Upper School Ancient Classics Literature (Greek Year)
Scholé Academy Placement Process
One critical factor for restful learning is the proper placement of students. If you are unsure which level is the best fit for your student, reach out to the instructor you are considering. Once registered, anticipate contact regarding placement evaluations from instructors by May 15th and throughout the summer. Students must be registered to enter the placement process. Early placement exams may allow time for tutoring or additional review based on the outcomes. See more about placement evaluations in our Student-Parent Handbook.
Great Books Pedagogy: This course offers high school students an in-depth exploration of the classics—the best, most beautiful, and most influential books of civilization. Students will read and discuss important texts from the 3 ancient cultures that became the inheritance of the classical Christian world: the Hebrews, the Greeks, and the Romans. Rooted in the tradition of the Great Books, Scholé Academy’s history and literature courses focus on primary sources.
Students will approach these works as both a window and a mirror. As a window, these texts offer a point of access to the cultures and stories of real people who inhabited the pre-Christian world. Yet classic texts speak not only of other times; they appeal to timeless truths. By considering oneself in the light of enduring concepts of wisdom, justice, and virtue, readers are compelled to take a careful look in the mirror. The study of classic works naturally leads to the practice of the Socratic method, the goal of which is to humbly “know thyself.”
Greek and Roman Years: This course features deep engagement with select works in a wide variety of genres—epic poetry, lyric poetry, drama, moral philosophy, natural philosophy, historical narrative, myth, biography, wisdom literature, laws, and speeches. Given the range of material available from antiquity, it is impossible to capture the full scope in a single-year course.
This course will operate on a two-year rotation. Both years will include selected works from four important traditions—Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, and the early Christians. The first year will emphasize the Greek tradition (“Greek Year”), while the second rotation will emphasize the Roman (“Roman Year”). Students can take a single rotation to receive a strong introduction to the ancient classics, or they may take both years to get the full experience. A specific order is not required for students who wish to take both rotations—they are modular.
Goals: What should students expect from this course? First, we aim to create a supportive environment in which students may practice the art of close reading, grow in their love of the classics, and be inspired to return to them throughout their lives. The teacher will serve as an experienced guide and an encouraging coach.
Brief and informative secondary texts, such as a historical atlas, as well as brief in-class lectures by the teacher, will provide students with contextual understanding—geography, timeline, current historical research, and archaeological findings. Thus, while emphasizing close reading of primary texts, students will survey the historical period, acquire important background knowledge, and gain a clear historical perspective.
Faithful Scholarship: Study of the pre-Christian world offers ample opportunities to see the ways in which Christendom adopted and transformed—one might even say transfigured—the pagan world. The course will emphasize those aspects of antiquity which illuminate early Christianity and anticipate the rise of Christendom. We read pagan authors with charity, and we practice “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
This class is paired with our upper-school ancient history course and scheduled back to back with that course in a block. Students who take both courses receive a discount. This course may also be taken as a standalone history study.
Placement: This course is suitable for rising 9–12 graders. Students are expected to have strong reading skills as well as an interest and a capacity for discussing literature and history. Compositions will be assessed according to the grade-level of the student.
Assessment: Students will be assessed on reading completion and comprehension. They will regularly report their progress to the instructor and answer questions about the reading. In addition to reading, students will be expected to participate in class (regular attendance, active attention, and appropriate contributions), complete short compositions (1–3 paragraphs), and memorize occasional brief passages (3–10 lines).
High School Credit: The modern subjects of “history” and “literature” do not do justice to the rich variety of works represented in the Great Books of civilization. Successful students will nonetheless gain both an understanding of ancient history and a facility in the art of reading ancient literature. Thus, graduates of Scholé Academy history/literature courses may list the combination as two credits—both “history” and “literature”—on their high school transcript.
How much time will students spend on homework?
Each course (history and literature) will require 2–3 hours of work each week. Students who enroll in both courses should plan for 4–6 hours of work per week outside of the live class sessions.
How does this course compare to the middle-school ancient literature course?
The chief differences between the middle-school and upper-school levels for this course are noted below. While there will be some overlap of content taught, the upper-school course will be much more challenging and assume a more mature student with more background knowledge and greater reading, writing, and scholarship facility.
How is faith integrated with these courses?
These seminar-style discussions unfold organically. One could approach the texts with a focus on defensive critiques of classical authors. By contrast, we seek to read charitably. We treat classic authors as if they were friends, gleaning every available truth while also examining them from a robustly Christian perspective.
