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Some of you may have used different curricula previously with some of our teachers. Rest assured, our offerings represent a comprehensive, complete, rigorous, and consistent English experience. These courses have been in development since last August. Former department chairs Jodi Guerra and Erin Sipe (teachers and creators of many of those English courses) as well as Bethany Hathaway and Marilyn Whitlock (teachers for English 2-4), have worked tirelessly to design a path for your students to excel and enjoy English from junior high through high school and beyond!

Some of the improvements we have made to our former offerings include (1) focused instruction for junior high by dividing up some of the language arts components into two semesters; (2) revitalizing some of the literature course selections; (3) completely renovating the composition courses using some of the most compelling texts on the market with the latest MLA standards; (4) creating new thematic literature courses that are once again unique in the market; (5) offering several book clubs for supplemental credit in which students can read works not offered in our courses yet still belong to a community of learners; and (6) incorporating John Warriner’s secondary grammar series for comprehensive grammar instruction. (If you are unfamiliar with Warriner, think back! You may remember using his work in college; his texts have been university standards for years. Later in his life, he developed a secondary curriculum which covers all the grammar topics with more explanations and practice than other products.)

We have several more English teachers bringing their passion and content mastery to your students including Jenny Cutler (teaching World Literature and British Gothic Literature) and Jess Woods (teaching Introduction to Literature and Composition, American Literature, and creative writing courses). We also plan and possibly expand the weekly homework helper session, hosted by Anna Garren.

If you have questions about which courses to take in this area, check out this helpful document, or contact info@excelsiorclasses.com for further help.

 


Junior High English Courses


Language Arts I - FULL/OPEN

Instructor: Mrs. Marilyn Whitlock (fall) and Mrs. Bethany Hathaway (spring)
Email: marilynwhitlock@excelsiorclasses.com
bethanyhathaway@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Group 1 - Full Year - Mondays at 2:00 PM ET
Group 2 - Full Year - Wednesdays @ 2:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: 7th Grade and up
Min/Max#: 8/20
Prerequisites: Independent reader
Homework Load: Normal
Suggested Credit: Junior High Language Arts/English Credit
Tuition: $550
Sign up now!

Group 1 is FULL. Group 2 is OPEN. Language Arts 1 will cover all the components of an English education at the seventh-grade level. The first semester will provide a comprehensive coverage of grammar, including practice in correct usage and punctuation. Also covered in the first semester will be vocabulary studies with a focus on learning and applying the Greek and Latin word stems used in an advanced academic English vocabulary. During the second semester, students will hone in on paragraphing skills, beginnings of essay-writing, and literature analysis. Besides learning writing format and structure, students will increase style and interest in their writing along with deeper discussion of texts. They will practice not only naming plot, point of view, conflict, etc. but analyzing the effect of choices within these fields. Weekly poems like those of Dickinson, Frost, Williams, Brooks, and Hughes will provide unique imagery throughout the course and inspire awareness of figures of speech in prose as well. The writing assignments will reflect our reading and study of the following novels and comedy: The Yearling, Out of the Dust, The Prince and the Pauper, and The Importance of Being Earnest. (Special Note: This course is a year-long requirement; to ensure mastery of concepts for upper level classes, we require students to take both semesters.)

Course description and class content developed by Marilyn Whitlock and Bethany Hathaway for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Holt Traditions, Warriner’s Handbook, Second Course: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Sentences, ISBN-13: 978-0030990014; available here.
Vocabulary from Classical Roots A, ISBN-13: 978-0838822524; available here.
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, ISBN-13: 3: 978-0689846236; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.)
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, ISBN-13: 978-0590371254; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.)
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, ISBN-13: 3: 978-0486264783; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, ISBN-13: 3: 978-0941599757; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.)


