Language Arts Class Descriptions

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Showing 33 classes

Formula for Fiction: Mystery & Detective Stories

Quarter 1: Starts on September 6, 2019

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Anne Sharp

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites: None

Unlock the clues to writing mystery and detective fiction! Find out why the "Whodunit" is already done. The literary elements of setting, character, and plot are often prescribed in popular mystery series such as Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and Nancy Drew. Students will focus on these literary elements to craft their own mystery or detective fiction.

Great writing doesn't always begin "from scratch." Sometimes writers use a formula, or template storyline, to create fiction. This class series examines different types of popular storylines to give the young writer a "formula" for creating original fiction. For each genre, the class will examine samples of literature and excerpts from well-known works that illustrate the story template. Each fiction formula includes a different mix of elements (characters, setting, plot) that change in the new story while others remain fixed to preserve the genre.

A portion of each class will be dedicated to sharing students' working drafts through collaboration and in-class feedback. Students will be expected to conduct some writing and reading at home each week. Literature selections will not be assigned in their entirety, but students may want to continue reading the complete work. The culmination of the students' work will be a bound class literary magazine. Topics in this Series: Mystery and Detective Stories (Quarter 1); Historical Fiction (Quarter 2); Prequels and Sequels (Quarter 3); and Revisioning a Classic (Quarter 4).12.09.0612

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $140.00

Bibliophiles Book Group: Identity

Quarter 1: Starts on September 11, 2019

Class Time: 1:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites: None

In the Bibliophiles Book Group, middle school-aged students will examine a different theme each quarter through high quality literature, poetry, songs, and art. Students will read, analyze, and compare two full-length novels that share similar themes through facilitated discussions and extension activities which encourage students to make personal connections to what is read. The group will evaluate literary and thematic elements, the author’s style, and how the author’s personal experiences shape his or her writing.

The first book of the first quarter will be Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt, which will be used to analyze the theme of Identity. A follow-up book will be voted on by the students from a list of titles which explore the same theme.

Assigned chapters from the books must be read at home, either as read-aloud, individual silent reading, or listening to the unabridged audiobook. Weekly written assignments require students to think critically about what they read. In addition, students will complete a final project to synthesize their learning each quarter. Topics in this Series: Identity (Quarter 1); Individuality (Quarter 2); Truth (Quarter 3); and Survival (Quarter 4).

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $126.00

Great Books for Girls Group

Quarter 1: Starts on September 11, 2019

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 4th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Great Books for Girls offers preteen students the opportunity to read high quality literature and expand their understanding of what they read through book discussion and hands-on extension activities. Through facilitated class discussion, students will analyze plot, theme, characters, genre, and setting by citing specific examples from the story. In addition, students will complete a wide range of extension activities, such as acting out or illustrating favorite scenes, writing alternate endings or prequels, or researching specific aspects of the story. Students will be asked to read assigned chapters from their books at home, either as read-aloud, individual silent reading, or listening to the unabridged audiobook. Readers will be encouraged to take notes on key passages or questions. All books selected for 2019-20 will feature the theme, "Perspective." The first book of Quarter 1 will be Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord. A second, follw-up book will be voted on by the students each quarter from A Mighty Girl suggested titles, Newbery Medalists and Honor Books, and the Capitol Choices book lists.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $126.00

Public Speaking: The Great Speeches

Quarter 1: Starts on September 11, 2019

Class Time: 2:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Arthuretta Martin

Grade Range: 5th-8th

Prerequisites: None

"Four score and seven years ago.."
"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.."
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
What causes some phrases to be inked into history and some speeches to become a permanent part of our culture? What makes a speech memorable and quotable?
In this class students will work with a professional storyteller, keynote speaker, and Toastmasters authority to learn how to give great speeches by listening to great speakers and then practicing and presenting portions of someone else's great words. The pressure will be off student speakers to also be writers. Instead, they will hone public speaking skills such as timing, pauses, enunciation, eye contact, and gestures using familiar, well-known, time-tested and inspiring speeches. The class will listen to recordings and watch videos to critique some modern day speakers. Can you pronounce like FDR, persuade like Frederick Douglass, or proclaim like Patrick Henry? Students can select from among many genres of speakers- from history, entertainment, politics, commentary- even literature.

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $139.00

Word Masters: Verbal Analogies and Vocab Challenges

Quarter 1: Starts on September 11, 2019

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 4th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Word Masters is a language challenge for students who enjoy word games, spelling, building their vocabulary, and verbal adventures. Why study lists of words if you can make a game of it? The best way to learn new words is to use them! This class is inspired by the annual Word Masters Challenge (www.wordmasterschallenge.com). Each week students will tackle new vocabulary words and practice them through analogies and critical thinking challenges. Students will examine word meanings, relationships, synonyms and antonyms with in-class activities and games such as Pictionary, Scategories, Charades, and Apples-to-Apples. Word Masters will improve a student's reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, logic skills, and the ability to think analytically and metaphorically. Word Masters introduce all new word lists, analogies, and activities each quarter.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $126.00

Writer's Workshop: Reading Classics, Writing New Endings

Quarter 1: Starts on September 11, 2019

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Karen Hickman

Grade Range: 5th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Have you read a really good classic novel only to discover that the ending is not right for you? We plan to re-write endings by learning all about how to summarize events, strengthen characters, find new settings, and visualize new endings for the classics we choose to read. A list of over 100 books will be available to choose from. Examples titles include Kidnapped, The Three Musketeers, and Wind in the Willows. We will be writing new endings to some old favorites and publishing an anthology at the close of the class.

The Writers' Workshop gives students in grades 5-6 the skills they need for writing, reading, listening, and speaking that come from practicing by putting pen to paper. Sharing drafts and in-progress works enhances the understanding of language structure, encourages revision, and improves editing in story writing. Each quarter, students will review samples of literature and write about popular themes using the story elements of that theme.

