English Foundations 1

From: $72.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 6th–7th

Live class: Thursdays 5:30 p.m. EST

Course dates: August 26th–May 1st

Price: $499

Instructor:  Beverly Graybill

Instructor email: Mrs.BevGraybill@gmail.com


Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Bev Graybill

Both English Foundations courses seek to prepare middle school students for high school English by covering writing, grammar, literature, and vocabulary all in one course! English Foundations 1 uses the 6th grade Write Source text and introduces students to writing descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive essays, as well as a short story and speech. Much feedback is given on essays with further opportunities to revise each. In literature, important terms are introduced through reading four novels together, including the classic tale of Robin Hood, as well as several short stories; a special unit covers folk tales and fables, such as Arabian Nights. The final unit on poetry concludes with a poetry contest. Fun class activities include review games, discussions, and “reader’s theater.”

Students will:

  • Review the steps of the writing process and identify the traits of effective writing, applying these skills to their own writing.
  • Write “warm-up” paragraphs to increase confidence in writing.
  • Write multi-paragraph descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive essays, with teacher review to improve each composition.
  • Write a short story (either autobiographical or imaginative) in which the narrator faces a problem or challenge.
  • Prepare and present a short demonstration speech.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of English grammar including: punctuation, mechanics, spelling, sentence structure, and parts of speech.
  • Identify the basic elements of literature including setting, character, plot, point of view, and conflict.
  • Identify techniques of literature such as foreshadowing, flashback, and figures of speech including simile, metaphor, hyperbole, and personification.
  • Be introduced to various genres of writing and discuss their differences, as well as read short stories and novels in different genres.
  • Be introduced to legends and folk tales such as Tales from theArabian Nights and the legend of Robin Hood.
  • Be introduced to the sounds and techniques used in poetry, prepare a poetry recitation, and write several of his/her own poems.
  • Improve their reading comprehension through thought-provoking questions and discussion of the novels read together.
  • Learn new vocabulary words in context in the novels read together.
  • Learn new vocabulary words through the Wordly Wise curriculum.

Course Structure

During the first semester, the course features a 3-week writing cycle, followed by a 3-week literature cycle with one week of overlap. Most days include a vocabulary and grammar exercise as well. During the second semester, the cycles are extended to 4-weeks for longer assignments with more overlap between writing and literature. All work is posted on Canvas. The “live” class time on Thursday will include a review of the current week’s assignments and instruction on the new assignments for the following week. Students that cannot attend class may watch the recording, which will be posted shortly after class. A detailed list of required work is posted on Canvas according to a suggested schedule, but students may choose to complete the work on different days.

Who should apply?

This class is open to all sixth and seventh graders.

Technology Requirements:

  • 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

Grammar and vocabulary exercises are frequently graded automatically by Canvas. Writing and literature assignments receive more feedback and can be accessed easily on Canvas. (I’ll explain how the first week of class.) The first time a student submits an essay, it is graded according to following directions and effort, and much feedback is given. After he or she does further revisions, it is graded according to a rubric with the effective traits of writing.


Once parents register for the course, they will receive a welcome packet from me with additional information about the course, including a syllabus and more detailed list of required books. Parents are free to email me with questions at any time. I do contact parents whenever I have a concern about students not keeping up with the work or frequently submitting late assignments to find out parental expectations.

Required Texts

Course Materials:

Parents must purchase:

  • Write Source: Student Edition, 2012, GRADE 6

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, 2012.     ISBN: 978-0547-48502-7

This book also includes grammar exercises; no further grammar workbook is required.

  • Wordly Wise 3000 Student Book 6 Fourth Edition

Educators Publishing Service Fourth Edition, 2017     ISBN: 978-08388-7706-7

If parents prefer, 7th graders may purchase and complete

  • Wordly Wise 3000 Student Book 7 Fourth Edition

Educators Publishing Service, Fourth Edition, 2017     ISBN: 978-08388-7707-4

Also, students should have access to an age-appropriate dictionary and thesaurus; at the parents’ discretion, they may use online sites such as dictionary.com and thesaurus.com.

Novels:  Any version is fine unless otherwise specified

(Parents may decide to purchase these or use your local library, if you can keep the book for at least 4 weeks and have it at the needed time.)

  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (Be sure it is NOT an abridged or child’s version, but the original, such as Sterling Classics 2004, Signet Classics 2006, Townsend Press 2005, or Children’s Press 1968) Note: If the book is less than 200 pages, it is probably not correct OR The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green (Puffin Classics 2010) OR The Adventures of Robin Hood: An English Legend by Paul Creswick (Reader’s Digest 1991)

Poetry and Short Stories:  It is not necessary to purchase a particular book for this.  All poems and short stories that everyone in the class should read will be posted on Canvas. In addition, students will need to choose a poem to analyze and recite; for this, he/she will need to search for poems on-line, purchase a collection of poetry, or make use of library poetry books.  For our folk tale unit, students can find folk tales either at their library or online.


  1. Selena (verified owner)

    This was my son’s first online class and it was amazing! We were looking for just a writing class, but he learned literature study, grammar, and vocabulary in this class. Mrs. Graybill offers very informational classes in a fun way. It was a bit fast paced for us, maybe because it was his first online class, but we’re both glad he took the class. His writing improved and I gained so much knowledge. I now feel confident in helping him check his assignments and in reinforcing what she taught him about writing. Two thumbs up!

  2. Brantlee

    Mrs. Graybill is such an amazing teacher! This was my first English class and I was a little scared, but Mrs. Graybill took me under her wing and was very positive through it all. I would highly recommend this class to other students. I learned a lot, and am still learning. It always helps to have an amazing teacher by your side.


  3. Meenakshi Gupta

    This was my son’s first English class and we joined the class in October. Mrs. Graybill was very welcoming and even waived off vocabulary exercises for him. She explained the course material very well and answered our questions very promptly. She took the time to grade students’ work, and always had a positive comment for every assignment.
    My son gained a lot from this class. He was completely responsible for this class and completed his assignments on time. His writing skills have improved tremendously. This is all because of all the hard work Mrs. Graybill put in. Thank you so much, Mrs. Graybill.

  4. Rebecca Klabunde (verified owner)

    Both my daughter and my son have taken courses and we couldn’t speak more highly of their experience! Mrs. Graybill is warm, friendly, and helps all of the students feel at ease. She is both thorough in her explanations and dependable to answer questions in a timely manner. We also appreciated her willingness to work with each and every student, individually, if they struggled with a particular area. Her patience comes across in all that she does and it’s evident that she works hard to make sure that each of her students succeeds! We all think that Mrs. Graybill is AMAZING!

  5. Josie Pinnow

    What an excellent class with a wonderful, loving instructor! I highly recommend this course for any middle school student. My son learned so much, especially in grammar!

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Instructor Bio

Bev Graybill

Beverly holds a B.S. in Special Education, a M.S. in Elementary Education, and a Reading Certificate from Millersville University.  She has taught in public/private schools for 6 years, has 10 years of experience teaching middle school English at a weekly homeschool co-op in Pennsylvania, and 20 years of experience home schooling her own four children, three of which have graduated.  Her passion is teaching middle school students that writing, literature, and even grammar can be fun!

Middle School Tools: A
Middle School Tools: B
American History Through Literature

Email: Mrs.BevGraybill@gmail.com

All classes taught by Bev Graybill