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Writing & Rhetoric Year 4

Students taking this course continue in the trajectory of the Writing & Rhetoric series using Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation and Book 8: Comparison. During the first semester, students learn how to craft essays praising a virtue (an encomium) and blaming a vice (vituperation), focusing on the following skills: discerning the main idea; utilizing hyperbole and thesis; incorporating background and supportive detail, biography, and autobiography; noting the good and poor qualities present in a person or event; contrasting virtuous behavior and vice, and crafting effective conclusions that encourage readers either to emulate virtue or eschew vice. After completing the first semester, students spend approximately six weeks focusing on a research paper unit. Students will learn the seven steps to writing their own research paper: selecting a topic, getting an overview of the topic, outlining the paper, rounding up sources, taking notes, organizing note cards and completing an outline, and writing the paper while avoiding plagiarism. In the second semester, building on their skills, students develop the art of comparison, learning how to craft a comparative composition that sets two persons, events, ideas, texts, or objects side by side for assessment. In this exercise, students may either offer praise of two things paired together or praise one while criticizing the other. In learning this art of comparison, students also study elements of critical analysis, assessment, and judgment. After completion of this course, students are well on their way to becoming master writers and effective orators. For a closer look at the texts used in this course, please follow these links and click “Look Inside”: Book 7: Encomium & Vituperation and Book 8: Comparison.

Placement: Please read about our new process above.

  • This course is designed for students who have built a strong foundation in writing and are familiar with the progymnasmata (the “preliminary exercises” on which the Writing & Rhetoric series is based). Students who have successfully completed the previous books in the Writing & Rhetoric series will be ideally prepared for this course. Incoming students should be familiar with elements of the persuasive essay (narrative, descriptive, and expository). Students should feel comfortable with discussing ideas and making connections to the text, outside reading, and life. Students will be expected to write on average one essay a week and refine the skill of annotation to become more discerning readers.
  • Students should be comfortable typing essays, although neatly handwritten essays are acceptable.
  • Students in this course should have a strong command of grammar and a basic understanding of syntax before enrolling.
  • This course is aimed at rising 7th–8th graders. Rising 6th graders who have completed the previous level of Writing & Rhetoric are welcome, though in many cases 6th-grade students require additional support from a parent in conjunction with the course.
  • If your student is new to the Writing & Rhetoric series and/or beyond 8th grade, we ask that you contact us for a placement recommendation.

For further information on the Writing & Rhetoric series, please see the Classical Academic Press FAQ page.

 

Syllabi

Sections 1 and 2

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Section 3

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Sections 4 & 5

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Section 6

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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.

Schoology

  • With Parent Support
    • 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.
  • Developing
    • Be responsible for reviewing teacher feedback, suggestions and comments about student work and employing that feedback as necessary.
    • Be able to manage Schoology assignments and submissions (view assignments, check for teacher messages, submit homework as pdf file, submit revisions if necessary, set Schoology notifications for the class, view class notifications when posted, 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.
  • Mastered
    • Be able to respectfully and wisely engage with other students and the instructor on Schoology discussion boards.
    • Be able to respectfully, wisely and formally engage with instructor through private Schoology messaging.

Writing

  • Developing
    • Be able to build and use alphanumeric outlines as part of the writing process.
    • Be able to self-edit written submissions for grammar and spelling mistakes.
    • Be able to employ the feedback of the instructor into future edits and submissions of the assignment.
    • 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 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.
  • Mastered
    • 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.

Reading

  • Developing
    • 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.
  • Mastered
    • 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 listen to the author’s argument and understand it even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.

Typing

  • Developing
    • 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).

In-Class

  • Developing
    • 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.
  • Mastered
    • Follow along with instructor-led workbook completion and record answers during class.

Study

  • With Parent Support
    • 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.
  • Developing
    • 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.).
  • Mastered
    • Be responsible to study at home for quizzes, tests and other assessments.

WR 4 Image*Required Texts:

*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.

Optional Resources:

These audio files allow students to engage their sense of hearing and their listening intelligence as Greg Lowe delivers the readings aloud in a thoughtful manner.

Commonplace Journal (This can be a spiral-bound notebook, bound journal, or loose-leaf notebook.)

Mr. Belfry Optional Course Texts:

1. Additionally, some course content will utilize the text, Socratic Logic by Peter Kreeft, Ph.D.
2. Papers and essays will be submitted using basic MLA formatting guides. The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers — 7th Edition may be a helpful resource.

