Description: A year long literature course designed as an in-depth study of a few classic English poems and books using Memoria Press study guides. In the 7-8th grades, students are leaving the delightful world of children’s literature and entering the advanced world of Greek, Roman, and English classics. To make this a successful transition, the reading selections for this age must be carefully chosen. Students at this age are comfortable with modern American prose but unaccustomed to prose and poetry of earlier centuries. The ability to read English over five centuries is a major goal of our English literature program. The educated person is not a prisoner of his own time and place but has the broad ability and background to read works from the whole canon of English literature.
Content: The first selection, The Wind in the Willows, is written in that classic English style that has much more demanding vocabulary and sentence structure than American prose. Often thought of as a children’s book, the original is quite challenging and is an effective tool in raising the reading comprehension and vocabulary level of students. At the same time, The Wind in the Willows is an absolutely delightful classic for all ages about friendship and the foolishness of youth. "Casey at the Bat," "If," "The Pirate Dom Durk of Dowdee," "In School Days," and many more all-time favorites make up the HLS poetry collection which will lead you and your students into a love of poetry. These poems are great for memorization and for preparing students to read Shakespeare. Perhaps the easiest play in the Shakespeare canon, the comedy As You Like It provides an entertaining and fun introduction to the bard that is doable for 7th-9th graders. "All the world's a stage" and several other passages are required for memorization. After this successful introduction to Shakespeare, students not only become Shakespeare lovers, they decide to write their own play. The final selection for 7th grade literature is Robinson Crusoe, often considered the first English novel. Again because of its slightly archaic vocabulary and sentence structure, it is an invaluable work that takes students out of their comfortable 20th century American prose and into the most challenging work of the whole year. "Seek the middle station of life," Crusoe's father advised him. Robinson Crusoe is a great adventure story and priceless morality tale on the wisdom of heeding the good advice of one's elders. Students will also read A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Workload & Assessment: Students should devote approximately 45 minutes per day for this course. The assessment will primarily be based on: (1) Participation, (2) Successful completion of the weekly quizzes, which test the student's knowledge of the reading, (3) Final Tests over each work, and (4) A Poetry Analysis assignment.
Poetry for the Seventh Grade: Poems & Short Stories, Robinson Crusoe Study Guide, The Wind in the Willows Study Guide, Robinson Crusoe, The Wind in the Willows, As You Like It, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Please only purchase these editions and selections to maintain continuity within the course.
*We highly recommend that parents purchase the Teacher Manuals. It is not essential, but it does have answers to the comprehension and discussion questions. Parents are not responsible for teaching or grading assignments, but they should be spot-checking the student's work each week. The advantage to having the Teacher Manual is that this is easily accomplished by spot-checking alongside the Teacher Manual. By doing this, parents will know the student is on the right track simply by comparing what the student has entered in their Student Guide to the answers in the Teacher Manual. This helps to eliminate the parent having to read everything with the student in order to spot-check. We do ask that parents keep the Teacher Manual in a safe spot to which the student does not have access. You can preview the Teacher Manuals by looking at the samples on our website.
*It is also recommended that your student have a microphone to participate in class. If you do not have one, one can be purchased from many different retailers (e.g., Amazon). As a general rule, you should try to get a headset that is USB rather than plug-in jacks, since USB ports are universal on PC's and Macs. If you have an internal microphone, this works as well.
*Books are not included in the price of the course