Language Arts II

Instructor: Mrs. Marilyn Whitlock (fall) and Mrs. Bethany Hathaway (spring)
Email: marilynwhitlock@excelsiorclasses.com
bethanyhathaway@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Full Year - Mondays at 4:00 PM ET;
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: 8th grade and up
Min/Max#: 8/20
Prerequisites: Independent reader (Language Arts I recommended)
Homework Load: Normal
Suggested Credit: Junior High Language Arts/English Credit
Tuition: $550
Sign up now!

Language Arts 2 will build on the foundation provided by Language Arts 1 and will provide a comprehensive eighth-grade English education. (Although having taken Language Arts 1 is helpful, it is not a prerequisite for Language Arts 2; see skill requirements above.) During the first semester, students will continue their study of grammar, correct usage, and mechanics. Language Arts 2 will add depth to students’ grammatical knowledge of complements, phrases, and clauses and will require analysis of more complex sentences than those of Language Arts 1. Punctuation rules will be covered in more detail than they were in Language Arts 1. Also as part of the first semester, students will add to their knowledge of the Greek and Latin word stems that serve as roots for many English words. In the second semester, after a review of quality paragraphing, students will write five paragraph essays with increasing independence and deepening analysis. Each writing assignment is connected to the novels: Julie of the Wolves, The Outsiders, The Black Arrow, Gulliver’s Travels, and A Wrinkle in Time. Students will also study poetry selections weekly (provided) exemplifying key forms, figures, and free verse. A short story unit (stories provided) including “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., “The Two Brothers” by Leo Tolstoy, “Thank you Ma’am” by Langston Hughes, and “Hearts and Hands” by O. Henry will fine tune student’s ability to asses many levels and features of literature. During this semester, students will gain valuable high school preparation in forming essay topics and supporting their argument from a text.

Course description and class content developed by Marilyn Whitlock and Bethany Hathaway for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Holt Traditions, Warriner’s Handbook, Third Course: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Sentences, ISBN-13: 978-0030990021; available here.
Vocabulary from Classical Roots B, ISBN-13: 978-0838822548; available here.
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George, ISBN-13: 978-0064400589; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.)
The Black Arrow, by Robert Louis Stevenson, ISBN-13: 978-0486418209; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.)
Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift, ISBN-13: 978-0486292731; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.)
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle, ISBN-13: 978-0312367541; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.)
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton, ISBN-13: 978-0142407332; available here. (Other editions are acceptable.)

 


Young Creative Writer

Instructor: Mrs. Jess Woods
Email: jesswoods@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Fall Semester, Mondays @ 10:00 AM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: Junior High School Students
Min/Max#: 7/28
Prerequisites: Student must be able to demonstrate solid paragraph writing skills with the appropriate application of punctuation.
Homework Load: Normal
Suggested Credit: Junior High (one semester)
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

This course is a gentle, yet imaginative introduction to the skills needed by all creative writers. Innovative exercises will be used to strengthen vocabulary and sentence patterns. Quality literature is used as the foundation to instruct the vital skills of point of view, characterization, and plotting. Writers will also explore quality character creation and learn how to put the pieces together to craft the stories they have been waiting to tell. While a perfect fit for a budding author, this is also a great course for a reluctant writer as there are many guided exercises that help bring writing to life through every student.  Gaining confidence and skills in fiction will translate to increased success in academic writing assignments. Students are required to have a microphone.

Course description and class content developed by Jess Woods for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

The Creative Writer, Level 2 (Essential Ingredients), ISBN: 9781933339566


Traditional Full-Year High School English Courses


English I: Introduction to Literary Analysis and Composition - ALMOST FULL/FULL

Instructor: Mrs. Jess Woods
Email: jesswoods@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Group 1: Full Year - Mondays @ 12:00 PM ET
Group 2: Full Year - Thursdays @ 10:00 AM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: Recommended 9th grade and up
Min/Max#: 7/20
Prerequisites: Able to read 100-125 pages per week independently; able to construct a paragraph in writing
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: 1
Tuition: $550
Sign up now!