Imagination and creativity come easily to most young writers, but acquiring technical skills is also important. Each quarter, students will focus on specific skills. The skills are a part of their Writer's Tool Kit that includes understanding parts and kinds of sentences, plurals, possessives, and punctuation. Learning how to use a dictionary and a thesaurus, as well as practical, higher, middle school level skills such as summarizing, outlining, note taking, writing a book report, or citing sources are included throughout the four sessions.

Topics in this Series: Reading Classics, Writing New Endings (Quarter 1); Finding Colorful Characters for our Fiction (Quarter 2); Writing from the Inside Out (Quarter 3); and Classics, Paintings, and Poetry- A Passport Adventure (Quarter 4).12.10.0612

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $139.00

English: Modern Narratives in Nonfiction Work

Quarter 1, 2: Starts on September 6, 2019

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Anne Sharp/Melanie Kosar

Grade Range: 11th-12th

Prerequisites: None

Overview

Modern Narratives focuses on the incorporation of style, voice, and tone in literature and in writing. Viewing literature as "published writing", students will examine the products and processes of other writers in order to understand and refine their own. Through the analysis of professional and student works, students will explore what makes truly great writing.

Literature

First semester of Modern Narratives in Nonfictionwill examine the works of great essayists. Examples of some essays that may read in this course are those by Henry David Thoreau, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Robert Benchley, James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, and Joyce Carol Oates. In addition, the class will use style manuals and classic writing texts such as Strunk & White's The Elements of Styleand William Zinsser's On Writing Well. The full reading list will be presented in the course syllabus at the beginning of the term. In addition, students will be asked to read several selections over the summer. Students may also need to do some supplemental, parallel personal reading on his/her own to support the semester project.

Composition

First semester Senior Composition, dovetailing with the college admissions season, will focus on "the personal essay", writing to prompts, writing with a deadline, and ruthless editing (a.k.a. "meeting a word count"). Going beyond the five-paragraph template that encourages "cookie cutter" essays, students will create a unique architecture embedded with personal style, voice, and narrative structure. In short, students will uncover not just who they are as individuals, but who they are as writers... and how to fuse these two identities into a creative, organized, clear, and elegant essay.

In the process, students will master their writing process and identify personal writing strengths. These strengths will be developed into a writing workshop that they will present to classmates and the Compass community. Portfolios (now a potential college resume addition) will be expanded to include essays, research papers, and extracurricular support (artwork, performances, powerpoints, etc.) .

This course is part of a custom curriculum developed and team-taught by Anne Sharp and Melanie Kosar. The courses are designed in a sequential program that complements the developmental skills of the adolescent learner. It is a seminar-style approach that mirrors university literature and writing classes. Mrs. Kosar will teach the literature components of the course on Wednesdays, and Mrs. Sharp will teach the writing portion of the class on Fridays.

Topics in this Series: Modern Narratives in Nonfiction Works (Semester 1) and Nobel and Pulitzer Prize Writings (Semester 2). Prerequisites: Students should be able to read at grade level. Workload: Students should expect to spend 3-4 hours per week outside of classAssignments: will be posted on a Google Classroom. Assessments: are portfolio-based. Students will create a digital portfolio that incorporates annotated reading lists, reflects individual interests and accomplishments and showcases a variety of writing. Textbook: Students should purchase or borrow the assigned literature. In some cases, specific editions will be identified with ISBN numbers so students can be on the "same page" (literally!) What to Bring: Students should bring paper or notebook, pen or pencil, current literature selection, and personal writing journal to class each week. Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a credit in English for purposes of a high school transcript.12.06.0612

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $583.00

Compass Literarians: Creative Writing & Literary Magazine Board

Quarter 1,2: Starts on September 6, 2019

Class Time: 2:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Anne Sharp

Grade Range: 9th-12th

Prerequisites: None

This Literarians writing board is a home for students who love to write, who love to read writing, and who love to share writing with others. Writing is often a solitary act, but writers also need a community in which to grow. Mirroring the design of famous writing salons/groups like The Bloomsbury Group, The Algonquin Round Table, and The Inklings, this course fosters a Compass community that will encourage individual writers, promote literary collaboration and provide challenging feedback to boost creativity and artistic development.

Our first semester will focus on building a personal writing portfolio strengthening students' passions for genres and forms they are comfortable with as well as trying writing that is new to them. Using writing workshops to capitalize on what they already know and to encourage experimentation in unfamiliar areas, students can expect to grow as writers, editors and leaders in our Compass community.

Students will use their own work and the works of professional authors to understand what makes good writing, to improve technique, to experiment with new forms/genre and to understand the drafting, editing and publishing process. They will explore publishing options through online platforms and hardbound journals.

Our second semester will focus on editing and publishing. Students in this course will select writings from their portfolios and prepare them to submit to contests, anthologies and publications beyond our Compass campus. While continuing to draft and explore their own personal writing, students will assume editorial roles in the production of Pen Point, a beyond-our-classroom anthology. As editors, students will design and build an anthology, advertise the publication, solicit manuscripts and artwork, develop selection criteria, review/select/edit material, and learn the principles of layout and design. Embedded in this process are real-world experiences, and students will improve their communication and organization skills through goal-setting, time management, meeting deadlines, emailing, confirmations, proofreading, etc.

