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This course is designed to prepare high school students for college-level writing, reading, and critical thinking assignments. Students will complete a persuasive research project, provide a literary analysis of a classical work, and learn to communicate professionally through media such as formal emails and cover letters. They will also practice giving quick, thoughtful responses to timed essay prompts as required by the ACT or SAT essays and the in-class essay exams of many college courses. In preparation for college composition and literature classes, the course’s poetry unit will help students tackle the form and content of poems through poetry analysis and their own creative writing. Students who complete this course will be able to demonstrate sound reasoning, excellent grammar, and an awareness of structure and style in their written work.

This course is designed to help high school writers learn to read critically, write persuasively, and research thoroughly. As students practice their academic and creative writing, they will analyze the content and form of novels, autobiography, and allegory. They will respond with persuasive essays, a comparison and contrast of characters, an author-based research project, and their own personal narratives and short allegories. Students will learn correct sentence structure as a tool of good writing and keep a year-long journal of interesting words and phrases to inspire them in their own work. By the end of the year, they will feel confident in their ability to use written words to express ideas, tell stories, and persuade readers.

This course is designed to teach 7th and 8th grade students the skills they need in order to write excellently as they approach high school. The course will cover both academic and creative writing, and students will learn to master the five-paragraph essay, write engaging descriptions through prose and poetry, and correctly use and cite outside sources in a relevant research paper. The course will also cover literature analysis as students read a novel and respond intelligently to its fiction elements, worldview, and value to them as readers. Throughout the year, students will strengthen their abilities through regular grammar exercises and a vocabulary journal, ultimately coming away as confident and capable writers.

This course is designed for 9th – 12th grade students to learn the art of good communication.  Students will learn how to tell a great story, how to develop persuasive arguments of a political nature, explain them and attempt to persuade another of their viewpoint, and learn to entertain an audience with some humorous material.  Students  will investigate some career options and interview someone in a career of their interest, learn how to assemble a job resume, and sell themselves in a “mock” job interview.   A variety of speeches will be presented to stretch the student to become an effective communicator;  each speech will be objectively graded based on written expectations.  The class will learn the fine art of persuasion applied to debate.  The basics of speech communication skills will be enhanced by utilizing PowerPoint and audience engagement tools; class will include a formal presentation for an invited audience at year end.  Parents are expected to be “assistant coaches” as they overview the outline/speech and listen to the speech prior to presentation in class.  Students will learn to implement critical thinking skills, formulate ideas quickly, and become competent interactive speakers.

This course is designed for 7th and 8th grade students to learn the basics of public speaking – choosing a topic, putting together a speech with an outline format, and implementing effective delivery tools for presentation.  A variety of speeches will be presented in a safe “laboratory” setting to grasp the art of good communication and persuasion.  Students will learn how to tell a story and how to persuade others, and how to entertain an audience using some humorous material.  Each speech will be objectively graded based on written expectations. The class will end with learning some debate tools and how to work cooperatively as a group. Parents are expected to be “assistant coaches” as they overview the outline/speech and listen to the speech prior to presentation in class. This class welcomes the timid novice to the talented; all students will be challenged and hopefully find themselves more confident and better able to communicate after course completion.