British Literature and Composition
Grades: 10-12, 9 with permission of instructor
DOE course number: 23.05200
One core credit
One weekly class with two 90-min sections
This is a great class for those who normally don't enjoy literature: there is plenty of action in Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, and Renaissance works, for example. The lit survey covers historical works and authors that every student should be familiar with before graduation—from Beowulf to Canterbury Tales to Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot. Students learn to read, analyze, and write about various styles of great literature, all of which were hits in their time and are still wonderful today. The three-hour class period enables students to enjoy some works that are lengthy and might otherwise be intimidating for those sitting home alone, such as Hamlet or a British novel. Class discussions often lead into the "great world of ideas," and on-our-feet activities keep the class time moving and interactive. Videos, role playing, illustrating, intelligent games, and group work add variety to text study. The mock trial of Dr. Frankenstein is one of spring's popular activities. A final research project focuses on a modern author chosen by individual students, who then get to practice creative, visual ways to teach the class themselves. Textbooks are borrowed from instructor, perhaps with a refundable deposit, unless students want their own copies to write in (recommended for students who enjoy literature!).
Text: England in Literature, Scott Foresman, ISBN 0673129225.
Want to visit this class? Please drop into one of Margaret's British Lit classes through May 2012. Visit the CONNECT page for details.
Speech & Composition (SPCO)
DOE course names/codes:
Speech/Forensics 1 (23.04600, elective) and Advanced Composition (23.03400 core or elective, depending on time spent writing)
One 90-minute class per week: see Locations
*Final grade reports can list this class as two separate semester classes, with titles such as "Composition" or "Writing," and "Speech Communication" or "Public Speaking." Class can be paired with a literature course to create a comprehensive high school class in "lit and comp." (This is already arranged if you take Contemporary Lit/Comp, for 1.5 credits.) Class can also stand alone as a high school English class, depending on what a student needs in a year for language arts. Instructor can work with parents on class name and credits to fit transcripts. Optional summer reading can contribute to literature requirements as well.
This is an active class that takes place in an encouraging environment. The skills of speech and writing may be taught simultaneously since much of the structure and style of both are complementary. The oral communication aspect of SPCO starts with non-intimidating assignments in order for students to build basic communication skills with a group and comfort for themselves. The class progresses through stages until basic solo speeches found in Speech 101 in most universities are presented, and life skills such as persuasive speaking and communicating in group settings are practiced. We also explore job interview skills, non-verbal communication, proposal presentation, small group consensus, and impromptu speaking. Students practice design and use of various visual aids such as PowerPoint, posters, and demonstration tools.
The composition aspect of the course covers organization and editing skills needed to conquer the SAT and ACT essays, college/scholarship applications, business letters, discussion/exam-style essays, speaker analyses, article responses, resumes, and other practical writing. Practical grammar study is included in editing workshops, useful for those who have a mind for grammar and/or those with an ear for error correction. Teacher feedback in writing and speaking focuses on encouragement and "next steps" rather than punitive or negative assessment. Having said that, there is accountability for each student to grow and work toward his or her writing being able to match up with Standard American English. Students often turn in writing assignments during the week via email, making this a part-online/part-classroom experience. Students practice meeting deadlines and assignment details, with penalties (and rewards!) increasing over the semesters. Graded work is promptly sent home for parent perusal, and then is corrected by the student and recorded in a folder, which is graded for its thoroughness before being sent home to parents at the end of each semester. Spring projects include an MLA-style research paper on a career chosen by the student and a formal, persuasive speech.
Cost: LAC: $58/month, Sept through May; MAS: $73/month, Sept through May. (See links above for discounts.) No textbook required.
Contemporary Literature & Composition, with Speech/Forensics 1 (CL)
Speech/Comp with an added literature component to meet Georgia Accrediting Commission standards.
Total credits: 1.5
DOE course names/codes:
Contemporary Literature and Composition (23.03400 core or elective, depending on time spent writing) and Speech/Forensics 1 (23.04600, elective)∗ .
Choose one 90-minute speech/comp (SPCO) class per week (see Locations) PLUS plan to attend three, two-hour Friday seminars per semester as well as seminar prep and follow through at home. See unit plan for specific dates.
Location of seminars: Dekalb County's Northlake Library, 10:00 to noon, and Atlanta/Fulton County's Northeast/Spruill Oaks Library in John's Creek, 1:00 to 3:00. PLease choose one of these locations when you register.
Course Content: Students will cover the all materials of a SPCO class, attending once a week. See that course description for writing and speech components of the class.
