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) 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. Students have the chance to discuss what they have read during our live class sessions, as well as ask questions. 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 expected to participate in our weekly classroom chats. Each week, students are assigned specific reading and homework that relates to that reading. Our live virtual classroom meets weekly to discuss the reading. I also provide a lecture on the material the students have read, and an opportunity for students to ask questions and offer opinions.
In addition to short written responses that students will complete in their weekly homework, there are three longer papers assigned over the course of the year. These papers allow students to do deeper research and explore a topic that they find particularly interesting. There are also two creative projects assigned in this class, one in the first semester and the second in the final semester. During the course of the school year, there are five tests as well.
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.
Who should enroll?
This class is open to 9th-12th grade students. While a previous literature course is helpful, students without one have done well in this course.
- 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.
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 found personally interesting. This has proven to spark outstanding work from my students.
Once you register your student for this course, you’ll receive a confirmation email from me within a week. If you have questions before registering, please feel free to email and 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 first 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.