English Foundations II is for 7th and 8th graders (at least 12 years old) who are seeking an online class that includes writing, literature, grammar, and vocabulary, all in one class. 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 student’s compositions. Class interaction with the other students, including “readers theater” plays 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.
- Be introduced to ancient writings including the Iliad and the Odyssey, Beowulf, and the legend of King Arthur and his knights.
- 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.
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 seventh and eighth 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. Students in English Foundations II take both grammar quizzes and regular tests on literature terms and writing concepts.
Parents are welcome to contact me with questions before registering at my email, 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.