Description: This course is designed to teach students how to read and write about literature by gaining a basic understanding of plot, character, and setting, with an emphasis on the short novel. It covers a representative sampling of classic novels by great authors. Students should devote approximately 45 minutes per day for this course. The assessment will primarily be based on class participation, quizzes, and collaborative discussion forums where students must write clear, relevant, and well-formed entries. In these entries, students are required to engage a particular question, theme, or event in the novel. This encourages a deep consideration of the novel and also trains the students to note important elements and glean insights from others. Students can post observations about the reading, starting a discussion over the reading, as well as reply to other discussion threads. This class is worth 1 high school credit in English, Language Arts, or Literature.
Grade Level: 9-12
Prerequisites: Since students will be regularly required to submit forum posts and chapter summaries, students should be able to write clearly structured short paragraphs with a clear thesis and supporting points. For chapter summaries, students should be able to identify main points and summarize a source.
Required Materials: Many of these selections can be found online for free or checked out from the library. The first semester is: The Call of the Wild (London), The Pearl (Steinbeck), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Hilton), Heart of Darkness (Conrad), Animal Farm (Orwell), The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald), A Christmas Carol (Dickens), The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Wilder), and Billy Budd (Melville). The second semester is: To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee), All Quiet on the Western Front (Remarque), Silas Marner (Eliot), The Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Stevenson), Daisy Miller (James), The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke, and Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury). Students will need a USB headset microphone (built-in microphones also work).