Topics in this Series: A Creative Writing and Literary Magazine Board (Semesters 1 and 2, with registration by semester.) Prerequisites: Advanced reading, writing, and analytical skills. Workload: Students should expect to spend 2-3 hours per week outside of class on investigation, writing, or editing for this class. Assignments: Writing and editing assignments will be delegated by the student board. Assessments: In lieu of a teacher-provided assessments, writers will receive peer feedback on their own work, and the finished product will be a printed anthology for their portfolio. Lab/Supply Fee: A class fee of $20.00 is due payable to the instructor on the first day of class for publishing expenses. What to Bring: Students should bring laptops to class to work collaboratively and real-time on shared documents and the class portal. Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in English for purposes of a high school transcript.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $296.00

English: Advanced Literary Criticism & Composition- Overview of Literary Movements

Quarter 1,2: Starts on September 6, 2019

Class Time: 1:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Melanie Kosar/ Anne Sharp

Grade Range: 10th-11th

Prerequisites: None

Overview

Advanced Literary Criticism & Composition introduces the high school student to a deeper investigation into literary movements and literary themes throughout the ages. Like art, literature is a writer's response to his world and a reflection of his society and contemporary culture. Literary genres evolved in response to significant events, prevailing philosophies, and impactful innovations and discoveries in the writer's lifetime. Literary movements create a timeline that reflects those influences. In this course, students will read and evaluate selections from various literary movements: Romanticism, Dark Romanticism, Gothic, Transcendentalism, Realism, Naturalism, Magical Realism, Stream of Consciousness, Expressionism, Harlem Renaissance, Modernism, Beat, etc., and make connections to significant effects of the period.

Advanced composition in this course will move beyond personal interpretation of the work ("What do I think?") and transition into two Schools of Literary Criticism: Biographical Criticism, which views literature through the personal world of the writer ("What did the writer think?"), and Historical/Societal Criticism which views literature through the society/times of the writer ("What was going on around the writer?")

Literature

First semester of Advanced Literary Criticism will include a chronological grouping of literature in "movements" and a study of how movements combine to create genre. Students will discover how literature reflects the people, events, discoveries, and ideology of the time and how literary movements provide clues to the philosophical, scientific, and societal climate. The class will look at wars and conflict as a creative element that drives evolution in literary movements. The types of literature used to examine movements will span novels, short stories, poetry, letters, political writings, slave narratives and analytical essays. Examples of some literature that students may read in this course are Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. The full reading list will be presented in the course syllabus at the beginning of the term. In addition, students will be asked to read several selections over the summer. Students may also need to do some supplemental, parallel personal reading on his/her own to support the semester project.

Composition

First semester Composition will apply the Schools of Literary Criticism to craft essays that demonstrate and understanding of movements in the broader context of literature- across eras, across genre/form, across writers and across the world. Teens will write a series of short essays that use different "filters" or "lenses" to view literary genres. Students will develop skills in notetaking, adding research to their literary essays, and managing their writing portfolios. They will also perform parallel, independent research in literature to develop a presentation on a movement or era culminating a semester project.

Class Structure

This course is part of a custom curriculum developed and team-taught by Anne Sharp and Melanie Kosar. The courses are designed in a sequential program that complements the developmental skills of the adolescent learner. It is a seminar-style approach that mirrors university literature and writing classes. Mrs. Kosar will teach the literature components of the course on Wednesdays, and Mrs. Sharp will teach the writing portion of the class on Fridays.

Topics in this Series: Overview of Literary Movements (Semester 1) and Survey of Themes in Literature (Semester 2). Prerequisites: Students should be able to read at grade level. Students should have had a prior course in literature to have established a firm foundation in basic literary elements and form. Workload: Students should expect to spend 3-4 hours per week outside of class. In addition, students should complete the summer assignments consisting of the literature identified above and a hand-out of literary terminology to learn. Assignments: will be posted on a Google Classroom. Assessments: are portfolio-based. Students will create a digital portfolio that incorporates annotated reading lists, reflects individual interests and accomplishments and showcases a variety of writing. Textbook: Students should purchase or borrow the assigned literature. In some cases, specific editions will be identified with ISBN numbers so students can be on the "same page" (literally!) What to Bring: Students should bring paper or notebook, pen or pencil, current literature selection, and personal writing journal to class each week. Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a credit in English for purposes of a high school transcript.

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $583.00

English: Introduction to Literary Analysis & Writing- Elements of Literature

Quarter 1,2: Starts on September 6, 2019

Class Time: 12:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Melanie Kosar/ Anne Sharp

Grade Range: 9th-10th

Prerequisites: None

Overview

The Introduction to Literary Analysis & Writing is a high school student's first look at the higher-level relationship between literature and personal writing. Literary analysis and critical writing move a teen from being merely a good reader- a middle school skill- to becoming a scholarly reader and diagnostic writer which are the foundations of high school and college level inquiry into all forms of written works.

In this course, literature is not restricted to a particular genre or form, and writing is not limited to a common five-paragraph composition. Instead, literature is presented as a survey, sampling many different types of works, and composition is approached as the development of a student's personal responses to what he reads. During the first semester, students will examine the basic elements of literature, and second semester will evaluate forms and genres to create a "big picture" of the development of literature.

Literature

First semester Literary Analysis will focus on the basic elements of literature- character, setting, theme, plot, and conflict- and how they interact to create story. These building blocks exist across all forms of literature, so the class may evaluate the plot in an epic poem, a character in a classic play, or the setting in a short story. Some well-known literature will be used to introduce students to the various literary elements, and new works will be studied to demonstrate the best examples of a vivid fictional universe, a strong narrator, beloved (or feared) characters, and other literary components. Examples of some literature that students may read in this course are The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Journey to the Center of Earth by Jules Verne, and Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The full reading list will be presented in the course syllabus at the beginning of the term. In addition, students will be asked to read several selections over the summer. Students may also need to do some supplemental, parallel personal reading on his/her own to support the semester project.

Composition

First semester Writing will focus on personal response to literature, with the core being a personal writing journal. The students' journals will be a place to record what they think and feel about what they are reading. Students will learn to annotate, to cite passages from text, and to format. Notes made in the journals will be used to develop short, informal written pieces about the literature read in the course. Observations from the student's journal will also be used to collect supporting, textural evidence to support the reader's opinions which will be formulated into a thesis (personal position). Written assignments will include summaries, compare/contrast analyses, and parallel structure writings that focus on character, setting, plot, conflict, etc., to further underscore and assess student's understanding of the building blocks of literature. First semester will conclude with a culminating project on a subgenre of the student's own choosing which will analyze works for character, plot, setting, and other literary elements studied.

