Classic Children’s Literature V
Why do we need stories? C.S. Lewis said, “The nearest I have yet got to an answer is that we seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves…We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own.” Such is the yearning of children and adults alike, for it is through stories that we enter into a world that is not our own and yet become more who we are meant to be. It is through stories that we can learn virtu. When children read stories, they enter into the world of the characters and reflect on the virtues and vices of the protagonists and antagonists. It is a gentle, appropriate, and vivid way for children to learn what Dietrich von Hildebrand called a “response to value” and the virtue that blossoms from that response.
In this class, children will read, enjoy, and interact with classic works of children’s literature in order to learn through knowledge, experience, and reflection the four classical virtues: justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude. Students will respond to these texts through discussion, written analysis and reflection, and artistic mediums in order to reach the whole child in our study. The skills will include reading fluency, reading comprehension, writing, vocabulary, memorization, recitation, analysis, synthesis, and discussion.
Important Skills & Behaviors Needed for Success in this Course
- Students should be able to read at a late-elementary level, smoothly and with understanding. Additionally, students should be able to read aloud with ease, clarity, and appropriate emotion.
- Students should be able to narrate a story back to the teacher, recalling both the main idea and pertinent details.
- Students should be able to distinguish between the main idea of a story and the details of a story.
- Students should be able to identify the characters, setting, and plot of a given book.
- Students should be able to answer text-based, lower-order comprehension questions and be able to reflect on higher-order thinking questions.
- Students should be able to log-in to Canvas to review homework assignments and upload completed work. If a student is not able to navigate Canvas independently, a parent or guardian should be willing to assist that student with homework assignments and other course materials obtained through this platform.
Student Expectations: Executive Function Skills
Students enrolling in Scholé Academy’s Classic Children’s Literature will be expected to show the development of Executive Function throughout the year. Executive Function is the brain’s work of planning, prioritizing, controlling impulses, recollection, etc. These six areas of execution are important in this class and, ultimately, in the student’s life.
- Engagement: Engaged students are willing to step into the arena of class discussion, ask questions, supply answers, and generate the internal dialogue necessary to determine if a discussion is important and relevant to themselves. Students should be viewing the class via Zoom and should not be browsing the internet instead. Scholars should be prepared to take notes on the text and class discussion.
- Attention to Detail and Preparedness: These students are ones who consistently adhere to deadlines and submission requirements. A prepared student not only completes and uploads all assignments before class but also confirms that technology is working. These students will be expected to show the virtue of constancy by remaining focused and diligent and pushing away even “good” distractions that would inhibit learning and mastery.
- Self Monitoring: Students who successfully self-monitor can evaluate their own performance. This is the action of perceiving one’s own strengths and weaknesses. These students determine which problems they can complete alone and which require peer, teacher, or parent support.
- Task Initiation: These students recognize the time to begin working and are able to do so without procrastination. Students who can initiate tasks easily adjust from a Zoom classroom to a breakout room while maintaining a scholarly attitude.
- Employing Critiques: These students are ones who, after receiving feedback on one of their submissions, attempt to apply that feedback to future assignments rather than repeating mistakes. Students should have an attitude of humility when receiving feedback, as this affords an invaluable opportunity to grow and to develop their God-given talents. Likewise, students should celebrate the successes of their peers.
- Problem Solving: Students with well-developed problem-solving skills are willing to persevere, even when they are unable to successfully overcome a challenge on the first try. Good writing involves the problem-solving skills of perseverance; looking at a story from a new perspective; finding an additional source or doing research; taking a rest to refresh the mind and body; or asking for help from a teacher, parent, or the Lord.
Student Expectations: Class Participation
“The intelligence can only be led by desire. For there to be desire, there must be pleasure and joy in work. The intelligence only grows and bears fruit in joy. The joy of learning is as indispensable in study as breathing is in running…It is the part played by joy in our studies that makes them a preparation for spiritual life, for desire directed toward God as the only power capable of raising the soul.” [Simone Weil]
For each skill instructors have determined whether it is a prerequisite skill or a skill to be developed throughout the course. For lower school, instructors indicate where parent support is expected.
- With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
- Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
- Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.
- With Parent Support
- Be able to manage Canvas assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Canvas notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, etc.).
- Be able to set notifications settings to alert the student of class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Be able to review notifications ongoing throughout the year; notifications which include: class announcements, homework assignments, due dates, instructor comments made on assignments, instructor comments made on individual student submissions, instructor comments made on graded items, etc.
- Spelling at grade-level
- Be able to hand-write answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to write sentences with basic sentence syntax (i.e. capitalization of first word in a sentence, punctuation at the end of each sentence, space between sentences, capitalization of proper nouns, each sentence having a subject and predicate, etc.).
- With Parent Support
- Be able to mark, underline or highlight important words, definitions or concepts within a text being read.
- Be able to read to learn not merely learn to read.
- With Parent Support
- Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to type paragraph essays (up to two pages).
- Follow along with teacher-led note-taking and record notes during class.
- Follow along with teacher-led workbook completion and record answers during class.
- Be prepared to answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.
- After the instructor has provided instructions – the student should be able to use Wacom tablet (or other like iPad) to actively solve math problems during class, viewable to the instructor on Ziteboard.
Required Course Texts
Sections with Mrs. Christensen
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
- A notebook with lined notebook paper or loose leaf notebook paper
- Spiral-bound sketchbook
- Colored pencils
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
NOTE ON TEXTS: I also supplement the readings with primary sources and excerpts from other books., short stories, poems, etc. PDFs of additional texts used will often be provided. Students are only responsible for obtaining required books as listed above.
Sections with Emily Brigham Kashi
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
- Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
- Supplemental readings to be provided
- 8.5” x 11” spiral-bound blank sketchbook
- Stockmar Beeswax Block Crayons
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
Emily Brigham Kashin holds a BA in Primary Education from the University of North Florida. She was homeschooled K-12 in the classical tradition and previously taught the elementary grades in a Waldorf-inspired public charter school. Her classical upbringing instilled in her what Plato called an “affinity for the good” in academics, art, and virtue, while her Waldorf training inspired an appreciation of the unique nature of the child. Since 2020, she has brought the two together, cultivating those whole-child pedagogical approaches in the classical, liturgical tradition, to awaken in her own students that “affinity for the good” through her Scholé classes.
Emily and her husband Mikhail live in North Florida where they find great delight in playing folk music, listening to Bach, taking long walks, and enjoying being aunt and uncle to their eight nephews and one niece. St. Augustine’s saying “Canta et ambula” (sing and soldier on) encourages her daily in the ordinariness of teaching, homemaking, and grading many, many papers. email@example.com
Audrey Christensen holds a BA in English from the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a minor in Education and is currently pursuing an MA in Composition & Rhetoric from Shawnee State University. She loves teaching all things English—grammar and composition in particular—and has experience in the classical classroom as both a student and a teacher. Audrey’s strengths lie in helping students understand the mechanics behind effective grammar and strong composition. With experience as a writing tutor for 5 years and classical writing instructor for 2 years, she has a passion for helping students become confident writers.
Growing up in Appalachia gave her a love for storytelling and seeing the Lord’s glory in nature, making real-life connections with the good, true, and beautiful. Audrey enjoys being active, reading, spending time outside, traveling with her husband Jonathan, and being involved in her local church alongside her husband. The Christensens currently reside in Fort Worth, Texas. Reach out to Audrey at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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