Speak Your Truth: Poetry Part II

This course builds on the foundation of the poet’s craft developed in Word: The Poet’s Voice and expands it to include performance skills needed to recite poetry before an audience. By studying videos of selected poetry readings by well-known poets of various genres and attending local poetry readings, students explore the reading styles and techniques employed by each author. Writing exercises are designed to develop the student’s poetic repertoire, drawing inspiration from personal experience, current events, nature, relationships, and the imagination to writing meaningful poetry. Students are required to participate in monthly online poetry workshops to collaborate with peers and examine the work of others in the course. Each workshop will provide students the chance to read their own work aloud to the group, and be praised and critiqued in a supportive environment. As a final project, each student will perform their work in front of an audience of their family or friends, at a local library, bookstore, or café, or any other venue of their choosing.

Word: The Poet’s Voice

This poetry course explores the writing craft needed to produce poems that deserve to be read. Students will study various themes: from nature writing to love poetry; spoken word and environmentally-themed poems; and works focused on capturing and expressing the female perspective. Students create and learn how to edit and revise their own poems and become skilled at analyzing the poetry of others. Various writing exercises allow each student to venture beyond their home to observe the world around them, record their observations, and channel what they see and experience directly into their poems.

Women’s Literature: Worlds of Science Fiction and Fantasy

The course explores themes of identity, gender, race, and social justice, and looks at the literary craft of world building (how a writer creates an elaborate, believable story world). This single semester course focuses on works of science fiction and fantasy written by women. There are 18 lessons in three units. There is a creative project after each novel.

A teacher manual is available for this course.

British Literature: Heroes, Monsters, Faeries, and Kings

This course presents a selection of works from British literature, spanning from its origins through the 20th century. Beginning with the earliest written work of British Literature, Beowulf, students will read an illustrated translation of this epic poem whose hero becomes a king by defeating a family of dreadful monsters. King Arthur and the Arthurian legends will be explored in The Once and Future King, by T.H. White. The second semester brings a comic confusion of magical creatures—faeries, monsters, kings, and heroes—cavorting in Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Students then move forward in time to the 19th century to explore the Hero as a child in David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens. A study of Victorian poems will be followed by a selection of English short stories, where students will need to look more carefully to discover the magical creatures, heroes, and monsters within. Written assignments include interpretive essays, creative stories, and projects.

World Literature

In our World Literature course, students read the works of contemporary and historical international authors and refine grammar and composition skills through numerous writing assignments. In addition to active reading and critical evaluation of literature, students’ writing instincts are further honed and challenged with a variety of essays (expository, compare/contrast, personal opinion, and interpretive), a biographical research paper, poetry, movie reviews, news articles, an analysis of symbolism and irony, and a one-act play.

American Literature: Natives, Naturalists, Immigrants, and Settlers

This American Literature course explores how the United States developed its shape and character throughout the 19th century by way of the movement called the Westward Expansion. By reading and reflecting on the words, artwork, and novels that contain their stories, we will come closer to the authentic experiences of those who then lived in the United States of America. Students will develop independent projects based on their reading, their experiences, and the history of their family. Readings include the following.

American Literature

Through American Literature, students explore the thoughts and feelings of the men and women who helped create and define the unique heritage and culture of the American people. Active reading and critical evaluation is emphasized. Students refine composition and presentation skills by writing essays (expository, interpretive, contrast and compare), magazine columns, travel guides, interviews, editorials, and speeches. Students also explore the works of modern American poets and write a literary research paper. The following books are included with this course.

Literature & Composition II

Literature and Composition II guides students as they continue to develop their writing skills. Student engage in a wide variety of writing assignments, such as compare and contrast essays, archetypal stories, and vignettes. Students read classic novels and poetry, examining story structure, theme, and style. The course emphasizes literary analysis and encourages students to hone their own writing style and voice.

The Hero’s Journey: Literature & Composition

The books in the Hero’s Journey, an introductory literature and composition course, feature ordinary people who find themselves in circumstances that require extraordinary acts, and how these acts relate to the archetypal hero’s journey. Lessons provide historical background on the setting and author, and discussion points for exploring literary themes and issues with family and peers. Students develop a wide range of composition skills throughout the course, using techniques and formats such as: comparative essays, first person writing, figurative language, summarizing, poetry, persuasive writing, inferential reading and contextual clues, and observational writing.

Composition: Expression and Understanding

Composition: Expression and Understanding is designed to help students develop essential skills that will form the basis for their long-term development as a writer. Learning to write is a journey rather than a destination; at the heart of this journey is the need to know oneself. In the first semester, The Art of Expression, students will explore a variety of reading and writing assignments to help them understand their own individual perspective, strengths, challenges, and skills. They will gain tools for understanding themselves and others, and practice the skills needed to articulate arguments and viewpoints.

In the second semester, The Act of Understanding, students explore their individual curiosities in a semester-long inquiry project. Using techniques of creative research, students will be guided each step of the way, culminating in a final essay of high-quality writing and in-depth research skills.