ENGLISH & LITERATURE_____________________________________

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Our English courses teach a love for beautiful words well constructed so that the student may communicate clearly and effectively.  As such, our classes incorporate grammar, spelling, narration, dictation, and copywork in the young years, with students moving into more formal composition and literary and poetry analysis beginning in late elementary school. The composition portion of our classes is based on classical methodology, including an emphasis on the progymnasmata (progym) in high school. Materials used at Heritage are a combination of First Language Lessons, Spell to Write and Read (SWR), Grammar for the Well Trained Mind, Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW), The Write Foundation (TWF), Cottage Press, and our own curriculum materials.    Our literature courses  foster a love for literature, enable students to develop an understanding of and appreciation for the “great conversation”, impart the structure and language of literature including genres, forms, archetypes, and “grammar”, and teach students how to engage with great books.  It is through good literature that children (and adults) perceive what is true, pursue what is beautiful, and grow in wisdom and virtue. In short, our English & literature classes are soul shaping because they provide a time for contemplation and conversation centered around the truths of Scripture.

 

**Please note that because there is so much overlap in our English and Literature classes, they must be taken together, and they are billed as two separate classes for a'la carte students.  There is overlap in the writing and discussion  

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K-3rd: 

See our Morning Foundations description 

Fourth through Sixth Grade

Fourth through sixth grade English Studies continues to immerse students in a wide exposure to the beauty and order of language using a four-pronged approach including spelling, reading, writing, and grammar.  Instructors facilitate the exploration into the delights and wonders of the language arts by reinforcing the sounds and spelling rules which make up individual words and dictate how those words are formed.  Students continue to practice putting words together to form more complex sentences.  In addition, students are introduced to a variety of structural models and stylistic techniques to help them organize their writing so as to gain greater independence and creativity. Classically-based instructional techniques such as memorization, copy work, dictation, oral and written narrations provide the means by which these skills are achieved.

Curriculum & Supplies  (4th-6th)

Spelling:

  • Spelling learning log, provided by Heritage

Reading:  

  • 4th-6th family read aloud books (without comprehension questions):  

  • NEW for 2020-2021:   Students will read 5-6 grade level readers and will complete assigned questions and activities independently.  Group work and guided discussion will take place in class.  Books to be announced ​(each grade will have its own assigned list)

  • miscellaneous poems, myths, fairytales, fables  ]

Grammar:  

  • (4th grade) First Language Lessons For the Well-Trained Mind, Level 4 by Jessie Wise

  • (5th & 6th grade)  

    • Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Core Instructor Text (used 5-8th grade)* 

    • Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Student Workbook 1 (used 5-8th grade)

    • Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Student Workbook 1 Key (used 5-8th grade)* 

    • Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind Comprehensive Handbook of Rules--(used 5-8th grade)

      • *Note:  First year of Grammar for the Well-Trained Mind can be purchased as a package set for $108.  Workbook is used for four years. 

Writing:

  • Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) student book to be announced, provided by Heritage (each grade will use a different text)

  • Cursive copywork book, provided by Heritage (4th & 5th grade)

Seventh grade:

Class Description:  Seventh Grade English Studies is designed to delight the students with the beauty and order of language while teaching them how to analyze language, to understand how and why language works, and to continue to refine the artful composition of written and spoken language.  

  • Seventh Graders at Heritage will continue their third year of a formal grammar program transitioning them from basic definitions to a detailed analysis of the language usage and mechanical skills needed for the study of rhetoric--the art of persuasive and eloquent speaking and writing. 

  • In addition, students at this level will continue to practice a variety of structural models to help them organize their writing so as to gain greater independence and creativity. The focus will be upon creating usable outlines and practicing narrative, descriptive, and expository writing.

  • Grading rubrics with checklists and guidelines will be provided allowing students to practice attention to detail and to carefully follow instructions. Additionally, stylistic techniques designed to help students begin to achieve eloquence are also taught. Upon completion of this course, students are well prepared to begin composing five paragraph essays.  

  • Poetry memorization will also continue at this level with one poem memorized and recited every 6-8 weeks.

Eighth Grade: 

 Eighth Grade English Studies is designed to delight the students with the beauty and order of language while teaching them how to analyze language, to understand how and why language works, and to continue to refine the artful composition of written and spoken language. To accomplish this 

  • Eighth Graders at Heritage will complete their final year of formal grammar instruction in the study of grammar usage and mechanics equipping them to correctly and effectively utilize complex sentence structure.  

  • In addition, students are exposed to and practice with a variety of organizational techniques and models so as to gain greater independence and creativity in essay writing. The focus will be upon creating usable outlines and practicing narrative, descriptive, and expository writing. Throughout the year, the writing process and structure are developed to accomplish formal essays including conducting research, proper use of direct and indirect quotations in a text, and the proper citation of sources.

  • Grading rubrics with checklists and guidelines will be provided allowing students to practice attention to detail and to carefully follow instructions. Additionally, stylistic techniques designed to help students begin to achieve eloquence are also taught. Upon completion of this course, students are well prepared to begin composing five paragraph essays. 

  • Poetry memorization will also continue at this level with one poem memorized and recited every 6-8 weeks.

High School  Level I (9-10) & Level II (11-12)

2020-2021 Ancient Literature & Composition

 

These classes are designed to take students on a journey through some of the Great Books which have influenced and informed discerning people in Western Civilization.  Such books are an invitation to discuss the ideas which have driven and continue to drive Western Civilization, past and present.  Each literary work has been selected with the aim of capturing the conversations and world views which dominated the time periods during which they were written, roughly from the time of Creation to the Fall of the Roman Empire (~376 A.D.).  

 

As they read, reflect, discuss, and write, students will develop and hone their skills in logical analysis and rhetorical persuasion translating their thoughts and ideas into the written and spoken word in an eloquent and compelling manner.  Most of their writing and speaking will be based on the progymnasmata, a series of fourteen writing exercises and models developed by the Greeks to be used in the instruction of speaking and writing.  Students will also study, learn to identify, and begin to employ various rhetorical devices including figures of speech and figures of description as well as a variety of techniques whereby they may enhance their diction and syntax for the purpose of speaking and writing in a winsome fashion--the aim of the art of rhetoric.

 

This course is offered at two different levels:  one designed for freshmen and sophomores just beginning their formal studies in the humanities and a second designed for juniors and seniors who have already begun such training.  The two courses will differ primarily in terms of the pacing of the reading, the length and breadth of the written work, and the continued need to hone writing skills in grammatical usage and elementary principles of composition which are expected to be largely mastered upon entering level 2.