British Literature (Second Semester)

From: $80.00 / month for 5 months

Grades: 9th – 12th

Live Class: Thurs 11:00–12:00 p.m. ET

Course Dates: Jan 3 -Apr 29

Price: $349

Instructor: Susan Spivey

See Reviews of Instructor Susan Spivey


Course Description


Students will read Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, a number of poems, short stories, and excerpts from other noted British works. While this is the second half of a full-year course, students entering at the halfway mark can easily assimilate into our online classroom. Students will learn the tools and gain the confidence to respond to literature in both written and verbal form. Students taking this course will extend their knowledge of literary devices used in both fiction and poetry.

We will begin with Romantic Era poetry and end with an examination of contemporary British authors. Any questions can be directed to Mrs. Spivey.

The goals of this course include the following:

  • Provide students with a survey of English Literature from the 18th century to modern times.
  • Explore the cultural and historic forces that fueled various literary movements in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and help students recognize the impact major literary voices have had upon English culture and thought.
  • Provide ample opportunity for students to recognize how British authors used literary devices and how these devices affected their work as a whole.
  • Equip students with the knowledge needed to construct an analytical essay in response to various types of reading selections.
  • Provide guidance to help students learn to develop a clear and concise thesis. Additionally, students will learn how to best organize their ideas and how to incorporate transitions to allow their papers to flow smoothly.

Course Structure

  • Students will be required to participate in class discussions and learn how to analyze literature and share that information verbally with others.
  • Students will be given the opportunity to choose a subject covered in class and respond to it with a creative project of their choosing.

Who should enroll?

This class is open to all 9th-12th grade students. While a previous literature course is helpful, students without one have still done well in this course.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

If students complete their weekly homework on time and answer the questions to the best of their ability, they receive full credit. I expect students to ask questions when they do not understand something, and I am happy to respond quickly (usually within the same day) to their emails. I grade homework promptly and will let parents know if their student fails to submit work.

The larger papers and creative projects for this class are worth more points and are graded on creativity as well as context and accuracy. Since students are encouraged to choose their own topics for these larger assignments, they have the ability to learn more about a topic that they find personally interesting. This has proven to spark outstanding work from my students.


Once you register your student for this course, you will receive a confirmation email from me within a week. Feel free to email me if you have questions before registering; I will be happy to answer your questions. If your student is submitting their work on time, you will hear from me at the end of the second semester when I send out grades. Final grades will be posted within a week of the course ending. If parents have concerns at any point, I am always available to discuss these concerns.

Course Syllabus

Required Texts


  • Prentice Hall Literature: The British Tradition, 1999 edition, ISBN 0134340582

The following novels are required. Any unabridged edition will suffice for each.

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare


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Instructor Bio

Susan Spivey

Susan Spivey is enthusiastic about sharing her love of literature with students and finds tremendous joy in teaching. Susan earned her MA in English from Arizona State University and her BS in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for several years before starting her family. Susan also worked as a freelance writer for magazines and as a substitute teacher in public schools. She has taught English for many years and has been teaching for AIM Academy since 2015. When she is not reading a book, discussing a book, or teaching about books, you can find her in her garden, likely with a book nearby.

British Literature
American Literature
Christian Literature


All classes taught by Susan Spivey