Class Structure

This course is part of a custom curriculum developed and team-taught by Anne Sharp and Melanie Kosar. The courses are designed in a sequential program that complements the developmental skills of the adolescent learner. It is a seminar-style approach that mirrors university literature and writing classes. Mrs. Kosar will teach the literature components of the course on Wednesdays, and Mrs. Sharp will teach the writing portion of the class on Fridays.

Topics in this Series: Elements of Literature (Semester 1) and Forms of Literature (Semester 2). Prerequisites: Students should be able to read at grade level. Workload: Students should expect to spend 3-4 hours per week outside of class. In addition, students should complete the summer assignments consisting of the literature identified above and a hand-out of literary terminology to learn. Assignments: will be posted on a Google Classroom. Assessments: are portfolio-based. Students will create a digital portfolio that incorporates annotated reading lists, reflects individual interests and accomplishments and showcases a variety of writing. Textbook: Students should purchase or borrow the assigned literature. In some cases, specific editions will be identified with ISBN numbers so students can be on the "same page" (literally!) What to Bring: Students should bring paper or notebook, pen or pencil, current literature selection, and personal writing journal to class each week. Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a credit in English for purposes of a high school transcript.

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $583.00

Public Speaking for Success

Quarter 1,2: Starts on September 6, 2019

Class Time: 12:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Mo Hamilton

Grade Range: 9th-12th

Prerequisites: None

Glossophobia is defined as the fear of public speaking", and in a recent survey conducted by Chapman University, public speaking was again defined as the #1 fear! Unfortunately, it is that fear that hinders many teens from becoming expressive, confident, and capable of speaking and being heard. Yet, public speaking is an invaluable skillset that we need throughout our lives!

In this class, students will find their voice! Preparation is the key, so students will learn how to select and formulate a speech topic, get to know their audience, and develop a speech. The class will learn how to control the nerves, incorporate gestures, eye contact, and other nonverbal body language techniques, and how to enhance their presentations with vocal variety, props, and visual aids in addition to learning the Art of Engagement.

Students will practice three speaking styles: Impromptu, Extemporaneous, and Original Oratory. Impromptu Speech is an off-the-cuff oral response to a question, statement, or phrase with minimal preparation. Participants will learn how to quickly think on their feet and deliver a two- minute speech. Extemporaneous Speech is prepared on short notice with thirty minutes to outline a position on an issue or theme given three prompts to consider. Original Oratory, a favorite in the National Forensics and Speech competition, can be an informative or persuasive speech that is composed, rehearsed, and delivered by the speaker on any topic they choose. At the end of the quarter, we will crown an Original Oratory Speech Champion...the first for Compass!

Topics in this Series: Public Speaking for Success (Semester 1) and Debate-Able (Semester 2). Workload: Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week outside of class. Assignments: will be sent by e-mail to parents and students. Assessments: will be provided in the form of score sheets/feedback from judges at the conclusion of final speech presentations. Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in English or Communications for purposes of a high school transcript.

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $279.00

Shakespeare Off the Page: The Winter's Tale

Quarter 1,2: Starts on September 6, 2019

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 115 min

Instructor: Heather Sanderson

Grade Range: 8th-12th

Prerequisites: None

Read it! Act it! Students will enjoy this two-hour, semester-long workshop with Shakespearian coach Heather Sanderson who hails from England and is known for instilling a love of Shakespeare into the hearts of students throughout the Greater DC area. The class will explore Shakespeare's timeless romantic comedy, The Winter?s Tale, and analyze its characters, plot, themes and motives. Students will voyage to the shores of Sicilia to take on the personas of Kings Leontes and Polixenes, Queen Hermione, courtiers Camillo, Paulina, and Antigonus. A kindly shepherd, a wise oracle, a clown, and a young girl make up the cast of characters in this mixed-up tale of jealousy, intrigue, revenge, and redemption.

Students will read various roles, study and act out scenes, practice monologues, and work through the literature while having fun with fellow teens. Theatre games will be used to encourage collaboration, and specially designed improv exercises will be used to stretch teens' imaginations and help them get "in character". The class will use read-aloud and in-class dramatization to decipher the original language, word choices, and to identify humor, satire, mockery, betrayal, and rejection in this mixed-up comedic tale of mistaken identity. The class will work from complete texts (not redacted, abridged, or simplified school versions) to hear and practice Elizabethan lingo. (How did someone of Shakespeare's time hurl insults or woo a woman?) Students will learn how the Bard crafted scenes and conveyed the primary storyline and sub-plots in a dark tale that has endured for over 400 years.

Instructor Heather Sanderson shares a teaching style based on actions and interactions, developed from years of experience coaching Shakespeare in a way that appeals to students. Her approach brings abstract concepts, complex themes, and difficult language to the students' level, so that they can relate to and appreciate Shakespeare.

Topics in this Series: Shakespeare Off the Page: The Winter's Tale (Semester 1), Shakespeare Off the Page: Death by Shakespeare (Quarter 3), and Shakespeare's Famous Re-Writes of English History: Antony & Cleopatra (Quarter 4). Workload: Students should expect to spend 0-1 hour per week outside of class reading sections. Assignments: Sections will be assigned in class and included in the weekly e-mail to parents/students. Assessments: Will not be given. Textbook: The cost of the class text is included in the course fee. Non-Meeting Dates: This is a 13-week class, and the week off will be announced. Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in English Literature or Fine Arts for purposes of a high school transcript.

8 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $358.00

Information Masters: Research Strategies in the Digital World

Quarter 1,2: Starts on September 11, 2019

Class Time: 12:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 7th-12th

Prerequisites: None

Information Masters: Research Strategies in the Digital World

Information Masters transforms students into savvy consumers and producers of information capable of navigating today's intimidating infosphere. This class introduces the latest in electronic resources for research (sorry, no card catalogs here!). Each week students will develop new media literacy skills necessary for high school and college research writing.

