English Foundations 3

From: $79.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 8th–9th

Live Class: Wed 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET

Dates: Aug 25–Apr 29

Price: $549

Instructor: Bev Graybill

See Reviews of Instructor Bev Graybill


Course Description

English Foundations 3 is a comprehensive English class for advanced 8th graders covering composition, literature, grammar, and vocabulary. This class is designed for upper middle school students whom have already shown strong English abilities, particularly in writing and grammar. Ninth graders that need additional reinforcement before high school level English classes are also welcome. A live class will take place on Wednesdays at 2:00 pm (EST), and further instruction and assignments will be designated through the Canvas website. Class activities include students leading mini-lessons and Readers Theater plays.

Course Objectives

  • Write multi-paragraph essays for the four types of writing (descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive) using teacher and peer review to improve each composition.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of English grammar including: punctuation, mechanics, spelling, sentence structure, and parts of speech.
  • Review the basic elements of literature.
  • Identify techniques of literature such as irony, symbolism, and figures of speech including allusion, idioms, synecdoche, and understatement.
  • 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 and study famous American and British poets.
  • Learn new vocabulary words in context through the novels read together and a vocabulary workbook.

Course Assignments:

  • Four multi-paragraph essays
  • Creative short story
  • Response paragraphs and an analytical theme based on short stories
  • Literature projects for specific elements
  • Several poems of various types
  • Poetry presentation about a famous poet and poem
  • Grammar and vocab exercises


  • Essays graded according to a rubric of the effective traits of writing
  • Tests on terms and content related to writing and literature
  • Grammar and vocab quizzes

Evaluation and Feedback

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.  In literature, students are expected to answer comprehension questions and all projects will be graded based on effort.

Course Syllabus

Required Texts

Write Source Grade 8 by David Kemper, Patrick Sebranek, Verne Meyer; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers, 2012. ISBN: 978-0547-485041

Vocabulary Virtuoso: PSAT-SAT Book 1, by Nancy Forderer, Critical Thinking Company, 2018. ISBN: 978-1601-449368

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 3-4 weeks and have it at the needed time.)

  • The Land by Mildred Taylor
  • The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • Any version of the Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer, such as: Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus by Rosemary Sutcliff (Laurel Leaf 2005) OR The Trojan War and The Adventures of Ulysses by Bernard Evslin OR the version by Gillian Cross and Neil Packer.
  • Beowulf  by Michael Morpurgo (Candewick, 2015) OR Beowulf: Dragonslayer by Rosemary Sutcliff (Red Fox Classics 2001 or Heinemann 1961) OR Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye (Laurel Leaf 1968) OR Beowulf: An Updated Verse Translation by Frederick Rebsamen (Harper Perennial Classics 2004)
  • The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle (Be sure it is NOT an abridged or child’s version, but the original, such as Sterling Classics 2005, Barnes & Noble 2011, Dover Classics 1965, or Scribner 1954 Note: If the book is less than 200 pages, it is probably not correct) OR King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green (Puffin Classics 2008) OR The Sword and the Circle by Rosemary Sutcliff (also part of The King Arthur Trilogy)


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Instructor Bio

Bev Graybill

I attended Millersville University, earning a B.S. in Special Education, a M.S. in Elementary Education, and a Reading Certificate. After teaching for several years in both public and private schools, I left the world of teaching to start my own family, discovering the amazing world of home schooling! I serve as a home school evaluator in Pennsylvania and have spent more than 20 years teaching at several home school co-ops and successfully graduating all four of my children. Currently, I also teach different grades in a small private school. I love teaching middle school students that writing, literature, and even grammar can be fun.


English Foundations 3
Ancient and Medieval History Through Literature
American History Through Literature
U.S. Presidents and Fifty States

Email: bgraybill@aimacademy.online

All classes taught by Bev Graybill