This is our beginning literature course. The goal of this class is to build upon the core concepts taught in our Introduction to Writing class. Students will take what they have learned in previous classes and explore the concepts in greater depth to improve their ability to analyze literature and develop more polished writing skills.

Course Instruction Includes:


An in-depth look at a classic novel

Students at this level should be able to read a novel independently and display adequate comprehension to engage in class discussions and to write compositions that weave in aspects of the book they are reading.

 Literary Analysis through novel annotation

In this class, students learn to recognize key elements in the novel through annotating their novels, learning to reflect and respond as they read. Teachers will provide some guidance for annotating, but students at this level are expected to be able to annotate relatively independently. Consistent, thorough annotating and charting will be expected for beginning writing students.

 Literary Analysis through literary terms

Beginning students review literary terms taught in the Introduction to Writing class, and they will be asked to analyze the literature at a deeper level, which will include exploring literary elements such as major and minor characters, setting details, conflicts with cause and effect, theme recognition, and literary devices such as similes, metaphors, personification, etc.

Literary Analysis through writing

Students in the Beginning Writing class will be introduced to using specific examples from the novel to develop quality paragraphs each week.  Comprehension and analysis will be required in weekly compositions as students evaluate characters, plot progression, conflicts, rising action, author’s writing style, etc.

 Focused writing instruction

The focus of this class level is on writing well-constructed paragraphs filled with engaging sentences. The emphasis is on quality instead of quantity. Students will practice the following:

  • Working towards mastery of the basic steps and strategies: brainstorming, outlining, rough drafts, final draft

  • Creating quality expanded paragraphs with well developed “chunks”

  • Providing specific examples from the novel to support assertions

  • Explaining examples with insightful commentary

  • Improving word choice through active verbs, concrete nouns, and well-placed adjectives and adverbs

  • Using sentence variety and transitional words and phrases to add style to their writing

 A creative enrichment project

Since we have the benefit of studying one book for 12 weeks, we are able to create a unit study based on the book. This means that students “experience” the book”; they don’t simply “read” it. Throughout the course of the class, approximately 3-4 weeks will be spent exploring various subjects related to the book. During the final class session, students will present either a creative writing project or a research paper on a topic related to the novel. The project includes three components: a written composition, an oral presentation, and a visual aid. Students, parents, and family members are welcomed members of the audience for this final presentation.

Necessary skills for students in the Beginning Writing class:

  • Able to read books independently

  • Writes neatly and is able to follow instructions

  • Has learned how to write a correct quality sentence

  • Willing to receive affirmation as well as correction on homework in order to grow as a writer

  • Able to complete 2.5-3.5 hours of homework weekly

 **For specific class dates, times, and locations, see our Locations menu item at the top of the page.