In addition, CL students work in six units of literature including modern short stories, poetry, drama, and nonfiction, including works from Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense (ISBN 0155511084), teacher handouts, and Internet resources. Students are taught the rhetorical framework of fiction and nonfiction, investigating literary analysis skills one can build on for future AP classwork if desired. Optional summer reading can also contribute to literature requirements if parents add that in. Students have a chance to be creative with their own writing and illustration, character role playing, and oral interpretation. Classes and discussions are upbeat and activities are varied. See unit plan for specific dates.
Text not included in price of class. It is usually about $10, used, and can be purchased online or from a former Shuman AP Lit or CLCS student. Please consider a book that does not have significant markings to distract the studentís reading, and to allow the student to make her own marks in the book.
∗ Final grade reports list this class offering as two separate classes for 1.5 credits, and parents can work with instructor to customize course titles that fit the student's transcript (with alternatives such as Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, or Twelfth Grade Lit/Comp, plus a semester of Speech or Rhetoric or such).
Cost: LAC: $78/month, Sept-May, MAS: $90/month, Sept-May, which includes all SPCO classes and Contemporary Lit seminars, earning the student 1.5 credits of language arts. (See links above for discounts.)
Advanced Placement (AP) English Language and Composition
[British Literature and Composition]
Grades: 11-12, or perhaps 10 with instructor approval
One core credit
DOE course code: 23.04300
AP Lang students attend class with British Lit students, PLUS twice-monthly seminars and study at home.
Prerequisites: At least a B in two previous high-school level English classes, and an interview with instructor
This college-level course provides an opportunity for students to study traditional British literature, but to also add the challenge of study in the areas of rhetorical communication, usually associated with nonfiction. Many students who already do well in writing expository essays and who have a good reading background can excel in this class and score well on the national AP Language exam given in May, which can lead to college credit. Also, students familiar with debate/mock trial/Model UN will find their analytical training rewarded in AP Lang. The British lit elements of the class include historical works and authors that every student should be familiar with before graduation—from Beowulf to Canterbury Tales to Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot. Students will learn to read, analyze, and write about various styles of literature. The three-hour weekly class period enables students to look intensely at works that are lengthy and might otherwise be intimidating, such as Hamlet or a British novel. Videos, acting, illustrating, and group work add variety to text study. A final research project will focus on a modern author chosen by each student. Twice-monthly AP Lang seminars will underscore rhetorical study of nonfiction and AP exam preparation, and will require the student to read two high-interest books in late summer. (See formal course descriptions and syllabi for Brit Lit and AP Lang for specifics.).
Texts: Students need to purchase used text England in Literature, Scott Foresman, ISBN 0673129225 because they may wish to write in their books. Instructor will provide handouts to be collected in student binders.
Cost: LAC $88/month, MAS $99/mo Sept-May. This includes Brit Lit fees. AP test fee and text not included in price of class, with May testing details TBA.
Advanced Placement (AP) English Literature and Composition
DOE course code: 23.06500
One core credit
One weekly class with two 90-min sections
Prerequisites: At least a C in two previous high-school level English classes and motivation to do college-level work.
Click here to view a sample AP authorization from the College Board for Mrs. Shuman's class. She can extend that authorization to other accredited groups as well as those students not in accredited groups.
This seminar-style course provides an opportunity for students to dig into literature in an analytical way, writing about and discussing the content and context of classic literature. Through study of writing techniques, literary terms, and backgrounds of literature from various centuries and cultures, students investigate literary analysis and learn to navigate through some of the powerful worldviews of history, from Greek to African to Russian, and from existentialist to feminist to Christian. Discussion, research, mapping, and analytical writing lead to drafts and revisions of essays and explications, and study of past AP exams makes the optional, national May exam more friendly to the student. Despite this serious description, students actually enjoy the give and take in the discussions and the chance to dig into interesting material with some depth. Much of the class is interactive and hands-on.
Texts: Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense (ISBN 0155511084) and classic literature such as Oedipus Rex*; Things Fall Apart; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; Hamlet; Doll's House*; The Plague; Death of a Salesman*, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. (*included in Perrine text) Instructor will provide handouts to be collected in student binders.
Want to visit this class? Please drop into Margaret's AP Language class through May 2012 to view a similar class. Visit the CONNECT page for details.
Cost: LAC: $68 per month/Sept-May, MAS: $78 per month/Sept-May. (See links above for discounts.) AP test fee, text, and some used textbooks and paperbacks not included in price of class. Paperbacks may be acquired used or at a special group rate that instructor will arrange.