Students will begin by exploring print and electronic resources while refining their ability to determine informational needs. Students will be introduced to a wide array of resources, including academic search engines, scholarly databases, and primary sources. In addition, students will learn how to select the best resource for their informational need and not merely the first one that pops up. Students will discuss the ethical use of information and create an accurate bibliography with MLA format through an online bibliography generator.

After learning about the wide variety of resources available to them, students will practice crafting effective questions to focus their research. They will learn how to extract information from various resources by skimming, scanning, and using abstracts. In order to spot and avoid plagiarism, students will learn note-taking skills and discuss how to summarize, paraphrase, and cite sources correctly.

Workload: Students should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week outside of class. Assignments: Will be given in class and e-mailed to parents and students in the weekly update. Assessments: The instructor will provide feedback via detailed rubrics on all written assignments. What to Bring: Some weeks, students will need to bring a laptop or tablet device to class. All students are required to have a library card, preferably from Fairfax County Public Library. Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in English for purposes of a high school transcript.

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $295.00

Writing Lab

Quarter 1,2: Starts on September 11, 2019

Class Time: 3:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Shannon McClain

Grade Range: 7th-12th

Prerequisites: None

Scriptophobia. Break the block. Get past the paralysis. Every student struggles with writing at some point. Fearful writers worry what others will think. Reluctant writers have trouble getting started. Even strong, prolific writers experience roadblocks in their writing. Every teen can benefit from Writing Lab, a safe, supportive writing workshop where an experienced writing coach facilitates peer revision groups. Writing Lab is based on the idea of revision, revision, revision; teaching teens that writing does not have to be perfect; sometimes they just need to put words on paper to get started.

Writing Lab will give students the opportunity to revise their own writing at their own pace. Writing Lab may be taken stand-alone or to complement other classes. Each class will include the opportunity to write to a prompt or on a topic of choice, to confer with classmates about writing, and to work on developing pieces. Each session will include dedicated writing time. Students may bring pieces of writing from another class or something they are working on at home-- history paper, English composition, lab report, short story, personal essay, etc. No two will be the same. If a student shows up with no in-progress writing, the instructor will provide sample prompts to get the writing process started. After writing, students will break up into groups of 3-4 students to share their work and receive feedback from peers. Writers will benefit from having an audience and receiving input on their drafts. That feedback will inspire further revision, refinement, and clarification of their writing as well as ideas for new pieces. Each week the writing coach will provide writing tips and guidance on everything from organizing big ideas and writing mechanics to how to give and receive constructive criticism.

Revision is a vital step in the writing process in which writers consider what they have accomplished and what they can do to make their work more effective. Having the opportunity to revise is helpful to reluctant writers, who learn to free themselves of high expectations of every word they put to paper, as well as prolific writers, who benefit from honing their craft. Having models written by peers in addition to a peer audience is inspiring, and it trains writers to be critical readers who can give constructive feedback. Students will improve as writers if they choose to work on their pieces in class only, but working independently will significantly amplify the benefits of the class.

Topics in this Series: Writing Lab will continue in Semester 2, and students may continue the course to further develop/improve their writing. Workload: Students should expect to spend time outside of class writing, however the time will vary based on the type of writing and students' goals for the writing. Assignments: Students should bring works-in-progress to lab. The number of assignments completed or advanced will depend on the amount of outside writing a student does and the length of his/her piece. Assessments: The writing coach will provide individual feedback on pieces that a student brings to work on in lab. Credit: Homeschool families may wish to count this course as a component (partial) credit in English for purposes of a high school transcript.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $266.00

Formula for Fiction: Historical Fiction

Quarter 2: Starts on October 25, 2019

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Anne Sharp

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites: None

Find out how historical facts and creativity collide in writing historical fiction! Students will learn why the literary elements of time and place are prescribed in popular historical tales such as Gone with the Wind, A Tale of Two Cities, and Johnny Tremain. Sometimes details of real historical characters or events are woven in to bring credibility to this genre. Students will research a historical period or event in order to select appropriate details to weave into their historical fiction.

Great writing doesn't always begin "from scratch." Sometimes writers use a formula, or template storyline, to create fiction. This class series examines different types of popular storylines to give the young writer a "formula" for creating original fiction. For each genre, the class will examine samples of literature and excerpts from well-known works that illustrate the story template. Each fiction formula includes a different mix of elements (characters, setting, plot) that change in the new story while others remain fixed to preserve the genre.

A portion of each class will be dedicated to sharing students' working drafts through collaboration and in-class feedback. Students will be expected to conduct some writing and reading at home each week. Literature selections will not be assigned in their entirety, but students may want to continue reading the complete work. The culmination of the students' work will be a bound class literary magazine. Topics in this Series: Mystery and Detective Stories (Quarter 1); Historical Fiction (Quarter 2); Prequels and Sequels (Quarter 3); and Revisioning a Classic (Quarter 4).

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $140.00

Bibliophiles Book Group: Individuality

Quarter 2: Starts on October 30, 2019

Class Time: 1:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites: None

The Bibliophiles Book Group offers middle school students the opportunity to read high quality literature and expand their understanding of what they read through book discussion and literary analysis. Through facilitated class discussion, students will do thematic analysis, comparing books with similar themes and examining how an author develops the selected theme. In addition, students will complete extension activities or projects, such as researching a specific aspects of the story. Students will be asked to read assigned chapters from their books at home. Listening to the unabridged audiobook can substitute for individual reading. Readers will be encouraged to take notes on key passages or questions. The first book of Quarter 2 will be The Outsiders by SE Hinton from the theme "individualtiy." A subsequent book(s) having the same theme will be voted on by the students each quarter from among Newbery Medalists and Honor Books, the Capitol Choices book lists, or other award-winning young adult literature.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $126.00

