Friday, September 19, 2014

Summit Summary

There's so much for me to love about this post. I adore literature. I enjoy teaching. To combine both with an enthusiastic class is pretty much the peanut butter and chocolate dream combination of my life, and I know I am blessed to have the opportunity to infect  share that love with my students!

Now that we are five weeks into it, I thought I'd share a little about what our little class has accomplished. For the skeleton of the class, I am using two texts, namely Teaching the Classics by Adam Andrews, and Windows to the World by Lesha Myers. Of course I have put my own spin on things, so I have added and/or changed a fair bit of the resources I'm using. As our focus is primarily British Literature, I've replaced writers like O'Henry (fabulous, but from the wrong side of the pond) with Saki. Since poetry is a passion of mine, I'm also including poems from a variety of British poets, both old and new. Here are the ones we've enjoyed so far:
For many of these titles, I have found them on the Poetry Foundation's website, a fabulous source for poetry as well as background information about the poems and poets who wrote them.

A large part of the initial classwork has been focused on the elements of fiction, and being able to distinguish them apart from each other. To that end, we have been using the ever-wonderful story chart as developed by Adam and Missy Andrews.
Here we have a student (my guy) pondering his options.

And another student contributing to the action!
With the lone girl in the class (it's positively packed with boys!) finishing it out with the conclusion.
To get a handle on these story elements (plot, setting, character, conflict, and theme) I've drawn on several different stories. To begin with, we are using short stories, as they are a little easier to recognize the elements taking place. Here are just a few of the stories we've used so far...
I'm looking forward to getting more involved in the longer novels. Suitably, we are starting off with Beowulf as translated by Seamus Heaney. I'm betting the boys will have a great time, there's plenty of action and battle scenes to enjoy!

Before I go, enjoy this little video of the poem, "To a Mouse." I love a good Scottish burr, and I thought it especially timely, given the vote for Scottish independence!


  1. Great class, Jenn. I wish I could take it alongside Aiden. I am enjoying reading your selections and discussing them with him from time to time. Thanks again for pouring your heart into inspiring my boy:)

    1. It is my pleasure! I get to spend 90 minutes each week totally in my element! I feel so blessed to share my joy of literature with each one of these kiddos, and I sincerely hope they catch the "bug" from me!