This literature-based history class integrates the study of world history with English for middle school students: a “two-for-one” approach that fulfills requirements for both English and social studies in one class. Students will use both historical fiction and nonfiction in this class, along with completing several writing and creative projects. English grammar and vocabulary will also be included.
• Learn about famous people, places, and events during ancient times: Fertile Crescent, Ancient Egypt, the Far East, the Indus Valley, Ancient Greece, Ancient Europe including Rome, the Middle East, Ancient Africa, and the ancient Americas.
• Learn about famous people, places, and events during the Middle Ages including the Dark Ages, the Crusades, nobility, Feudalism, cities, castles, life in the Middle Ages, and the Hundred Years’ War.
• Write multi-paragraph essays, a creative story, and a research paper or speech with much focus on how to revise and edit writing.
• Demonstrate an understanding of English grammar including: parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, and common sentence errors.
• Identify the elements of fiction through novels read as well as common techniques of literature such as figurative language.
• Read poetry related to people, places, and events studied and write poems.
• Learn new words in context related to history and geography.
Students will have readings and exercises in the workbook each week while also spending 2-3 weeks reading each historical fiction, biography, or nonfiction. First semester, they’ll write 3 essays (descriptive, expository, narrative), having 3 weeks for each, as well as a creative project. Second semester, they begin with a creative story (4 weeks), then a persuasive essay (3 weeks), followed by either a research paper or speech (four weeks), and then wrapping up the year with poetry. Grammar and vocabulary exercises are also assigned each week.
Who should apply?
No course prerequisites are required, but typically 7th or 8th grade students who previously have taken English Foundations 1 or 2 or an equivalent English class are ready for this course. Guidelines for new students include being able to read a 200-300 page novel in 2-3 weeks, able to write a strong paragraph with an opening and closing sentence, and a basic understanding of English grammar. Students should expect to spend more time completing assignments each week than in a typical English classes since we are covering two subjects in one class, but certainly less time than what would be spent on two separate subjects.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Headset and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- Microsoft Word and Power Point is very helpful. If a different word processing program is used, students will need to save or export documents to a pdf.
Evaluation and Feedback
Separate grades will be given for history and English, with an average of both. Writing assignments receive much feedback during the grading process using a rubric with the effective traits of writing. Grammar and vocabulary exercises are usually graded automatically by Canvas.
Parents are welcome to contact me before registering with questions. 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 with students not keeping up with the work or frequently turning in late assignments.