal, and craft three-four separate paragraphs in response to short answer questions. During this time we will focus on sentence structure and paragraph construction, culminating in a one-page essay for each book. The spring term will shift to introduction to expository essay writing, commonly known as the five-paragraph essay. 

Technology/Homework Requirements: Students should have a good internet connection and a headset with mic. A web camera for this class is optional for the student. It will not be necessary to download any software, however, you will need to establish a free account with the online classroom provider (WizIQ). Classes will be recorded if students miss a session. Students are required to submit their weekly writing to me via Google Docs. Thorough commentary will be provided with the goal of making measurable progress in writing ability. Evaluation/Grades will not be issued unless requested. Students who consistently miss writing assignments without reasonable cause or prior approval may be dropped from the class without refund. Total anticipated homework per week is about two hours.

Selections for 2015-2016

Fall 2015
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry 
see description and reviews

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
see description and reviews

Cezanne Pinto by Mary Stolz
see description and reviews
Spring 2016
Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
see description and reviews

Dragonwings by Laurence Yep
see description and reviews

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
see description and reviews

© 2013-2019 Angela Harris