Group 1 is ALMOST FULL. Group 2 is FULL. High school literature adventures begin in this genre-driven course that immerses students in the study of elements of the short story, poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fiction. With extensive study of literary devices, students will gain confidence in academic discourse and analysis utilizing responsible writing practices that will prepare students for successful high school English mastery. Through rich literary discussion, students will discover a treasury of truth in the words of well-known and well-loved literature. The course includes reading comprehension, vocabulary, and composition.

Course description and class content developed by Jess Woods for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Poetry and short story selections provided by the instructor.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, ISBN-13: 978-0789160874
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain, ISBN-13: 978-1517562878
Our Town by Thornton Wilder, ASIN: B00456DAYI
King Arthur: Tales from the Round Table by Andrew Lang, ISBN-13:978-0486421803
Silas Marner by George Eliot, ISBN-13: 978-1593082512
The Giver by Lois Lowry, ASIN: B00N4EFSLU
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, ISBN-13: 978-0486280486
Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington, ISBN-13: 978-0486287386


English II: World Literature

Instructor: Mrs. Jenny Cutler
Email:
Time: Full Year - Wednesdays at 12:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: Recommended 10th grade and up
Min/Max#: 8/28
Prerequisites: English I and/or able to read 100-125 pages per week independently; able to construct a paragraph in writing; experience with essay writing
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: 1
Tuition: $550
Sign up now!

Students eager to expand their worldview will enjoy the study of literature spanning the globe from ancient times to the modern era. With an immersion in living documents from history, world literature pieces will come alive as students make connections between works from ancient civilizations to more modern pieces whose stories transcend time by vividly reflecting the human experience. As students read, they will appreciate the diversity of cultures masterfully knit by a creative Creator. The course includes reading comprehension, vocabulary, and composition.

Course description and class content developed by Jenny Cutler for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

In Their Words: Original Documents, Speeches, Poems, and Stories from World History (Notgrass Publishing), ISBN-13: 9781609990633
Beowulf (excerpts are teacher-provided)
Odyssey by Homer, translated by Richmond Lattimore, ISBN-13: 978-0061244186
Cat of Bubastes by G. A. Henty, ASIN: B004OI2CLO
Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff, ISBN-13: 978-0374466169
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, ISBN-13: 978-0812035735
Hawk and Dove (Book One in series) by Penelope Wilcock, ISBN-13: 978-1782641391
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, ISBN-13: 978-0486424538
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, ISBN-13: 978-0142420591
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, ISBN-13: 978-0486264646
Cry, Beloved Country by Alan Paton, ISBN-13: 978-0743262170


English III: American Literature - ALMOST FULL

Instructor: Mrs. Jess Woods
Email: jesswoods@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Full Year - Thursdays at 12:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: Mature High School Students
Min/Max#: 7/20
Prerequisites: Ability to read and comprehend literature with advanced vocabulary. Should also have written essays in MLA format. Prior experience in literary analysis is helpful.
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit:
Tuition: $550
Sign up now!

This course is ALMOST FULL. This course is a survey of the major authors and time periods of American literature. A major goal of this course is to understand literature as a part of history and the various artistic/philosophical/political movements recognizing their characteristics. Students will also discover the unique contributions and talents of the various authors.

This is, however, NOT a dry class! Students have fun in this challenging and fast-paced course because the works are relevant and interesting! Students will begin with the works of several Puritan authors including Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards, recognizing the Puritan roots of this country. Students will then follow American history through the Enlightenment and colonial periods in Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography. He is an exceedingly interesting and compelling individual. Romantic (and not the kiss-kiss-hug-hug type of romance) writers Nathaniel Hawthorne’s and Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories mark the beginning of a truly unique national literature, and students will come to recognize the dark romance as a distinct genre. The poetry of Poe and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow rounds out the Romantic era. The fall semester ends with the hilarious short stories of Mark Twain. Over the break students will read Twelve Years a Slave, a moving and gripping account of a man held prisoner as a slave, but no other homework will be assigned. In the spring semester, students begin with the haunting Civil War tale The Red Badge of Courage, a masterpiece of naturalist fiction by Stephen Crane before move rapidly into the 20th century. The poetry of Robert Frost introduces students into the modern era and is followed by writers of the Lost Generation. Students will learn to discern elements of post-modern fiction from a variety of perspectives. The Great Gatsby displays the fruitlessness and hopelessness of the flappers yet provides some moral lessons; Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea offers a lesson in perseverance. John Steinbeck’s novella The Pearl causes pupils to question the American dream, corruption, greed, and love of family. The short stories of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, O. Henry, and Eudora Welty are always favorites of the pupils. Students finish the semester with the hilarious American play Arsenic and Old Lace.