Great Books for Girls Group

Quarter 2: Starts on October 30, 2019

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 4th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Great Books for Girls offers preteen students the opportunity to read high quality literature and expand their understanding of what they read through book discussion and hands-on extension activities. Through facilitated class discussion, students will analyze plot, theme, characters, genre, and setting by citing specific examples from the story. In addition, students will complete a wide range of extension activities, such as acting out or illustrating favorite scenes, writing alternate endings or prequels, or researching specific aspects of the story. Students will be asked to read assigned chapters from their books at home, either as read-aloud, individual silent reading, or listening to the unabridged audiobook. Readers will be encouraged to take notes on key passages or questions. All books selected for 2019-20 will feature the theme, "Perspective." The first book of Quarter 2 will be Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed. A second, follw-up book will be voted on by the students each quarter from A Mighty Girl suggested titles, Newbery Medalists and Honor Books, and the Capitol Choices book lists.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $126.00

Public Speaking: Telling Your Story

Quarter 2: Starts on October 30, 2019

Class Time: 2:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Arthuretta Martin

Grade Range: 5th-8th

Prerequisites: None

Students develop their public speaking skills and their own "voice" through the art of storytelling in a fun, supportive environment taught by a seasoned speaker, coach, and storyteller! Students will build on the theme of interpretive reading, voice, and inflection by adding memorization and use of their bodies to communicate the stories. Storytelling is not acting but it is a creative, performing art and a great tool in successful public speaking. Students will have the option of writing and telling their own stories or re-telling a known tale. Students will have the opportunity to view videos of professional storytellers from different genres and countries and choose the genre they would like to demonstrate. Students will practice posture, eye contact, enunciation, pauses, and timing while receiving tips and techniques from the instructor and peer feedback. The class will culminate in an end of the quarter presentation for parents. This workshop is open to students new to public speaking or those with experience, and students may repeat the program to continue to refine their public speaking skills.

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $139.00

Word Masters: Verbal Analogies and Vocab Challenges

Quarter 2: Starts on October 30, 2019

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 4th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Word Masters is a language challenge for students who enjoy word games, spelling, building their vocabulary, and verbal adventures. Why study lists of words if you can make a game of it? The best way to learn new words is to use them! This class is inspired by the annual Word Masters Challenge (www.wordmasterschallenge.com). Each week students will tackle new vocabulary words and practice them through analogies and critical thinking challenges. Students will examine word meanings, relationships, synonyms and antonyms with in-class activities and games such as Pictionary, Scategories, Charades, and Apples-to-Apples. Word Masters will improve a student's reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, logic skills, and the ability to think analytically and metaphorically. Word Masters introduce all new word lists, analogies, and activities each quarter.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $126.00

Writer's Workshop: Finding Colorful Characters for our Fiction

Quarter 2: Starts on October 30, 2019

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Karen Hickman

Grade Range: 5th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Does that person with blue hair you just saw riding a motorcycle belong in your story? Do you have a great idea for an animal that travels around the world? Do trains fascinate you? Fantasy and fiction can merge in this class all about finding colorful characters. Students will learn from the Paragraph Train to the 4 P's (people, places, problem, and plot solution) all about how to construct a story that hooks the reader. The class will begin with responding to prompts and making our writing time a place to focus. Strategies for getting started are covered as we move into the strengths in a story and the importance of journals. Students will publish one of their stories in an anthology at the close of the class.

The Writers' Workshop gives students in grades 5-6 the skills they need for writing, reading, listening, and speaking that come from practicing by putting pen to paper. Sharing drafts and in-progress works enhances the understanding of language structure, encourages revision, and improves editing in story writing. Each quarter, students will review samples of literature and write about popular themes using the story elements of that theme.

Imagination and creativity come easily to most young writers, but acquiring technical skills is also important. Each quarter, students will focus on specific skills. The skills are a part of their Writer's Tool Kit that includes understanding parts and kinds of sentences, plurals, possessives, and punctuation. Learning how to use a dictionary and a thesaurus, as well as practical, higher, middle school level skills such as summarizing, outlining, note taking, writing a book report, or citing sources are included throughout the four sessions.

Topics in this Series: Reading Classics, Writing New Endings (Quarter 1); Finding Colorful Characters for our Fiction (Quarter 2); Writing from the Inside Out (Quarter 3); and Classics, Paintings, and Poetry- A Passport Adventure (Quarter 4).

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $139.00

Bibliophiles Book Group: Truth

Quarter 3: Starts on January 8, 2020

Class Time: 1:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites: None

The Bibliophiles Book Group offers middle school students the opportunity to read high quality literature and expand their understanding of what they read through book discussion and literary analysis. Through facilitated class discussion, students will do thematic analysis, comparing books with similar themes and examining how an author develops the selected theme. In addition, students will complete extension activities or projects, such as researching a specific aspects of the story. Students will be asked to read assigned chapters from their books at home. Listening to the unabridged audiobook can substitute for individual reading. Readers will be encouraged to take notes on key passages or questions. The first book of Quarter 1 will be The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner from the theme "truth." A subsequent book(s) having the same theme will be voted on by the students each quarter from among Newbery Medalists and Honor Books, the Capitol Choices book lists, or other award-winning young adult literature.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $144.00

Great Books for Girls Group

Quarter 3: Starts on January 8, 2020

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 4th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Great Books for Girls offers preteen students the opportunity to read high quality literature and expand their understanding of what they read through book discussion and hands-on extension activities. Through facilitated class discussion, students will analyze plot, theme, characters, genre, and setting by citing specific examples from the story. In addition, students will complete a wide range of extension activities, such as acting out or illustrating favorite scenes, writing alternate endings or prequels, or researching specific aspects of the story. Students will be asked to read assigned chapters from their books at home, either as read-aloud, individual silent reading, or listening to the unabridged audiobook. Readers will be encouraged to take notes on key passages or questions. All books selected for 2019-20 will feature the theme, "Perspective." The first book of Quarter 3 will be Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. A second, follw-up book will be voted on by the students each quarter from A Mighty Girl suggested titles, Newbery Medalists and Honor Books, and the Capitol Choices book lists.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $144.00