Ash White holds a BA in English and theater from Mary Baldwin University, and has taught literature, writing, and logic at the middle and secondary level for nearly 15 years. Ash is passionate about classical education and homeschooling, both of which are flourishing in the Shenandoah Valley, where she and her husband, Jon, make their home and perform in the local music and theater scene. If you visit their house, you’ll find it difficult to determine which is largest: their library or their record collection! awhite.schole@gmail.com

 

 

Presvytera Kellie Tandilyan graduated from a Classical Christian high school in rural Montana before matriculating to Hilllsdale College to study Classical Languages and Literature.  While there she was received into the Orthodox Church which led her to continue her studies at Hellenic College in Brookline, MA where she met and married a handsome seminarian from Armenia.  She went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Education from the Waldorf Teacher training program at Antioch University with a thesis entitled “”Making Space for the Sacred: The Creative Arts and the Spritual Development of Children””.   Presvytera recently also completed the Master’s of Divinity degree at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.

A veteran homeschooling mom of three, she has been teaching in and out of the classroom for over twenty years.  Presvytera Kellie and  Father Anthony live in Wilimington, MA and serve the Dormition of the Virgin Mary parish in Somerville.  When not teaching, Presvytera enjoys making music with her children, gardening, hiking and keeping company with their 11 chickens. kelliet.srs@gmail.com

 

Nathan Dickinson holds a M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and currently serves as a deacon at Christ the King Anglican Church in Beckley, West Virginia. He is a West Virginia native who has had approximately a decade of teaching experiences in local churches and missionary settings. He has taught the Bible in Kenya, Zambia, Myanmar, and Jamaica, and has taught English (among other things) to students in a Christian school setting. He loves helping students see the beauty of God in Holy Scripture and helping students learn to engage in meaningful dialogue.

His two boys (Barnabas, 5, and Martin, 3) keep his home life interesting and full of adventure! When he is not adventuring with his wife and boys, he is looking for a good cup of coffee, a good book, and a good conversation. ndickinson5192@gmail.com 

 

Peter Belfry has a range of teaching and tutoring experience in a variety of subjects and age levels from kindergarten through to adult education at the college level and has taught at several classical, Christian and public schools. Currently, he serves as a professor of computer science with Canadore College, teaching courses on Operating Systems and programming languages such as Windows, Linux, HTML, C++ and Visual Basic. Peter holds an Honors BA from Trent University in History as well as a BA in Education, specializing in History and Computer Science. He holds an MA from Knox Theological Seminary in Classical and Christian studies, which provides him a background for teaching from a classical perspective. For his MA program, he read many of the Great Books as well as studied Scripture and church history. Peter has completed a week-long teacher training with the Association of Classical Christian Schools and Rockbridge Academy. His favourite piece of classical literature is Dante’s The Divine Comedy. In addition to teaching, Peter also has experience serving in a pastoral role and enjoys volunteering to serve in his local church and community. He helps in evangelistic outreach as well as teaching lessons from the Bible. Peter has experience and training as an English as a Second Language instructor as well. He has experience teaching both online and in person. He believes in Scholé’s approach in seeking “restful learning” and believes that education should be life-giving and freeing for the soul as it should acknowledge the Lord Jesus as the source of all that is true, good and beautiful. Peter lives in the North Bay, Ontario area with his wife and twin boys. pbelfry.scholeacademy@gmail.com

 

Kirsten Fortier holds a BA in Education from Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan. The bulk of her experience comes from 18+ years of classically homeschooling four sons K-12 who have now transitioned successfully through college, into careers, and enjoying life. She has taught in various settings including at home, in co-ops, in brick-and-mortar schools, and online. Most recently she enjoyed the role as the Director of Curriculum at a small classical Christian school. She now looks forward to a part-time career teaching restfully at Scholé Academy. Her passion for classical education is especially apparent when she is developing in others a love for the humanities and all that is good, true, and beautiful. In her free time, she enjoys visiting her children and grandchildren, hiking, camping, and researching family genealogy. She and her husband live in Michigan with their two dogs, one cat, a handful of chickens, and two hives of honeybees. kfortier.scholeacademy@gmail.com

 

 

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 zoom.us/download.
  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.

 

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First, read the available course descriptions, noting prerequisites, target grades, and course objectives. If you think your student is prepared for the course, go ahead and register. After registration, a placement assessment may be provided to students, depending on the course and the student’s previous enrollment with Scholé Academy. Registration is finalized when the student’s placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.

 

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