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Classic Children's Literature VII

Why do children need stories? What is the purpose of education? The Greek historian Plutarch said, “The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.” One might say that literature, as it draws upon the senses and fosters learning through the exploration of other worlds, ignites the greatest flame. With this spark comes greater knowledge, understanding, imagination, and inspiration. As students enter the worlds of different characters, they will witness the virtues and vices represented by the protagonists and antagonists. They will become inspired with curiosity and wonder. They will reflect on and delight in what is true, good, and beautiful.

This class follows Scholé Academy’s Classic Children's Literature VI course while introducing supplemental liberal arts studies. Students will read, enjoy, and interact with classic works of literature while reflecting on specific virtues and literary themes during each quarter. Readings will be supplemented by poems, age-appropriate and relevant looks into the history behind the stories and authors, and explorations into background science and nature studies. Students will respond to these texts through rich discussion, thoughtful written analysis and reflection, commonplace entries, and artistic mediums in order to reach the whole child.

Required Materials:
Books and supplies are not included in the purchase of the course.

Sections with Alison Johansen

  • The Little Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
  • Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
  • The Last Battle, C. S. Lewis
  • Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Story of My Life, Helen Keller
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell

Optional Resources that will be shared by instructor:

  • Excerpts from Christmas Stories for the Young and Old (authors include Louisa May Alcott, Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, O. Henry, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, L. M. Montgomery, Robert Louis Stevenson, Harriet Beecher Stowe)
  • Selected poems from A Treasury of Poetry for Young Readers, Christine Perrin’s Art of Poetry, and other poetry anthologies
  • Excerpts from The Tree Book for Kids and Their Grownups, Gina Ingoglia

Alison Grace Johansen is teaching Introduction to the Art of Poetry, Formal History of Poetry, Writing & Rhetoric Level 4, and Well-Ordered Language Level 1. She earned her Juris Doctor from the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pa., and her Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Richmond. She worked as a journalist in Washington, D.C., for over 13 years before pursuing writing and editing in all forms of media. She hopes to help inspire her students to discover the many ways they can use their own words to express themselves with truth, goodness, and beauty. Alison lives in Virginia with her husband and two children. Her dedication to her faith and children influences every part of her life, from teaching Sunday school and writing a children’s picture book, to exploring the beauty of God’s world with her family. If they aren’t birdwatching and enjoying a walk outside, you might find them reading together or playing their favorite instruments: the piano, flute, guitar, ukulele, and drums! You can learn more about Alison in her Scholé Academy video  and blog post about fortitude in poetry.

Quarter 1


  1. The Little Prince
  2. Peter Pan
  3. Relevant poetry
  4. Hope, patience, humility, and love

Quarter 2


  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  2. Christmas Stories for the Young & Old
  3. Poetry from Carroll and other poets
  4. Joy, kindness, charity, and gratitude

Quarter 3


  1. The Last Battle
  2. Fellowship of the Ring
  3. Poetry from Lewis and Tolkien
  4. Justice, temperance, courage, and peace

Quarter 4


  1. Island of the Blue Dolphins
  2. The Story of My Life
  3. Relevant poetry
  4. Perseverance, fortitude, hope, and faith

Red checkmarkComputer: 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.

Red checkmarkHigh-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.

Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: 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

Red checkmarkZoom: 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. unnamed-e1455142229376 To download Zoom:

  1. Visit
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

Red checkmarkScanner: In this class, students frequently submit homework assignments by scanning pages from their workbooks. Students and/or their parents should have easy access to a scanner and the ability to use it.


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