Introduction to Composition & Literature

This high school level English class is designed to expose students to a close reading and study of literature and literary elements while allowing for engaging discussions and offering instructions in various modes of literary and academic essay writing.   We will discuss the moral, social, and spiritual elements in each novel as well as the literary techniques that these authors employ. As we begin each book, students will learn about the author, the historical background and time period of these novels.  Assignments will include writing point of view narratives, writing and presenting monologues, writing investigative essays, creating a class newspaper (journalism), presenting several dramatic scenes, writing various types of persuasive essays, and writing about theme and other literary elements.   This class will also include grammar instruction, on-line grammar quizzes, and vocabulary from each novel. An honor component is available for students who desire challenging assignments and preparation for any college level classes the following year. Honor students will be required to include more elements in many of their assignments well as complete honors only assignments occasionally.


Students will explore four or five classic literary pieces, to include (The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy [European Literature], 1984 by George Orwell; Julius Caesar by Shakespeare [British Literature]), and  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass.


As we cover each novel, students will:

  • Identify, analyze, interpret, and discuss various major literary elements and devices such as; allusions, conflicts, irony, tone, POV, figurative language, rhetorical language and devices, characterization, setting, foreshadowing, suspense, etc.
  • Analyzing the relationship between the novel and its historical time period and cultural influences.
  • Creative projects, tests, and quizzes will be given for a comprehensive understanding of each novel.

Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics: The GUM section, known as “Grammar & Style” will include handouts and on-line grammar programs. These assignments, given on a weekly basis will cover the various types of sentence construction, effective writing techniques, subject/verb and pronoun/antecedent agreement, and forms of punctuation.


Vocabulary: Students will receive vocabulary assignments from the words in their literature. These will include learning definitions, applying the meaning in sentences and essays, and understanding the etymology of the word.  Many of these words are among those included the ACT and SAT.


Prerequisites: A good understanding of reading writing principles for high school level literature analysis.


High School Credit: 1 English Credit. This is a full high school English class designed to cover 180 hours of work.  There are sufficient assignments for 4 more hours of daily class work (one hours per day) plus homework (as students in traditional high school) per week.


Required Texts:  Writer’s Inc. (2006 ed.); Elements of Style by Strunk and White, Novels for class


Tuition Cost: $570.00 per year for first child, $520.00 if paid in full on or before the first day of class or monthly payment of $58.75.  Sibling Discount Available.


Locations:      Monday          The Village Christian Academy (Harrisburg)       9:55 am - 10:55 am    



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