At Scholé Academy, we have carefully considered how we should engage our contemporary culture as those who believe that Christ is the Truth (John 14:6), and that all truth has its source in him. We think it is important to provide our upper-school students (in grades 7–12) with tools and opportunities for critically examining various cultural trends, issues and mores through the lens of orthodox, Christian beliefs. Being confident in the truth revealed to us in creation, the Scriptures, and the tradition of the Church, we are not afraid to follow the truth and its implications nor to address error and falsehood. Read more about our Faith & Culture.
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.
- 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.
- Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Canvas discussion boards.
- Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Canvas messaging.
- Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
- Be able to self-edit written submissions for grammar and spelling mistakes.
- Be able to build well organized paragraphs which employ (among other skills) topic sentences, transition sentences, clear linear thinking throughout the essay.
- Be able to build a logical, well-reasoned argument through a written essay providing sound reasoning (i.e. true premises, valid arguments, sound conclusions).
- 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.).
- Be able to spell at grade level and employ course vocabulary cumulatively throughout the course.
- Be able to request a family or peer to edit submissions, but understands these requests should be for the purposes of raising important questions for the student to consider and suggesting minor edits. The student understands that family or peer editors should not be reworking of sentences, redefining terms, building new concepts, building arguments or writing passages for the student.
- Be able to build and use alphanumeric outlines as part of the writing process.
- Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
- Be able to read material independently and identify questions which require clarification or further explanation from the instructor.
- Be able to mark, underline or highlight important words, definitions or concepts within a text being read both while reading independently and reading corporately as a class.
- Be able to identify key terms in a passage, and follow the author’s argument.
- Be able to listen to the author’s argument and understand it even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.
- Be able to read material independently and identify the information which might be relevant to course discussions and objectives (even if the student doesn’t fully understand all of what’s being read).
- Be able to employ basic MLA formatting skills (i.e. 1-inch margins, double spacing, heading on paper).
- Be able to employ MLA citations for (for quoted material and referenced material) through the use of footnotes or endnotes, bibliography, work-cited page. Student should have a concept of what plagiarism is and know how to avoid it.
- Be able to type short answers in complete sentences.
- Be able to type paragraph essays (short essays, and 5 or more page essays).
- Follow class discussions and seminar conversations to record notes without the instructor identifying specifics.
- Be prepared to generate thoughtful questions to enhance the class discussion, to identify areas needing clarification, and to make valuable connections with other course content.
- Be prepared to thoughtfully answer questions when called on in a group setting, during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer thoughtful comments, answers and ideas in a group setting, during class.
- Follow along with instructor-led note-taking and record notes during class.
- Be responsible to study at home for quizzes, tests and other assessments.
- Understand the difference between assignments given by an instructor and the necessary and independently initiated need for private study of material.
- Be able to schedule and manage multiple projects from multiple instructors and courses.
- Be able to schedule time outside of class to complete independent review of materials.
- Be able to determine the best places and ways to study at home (i.e. quiet, undistracted, utilizing various methods of review (auditory, written, visual, practice tests, flashcards, etc.).
Please obtain the following texts in a hard copy (no digital editions). Students will need their own text (not a family library copy) as they will be expected to annotate and mark up the text. Please resist the temptation to use a free edition, alternate translation, or a different version of a text that you already own. If you think your version is substantially the same and would like to check, feel free to contact your instructor.
- Illiad, Homer, trans. Robert Fagles (978-0140275360)
- Prometheus Bound, Seven Famous Greek Plays (978-0394701257)
- Oedipus Rex, Sophocles, Seven Famous Greek Plays (978-0394701257)
- Antigone, Sophocles, Seven Famous Greek Plays (978-0394701257)
- Republic, Plato, trans. Alan Bloom (978-0465094080)
- The Apostolic Fathers in English, trans. Michael W. Holmes (978-0801031083)
- The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Ancient Christian Monks (978-0140447316)
- On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ, Maximos the Confessor, Popular Patristics (978-0881412499)
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
Andy Newman calls western Nebraska home, that borderland where Midwest and West shake hands. There he has taught literature, composition, history, journalism, and the humanities for twenty years at the high school and college levels. His mind and heart have longed been pulled toward classical Christian education. And he is as excited as he is thankful to now be fully in its orbit and looks forward to working with students in the humanities, rhetoric, and logic.
His education is varied, having earned master’s degrees in history and English from the University of Wyoming and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, respectively. Most recently, he earned a MTh in Applied Orthodox Theology from the Antiochian House of Studies and a MA in Biblical Theology from John Paul the Great Catholic University and, in Fall of 2021, completed his coursework for the PhD in Humanities from Faulkner University and has moved onto the dissertation. A tonsured Reader, he is involved in parish ministry at Assumption Orthodox Christian Church, in Bayard, Nebraska, and is in the process to be ordained to the priesthood. email@example.com
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.
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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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.