This is the second semester of a year-long course in progress. The first semester is not a prerequisite for this course. This live online English class for middle school students builds on English Foundations 1, but is NOT a prerequisite for taking this class. English Foundations 2 is suited for 6th–8th graders who need an online class that includes writing, literature, grammar, and vocabulary all in one class.
In this second semester course, we will be working on expository, persuasive, short stories, and poetry. We will read poetry, short stories, and the novels, A Long Walk to Water and Book Thief.
This comprehensive class seeks to prepare middle school students for high school English. An advantage of any outside English class is having someone other than “Mom” to review/grade the students’ compositions. Class interaction with the other students will also enhance the class.
- Apply the steps of the writing process and effective traits of writing to their own compositions, as well as understanding the purpose and audience of each writing assignment.
- Write “warm-up” paragraphs to increase confidence in writing.
- Write multi-paragraph essays covering the four types of writing: descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive, using teacher review to improve each composition.
- Write a “coming-of-age” short story (either autobiographical or imaginative).
- Prepare and present an informative or persuasive speech.
- Demonstrate an understanding of English grammar, including: punctuation, mechanics, spelling, sentence structure, and parts of speech.
- Review the basic elements of literature (setting, character, plot, point of view, conflict, and theme), preparing a creative project with definitions and examples for each term.
- Identify techniques of literature such as irony, symbolism, and figures of speech, including: allusion, idioms, synecdoche, and understatement.
- Review different genres of writing and discuss their differences, as well as read short stories and novels in various genres.
- Improve their reading comprehension through thought-provoking questions and discussion of the novels read together.
- Identify the sounds and techniques used in poetry, prepare a poetry presentation, and write several of his/her own poems.
- Learn new vocabulary words in context in the novels read together.
- Learn new vocabulary words through the Wordly Wise curriculum.
We will systematically work through the writing process focusing on the six Writing Traits and the specific conventions for each of the following writing types: descriptive, narrative, expository and persuasive. By structuring each of the new writing types in this manner, students will learn an effective process for successful writing.
Who should enroll?
This class is open to all 6th — 8th graders who would like a structured, formal English class.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Headset and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- Microsoft Word and Power Point is extremely helpful. If using a different word processing program, the document should be saved or exported as a pdf in order to submit it on Canvas.
Evaluation and Feedback
Student’s writing assignments will receive much feedback prior to being graded according to a rubric featuring the effective traits of writing. Grammar and vocabulary exercises are usually graded automatically by Canvas. Literature questions are graded based on effort. Students in English Foundations 2 take both grammar quizzes and regular tests on literature terms and writing concepts.
Parents are welcome to contact me via email with questions before registering, but it is not necessary before enrolling a student. Once I know a student has registered, the family will receive a welcome packet with additional information about the course. I will contact parents if there is a concern that a student is not keeping up with the work or frequently turning in late assignments.