Public Speaking: Finding Your Voice (Expository)

Quarter 3: Starts on January 8, 2020

Class Time: 2:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Arthuretta Martin

Grade Range: 5th-8th

Prerequisites: None

Coming Soon

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $159.00

Word Masters: Verbal Analogies and Vocab Challenges

Quarter 3: Starts on January 8, 2020

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 4th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Word Masters is a language challenge for students who enjoy word games, spelling, building their vocabulary, and verbal adventures. Why study lists of words if you can make a game of it? The best way to learn new words is to use them! This class is inspired by the annual Word Masters Challenge (www.wordmasterschallenge.com). Each week students will tackle new vocabulary words and practice them through analogies and critical thinking challenges. Students will examine word meanings, relationships, synonyms and antonyms with in-class activities and games such as Pictionary, Scategories, Charades, and Apples-to-Apples. Word Masters will improve a student's reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, logic skills, and the ability to think analytically and metaphorically. Word Masters introduce all new word lists, analogies, and activities each quarter.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $144.00

Writer's Workshop: Writing from the Inside Out

Quarter 3: Starts on January 8, 2020

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Karen Hickman

Grade Range: 5th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Understanding descriptive, narrative, expository, and persuasive paragraphs is essential to becoming a good writer. Learning how writing is constructed from the sentence to the paragraph is essential to the writer. Students will extend sentences into essays and stories to be shared. The four paragraphs have rules, and learning the rules helps us be better writers. Strategies for getting started, learning to show instead of tell, and lessons that enhance the writing will be shared. Graphic story pages and cartoons will be included in paragraph construction. Students will find their own voice as they move from one kind of paragraph to another. Focusing on specific skills throughout this class will strengthen student writing. Audience and purpose will play a role in the fiction and non-fiction students create and share in the class anthology.

The Writers' Workshop gives students in grades 5-6 the skills they need for writing, reading, listening, and speaking that come from practicing by putting pen to paper. Sharing drafts and in-progress works enhances the understanding of language structure, encourages revision, and improves editing in story writing. Each quarter, students will review samples of literature and write about popular themes using the story elements of that theme.

Imagination and creativity come easily to most young writers, but acquiring technical skills is also important. Each quarter, students will focus on specific skills. The skills are a part of their Writer's Tool Kit that includes understanding parts and kinds of sentences, plurals, possessives, and punctuation. Learning how to use a dictionary and a thesaurus, as well as practical, higher, middle school level skills such as summarizing, outlining, note taking, writing a book report, or citing sources are included throughout the four sessions.

Topics in this Series: Reading Classics, Writing New Endings (Quarter 1); Finding Colorful Characters for our Fiction (Quarter 2); Writing from the Inside Out (Quarter 3); and Classics, Paintings, and Poetry- A Passport Adventure (Quarter 4).

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $159.00

Formula for Fiction: Prequels and Sequels

Quarter 3: Starts on January 10, 2020

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Anne Sharp

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites: None

Do you have a favorite tale that you always wanted to explore the beginning or further adventures of its characters, their ancestors, or their progeny? Sometimes we love a character or story so much that we want it to keep going! In this class, students will survey well-known prequels and sequels and will examine popular storylines as a possible "formula" for creating original fiction. What happened to D'Artagnan decades after The Three Muskateers? Find out in Dumas' sequel, Twenty Years After. Did you know that Rudyard Kipling penned The Second Jungle Book with further adventures of Mowgli and his friends, or that after his Adventures, Mark Twain continued to tell the story of Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective? Some sequels are not even written by the original author, such as Alexandra Ripley's sequel Scarlett to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind.

In this tradition, students will continue a beloved story through the creation of a before or after, borrowing and elaborating on characters, setting, and a few plot details. In the process of picking up where an author left off (or began), the student writer must delve deeper into story elements in order to remain true to the original concept. To do this requires knowledge and understanding author's intent by building credible preceding/continuing events and character continuity that mesh with the given storyline.

Great writing doesn't always begin "from scratch." Sometimes writers use a formula, or template storyline, to create fiction. This class series examines different types of popular storylines to give the young writer a "formula" for creating original fiction. For each genre, the class will examine samples of literature and excerpts from well-known works that illustrate the story template. Each fiction formula includes a different mix of elements (characters, setting, plot) that change in the new story while others remain fixed to preserve the genre.

A portion of each class will be dedicated to sharing students' working drafts through collaboration and in-class feedback. Students will be expected to conduct some writing and reading at home each week. Literature selections will not be assigned in their entirety, but students may want to continue reading the complete work. The culmination of the students' work will be a bound class literary magazine. Topics in this Series: Mystery and Detective Stories (Quarter 1); Historical Fiction (Quarter 2); Prequels and Sequels (Quarter 3); and Revisioning a Classic (Quarter 4).

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $160.00

English: Nobel and Pulitzer Prize Winning Non Fiction

Quarter 3, 4: Starts on January 8, 2020

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Anne Sharp/Melanie Kosar

Grade Range: 11th-12th

Prerequisites: None

Coming soon

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $665.00

Bibliophiles Book Group: Survival

Quarter 4: Starts on March 18, 2020

Class Time: 1:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites: None

The Bibliophiles Book Group offers middle school students the opportunity to read high quality literature and expand their understanding of what they read through book discussion and literary analysis. Through facilitated class discussion, students will do thematic analysis, comparing books with similar themes and examining how an author develops the selected theme. In addition, students will complete extension activities or projects, such as researching a specific aspects of the story. Students will be asked to read assigned chapters from their books at home. Listening to the unabridged audiobook can substitute for individual reading. Readers will be encouraged to take notes on key passages or questions. The only book of Quarter 4 will be Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan from the theme "survial," because it is reviewed as being "four books in one."

