This course is divided into five units, with a final assessment and exam at the end.
Unit 1 covers the basics of academic reading and writing. Reading comprehension strategies including active reading will be discussed. Students will also review the basics of sentence and paragraph composition, as well as review the fundamentals of academic essay writing.
Unit 2 gives students an opportunity to explore a collection of short stories. As a Christian school, we have a unique opportunity to choose texts that are written by Christians or contain faith-based themes. Students will be encouraged to look closely at the themes and intended messages portrayed in these texts, and think critically about how they can apply them to their own lives. Learning about various literary devices and analyzing these shorter texts will help to prepare students to utilize the same knowledge and skills for longer and more challenging texts.
During Unit 3, students will explore a classic satire, George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This play explores themes such as community, teamwork, and hard work, but also incorporates themes of manipulation and control.
Unit 4 dives into the genre of poetry. Students will read and analyze a variety of poems, including Martin Luther’s hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and some selections of Shakespeare’s writing. In the process, students will explore many poetic devices, as well as analyze and create original poems of their own. This unit also has a large lesson on spoken word poetry. Students will watch and analyze several excellent examples of spoken word poetry, including “Be Strong and Courageous” by Amena Brown Owen and “The Death of YOLO” by Jefferson Bethke. Lastly, students will have the opportunity to try their hand at writing and performing their own spoken word poem and showcase their work using a media presentation of their choosing.
Unit 5 gives students an opportunity to read William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker, a play based on the early life of Helen Keller. Students will carefully consider stage and lighting directions in their study of the play. At the end of the unit, students will learn how to write a comparative essay using the two main texts from the course: Animal Farm and The Miracle Worker. Using Proverbs 18:21 as their theme, they will compare how each text demonstrates how words can be used for good, and how words can also be used for harm.
At the end of the course, students will have the opportunity to choose a novel to complete an independent novel study as part of the final assessment. They will also be asked to reflect on their growth as readers and writers. It is CVS’s hope that in the process of growing in their communication, reading, writing, and media skills, that they will also grow as Christians in their faith! To learn more about this course, you can view the course outline on our website.