Skills for Literary Analysis

This course is intended for use in middle school or the Freshman level of high school. Although it used to be a 15 week course, it has been expanded upon and now contains 35 weeks of lessons. It can be used stand-alone or in conjunction with its companion volume, Rhetoric: A Classical Writing and Speaking Course (see English). As with its sister upper-level courses, Literary Analysis has a strong written component as the student is required to compose an essay for each lesson. In this same vein, your child will need a copy of the Writer's Inc. Handbook which is used as a reference in almost every assignment.

Each of the lessons focuses on a specific literary construct as students read through full-length novels or excerpts of larger works. In some cases, the author provides significant portions (or the entire work) in the text. After reading Call of the Wild, lessons refer to that novel for studies on setting, narration, and theme. Lessons 5 and 6 study characterization and plot through reading of the Joseph Narrative (excerpt from Scripture provided in text). Humor is analyzed in the context of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. A large portion of Idylls of the King (by Tennyson) is included in the text for lessons 8-9 which look at allegory and characterization. Students also read Treasure Island (plot and tone), How Green Was My Valley (narration), Alice in Wonderland (theme and parody), Oracle of the Dog (dialogue), Screwtape Letters (humor vs. satire), Uncle Tom's Cabin (propaganda and allegory), Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl (character development and setting), Silas Marner (coincidence, irony/sentimentality, and theme), The Religious Life of the Negro (precis), Anne of Green Gables (characterization and theme), Ivanhoe (world views exemplified in characters), Shane (suspense and internal conflict), A Midsummer Night's Dream (drama), Letters (letters), The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (poetry), and a short story, "Lady or the Tiger". Each lesson includes an explanation of the literary term (often accompanied by reference to Writer's, Inc.), the Assignment (a literary analysis essay), a Writing Style component, Peer Evaluation (have a sibling evaluate one of your essays), Vocabulary (consisting of student making/keeping index cards of unknown words), Journal Writing (following a format supplied in the appendix - really more a Bible study/devotion), Biblical Application discussion/question, and usually a Challenge Question. The last lesson is a final project in which students write an essay on a book not included in the course.

Another substantial revision is in the teacher's edition, which used to be just a partial solution manual to help evaluate responses. Now weighing in at over 375 pages, the teacher book contains lesson plans, teacher helps, suggested weekly schedules, student lesson assignments (with answers), literature excerpts, appendices, and a DVD with additional information from the author. The student book is smaller and includes suggested weekly schedules, lesson assignments, literature excerpts and appendices.

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