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $144.00

Great Books for Girls Group

Quarter 4: Starts on March 18, 2020

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 4th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Great Books for Girls offers preteen students the opportunity to read high quality literature and expand their understanding of what they read through book discussion and hands-on extension activities. Through facilitated class discussion, students will analyze plot, theme, characters, genre, and setting by citing specific examples from the story. In addition, students will complete a wide range of extension activities, such as acting out or illustrating favorite scenes, writing alternate endings or prequels, or researching specific aspects of the story. Students will be asked to read assigned chapters from their books at home, either as read-aloud, individual silent reading, or listening to the unabridged audiobook. Readers will be encouraged to take notes on key passages or questions. All books selected for 2019-20 will feature the theme, "Perspective." The first book of Quarter 4 will be Front Desk by Kelly Yang. A second, follw-up book will be voted on by the students each quarter from A Mighty Girl suggested titles, Newbery Medalists and Honor Books, and the Capitol Choices book lists.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $144.00

Public Speaking: Making Your Point (Persuasion)

Quarter 4: Starts on March 18, 2020

Class Time: 2:00 pm      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Arthuretta Martin

Grade Range: 5th-8th

Prerequisites: None

Coming Soon

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $159.00

Word Masters: Verbal Analogies and Vocab Challenges

Quarter 4: Starts on March 18, 2020

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Megan Reynolds

Grade Range: 4th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Word Masters is a language challenge for students who enjoy word games, spelling, building their vocabulary, and verbal adventures. Why study lists of words if you can make a game of it? The best way to learn new words is to use them! This class is inspired by the annual Word Masters Challenge (www.wordmasterschallenge.com). Each week students will tackle new vocabulary words and practice them through analogies and critical thinking challenges. Students will examine word meanings, relationships, synonyms and antonyms with in-class activities and games such as Pictionary, Scategories, Charades, and Apples-to-Apples. Word Masters will improve a student's reading comprehension, verbal reasoning, logic skills, and the ability to think analytically and metaphorically. Word Masters introduce all new word lists, analogies, and activities each quarter.

6 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $144.00

Writer's Workshop: Classics, Paintings, and Poetry- A Passport Adventure

Quarter 4: Starts on March 18, 2020

Class Time: 11:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Karen Hickman

Grade Range: 5th-6th

Prerequisites: None

Students will journey around the world reading classic stories and finding poetry in paintings as they study the masters of various art forms. A journal and passport will be handed out. Using an Ekphrastic poetry style to extend their thinking and encourage the writing of new meanings into old works, students will identify traditional poetry and free verse in classic literature. Student interpretations will extend influence the meaning of their own poetry as they study several famous artists and poets with international appeal: Van Gogh, Vermeer, Klimpt, Homer, Hopper, and O'Keefe, while Basho, Issa, and Muth will provide haiku, tanka, sijo, freeverse and sonnets as students travel from Europe to the States and on to Asia. In tandem, the class will read portions of Dickens, Twain, and Grahame to hear the voices of humanity and borrow a few lines to influence our own poetry. Each student will choose an artist for a report that will be shared in a printed class anthology. It will seem like a class game to get their passports stamped! Join us in our global travel.

The Writers' Workshop gives students in grades 5-6 the skills they need for writing, reading, listening, and speaking that come from practicing by putting pen to paper. Sharing drafts and in-progress works enhances the understanding of language structure, encourages revision, and improves editing in story writing. Each quarter, students will review samples of literature and write about popular themes using the story elements of that theme.

Imagination and creativity come easily to most young writers, but acquiring technical skills is also important. Each quarter, students will focus on specific skills. The skills are a part of their Writer's Tool Kit that includes understanding parts and kinds of sentences, plurals, possessives, and punctuation. Learning how to use a dictionary and a thesaurus, as well as practical, higher, middle school level skills such as summarizing, outlining, note taking, writing a book report, or citing sources are included throughout the four sessions.

Topics in this Series: Reading Classics, Writing New Endings (Quarter 1); Finding Colorful Characters for our Fiction (Quarter 2); Writing from the Inside Out (Quarter 3); and Classics, Paintings, and Poetry- A Passport Adventure (Quarter 4).

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $159.00

Formula for Fiction: Revisioning a Classic

Quarter 4: Starts on March 20, 2020

Class Time: 10:00 am      Duration: 55 min

Instructor: Anne Sharp

Grade Range: 7th-8th

Prerequisites: None

Did you know that Westside Story is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet or that Ever After was inspired by the fairytale, Cinderella? The complete Percy Jackson series is based on classical Greek mythology, while the Broadway blockbuster "Wicked" was a spin-off of the beloved The Wizard of Oz novel and movie. Sometimes we are content to read a favorite story in its original form, but sometimes we enjoy a modern perspective, an updated version, or a fresh telling of a familiar tale.

In this tradition, students will borrow from the best that past literature has to offer and write a retelling, a reboot, or a parody of a favorite classic. While remaining faithful to the original concept (plot structure, events and characters), students will change perspective or setting, or time period to recreate a recognizable, yet revisioned fictional story. To do this, the student must understand author's original, prescribed character traits and motivation; include recognizable events and situations; and incorporate enough names and references to the original work, all while re-casting the story with a fresh twist.

Great writing doesn't always begin "from scratch." Sometimes writers use a formula, or template storyline, to create fiction. This class series examines different types of popular storylines to give the young writer a "formula" for creating original fiction. For each genre, the class will examine samples of literature and excerpts from well-known works that illustrate the story template. Each fiction formula includes a different mix of elements (characters, setting, plot) that change in the new story while others remain fixed to preserve the genre.

A portion of each class will be dedicated to sharing students' working drafts through collaboration and in-class feedback. Students will be expected to conduct some writing and reading at home each week. Literature selections will not be assigned in their entirety, but students may want to continue reading the complete work. The culmination of the students' work will be a bound class literary magazine. Topics in this Series: Mystery and Detective Stories (Quarter 1); Historical Fiction (Quarter 2); Prequels and Sequels (Quarter 3); and Revisioning a Classic (Quarter 4).

7 students must enroll in order for this class to be held. Price: $160.00

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