British Literature is a year-long overview of some of Britain’s greatest writers. The course begins with early Anglo-Saxon literature (such as Beowulf), moves through a number of literary eras (Medieval, Romantics, Realists, …) and concludes with more contemporary authors. We use an anthology of great works, along with a number of well-known novels. My hope is by exploring a variety of works by a number of authors, students will find one (or many) that inspire them to read more and to also gain a deeper appreciation for notable writers.
Upon completion of this course students will gain an understanding of the various literary movements found in British literature. Students will also see how historical events impacted writers and the works they created, will be able to identify literary elements such as rhyme, foreshadowing, flashbacks, etc., will be able to distinguish the unique traits found in a variety of literary genres, and will be able to analytically respond to a work of literature in writing. Through a variety of assignments, students gain the skills needed to respond to literature in a thoughtful and mature way.
This is a discussion-based course, and students will be encouraged to participate in our weekly classroom conversations. Each week, students are assigned specific reading and homework that relates to that reading. Our live classroom meets via zoom to discuss the authors and works the students have been assigned. I also provide a lecture on the material the students have read, and offer opportunities for students to ask questions and share their views on the week’s reading.
Most weeks, students will respond to comprehension-based questions found in their textbook or write a short essay in response to a writing prompt that has been posted. There are also two creative projects assigned in this class, one in the first semester and the second in the final semester. Each semester students will complete a few short quizzes or tests.
The Honors level course is for highly-motivated students in grades 9 through 12. Honors students will complete three interpretative papers where they can choose topics to explore more deeply, and will have additional essay assignments during the year. I will also supply these students with additional (supplemental) reading suggestions.
Who should enroll?
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Webcam, sound card, and microphone
- 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’ll 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.