This live online English class for middle school students (at least 11 years old) includes writing, literature, grammar, and vocabulary, all in one class. This comprehensive class seeks to prepare middle school students for more advanced courses in English. An advantage of any outside English class is having someone other than “Mom” to review/grade the student’s compositions. Class interaction with the other students will also enhance the class.
- 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 the Arabian 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.
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 also include a grammar and vocabulary exercise. During the second semester, the cycles are extended to 4-week cycles as students complete two longer projects. We end the year with a month focused on poetry, including a contest with prizes.
Who should apply?
This class is open to all sixth and seventh 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
Writing assignments receive much feedback before they are graded according to a rubric featuring the effective traits of writing. Grammar and vocabulary exercises are usually graded automatically by Canvas. In literature, students are expected to answer comprehension questions that are graded based on effort.
Parents are welcome to contact me with questions at my email 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.