Growing Literature

suggested for grades 7th-9th



Reading fictional stories is not merely for entertainment. We gain knowledge and empathy through reading these stories, plus improve critical thinking and response skills. In this class, students first review the elements of literature, then learn about plot, character, purpose, and theme. Next, students engage in response by understanding literary devices, making connections, and asking questions, while expressing opinions and observations backed by evidence from the story. Students complete the class by writing a full literature response outline and either a book report or book review as their final project.  (NOTE: students will respond to two books of their choice! We do not assign books for this class.)

PREREQUISITE:   Essay Basics or equivalent five-paragraph essay experience required.

learning through

Poetry is a beautiful yet often overlooked form of writing. At times, poetry can seem boring, confusing, and difficult to both read and write. However, a study of poetry and its forms can be enjoyable and interesting. Poetry is a story crafted through literary devices such as repetition, rhyme, and metaphor. In this class, students learn about the elements of poetry as well as the various forms of poetry structure. Students have the opportunity to analyze poems and write poems of their own.

(NOTE: all poetry will be assigned for this class; some poetry will be provided within the lesson material, while other poems will need to be easily accessed via the internet.)

book study:
The Green Ember -- 
Finding Purpose through Story


S.D. Smith's The Green Ember presents many ideas worthy of discussion, far too many to cover each one in-depth in just eight weeks. For this class, we have chosen to focus on the theme of purpose, that of finding one's place in the story of life. Students will see how main characters Heather and Picket discover their places in the fight against evil and the preservation of good, whilst learning how to spot hindrances to our individual purposes.


This class is designed to encompass eight weeks of English studies through literature. Students will read the complete text of The Green Ember. Weekly vocabulary lists will be supplied, which can be further expanded at home as daily spelling practice. Written responses will include narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive writing.


Prerequisites: Growing Grammar I - IV or equivalent grammar studies; and Essay Basics or equivalent five-paragraph essay experience.

Required for Class: Students must have a copy of The Green Ember to read.

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