This course is rigorous and in some ways life-changing in that students typically must wrestle with some real-life questions when discussing these works. It is not hyperbole to state that no real education of an American student is complete without an understanding of American literature. The class includes reading comprehension, vocabulary quizzes, discussion questions, projects, and several papers.

Course description and class content developed by Jess Woods for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God and Other Puritan Sermons by Jonathan Edwards, et.al.; Dover Thrift Edition; ISBN: 978-0486446011
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin; Dover Thrift Edition; ISBN: 0-486-29073-5
Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne; Dover Thrift Edition; ISBN: 0-486-27060-2
The Raven and Other Favorite Poems by Edgar Allan Poe; Dover Thrift Editions; ISBN: 0-486-26685-0
The Gold Bug and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe; Dover Thrift Editions; ISBN: 0-486-26875-6
Evangeline and Other Poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Dover Thrift Editions; ISBN: 0-486-28255-4
Humorous Stories and Sketches by Mark Twain; Dover Thrift Editions; ISBN: 0-486-29279-7
12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup; Graymalkin; ISBN: 978-1631680021
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane; Barnes and Noble Classics; ISBN: 9781593081195
The Road Not Taken and Other Poems by Robert Frost; Dover Thrift Editions; ISBN: 0-486-27550-7
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Scribner; ASIN: 0743273567
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway; Scribner; ISBN: 0684801221
The Pearl by John Steinbeck; Penguin; ISBN: 014017737X
My Antonia by Willa Cather; Dover Thrift Editions; ISBN: 0486282406


English IV: British Literature

Instructor: Mrs. Marilyn Whitlock
Email: marilynwhitlock@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Full Year - Thursdays at 2:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: Mature High School
Min/Max#: 5/20
Prerequisites: Ability to read and comprehend literature with advanced vocabulary. Should also have written essays in MLA format. Prior experience in literary analysis is helpful.
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: 1
Tuition: $550
Sign up now!

In this class, students will become familiar with some of the most outstanding English literature of all time. They will also hone their ability to think and write critically and will trace the waxing and waning influence of Christianity upon the English people. The class will move chronologically through five units: Unit I—Old English and Medieval Periods, Unit 2—The Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (1485-1660), Unit 3—The Restoration Period and The Eighteenth Century (1660-1798), Unit 4—The Romantic and Victorian Periods (1798-1901) and Unit 5—The Modern Period (1901 and following). Join us in learning about English writing that has influenced cultures around the world and continues to thrill with its beauty.

Course description and class content developed by Marilyn Whitlock for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Beowulf, ISBN-13: 978-0451530967; available here.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, ISBN-13: 978-0486431918; available here.
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, ISBN-13: 978-0451529688; available here.
Utopia by Thomas More, ISBN-13: 978-0486295831; available here.
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, ISBN-13: 978-0486426754; available here.
A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works by Jonathan Swift, ISBN-13: 978-0486287591; available here.
Essays on Man & Other Poems by Alexander Pope, ISBN-13: 978-0486280530; available here.
World War I British Poets, ISBN-13: 978-0486295688; available here.
Animal Farm by George Orwell, ISBN-10: 0451526341; available here.

Optional Supplies:

*Can use any unabridged edition of these Shakespearean dramas and any unabridged edition of Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and A Tale of Two Cities. Here are the editions I will be using:

Macbeth, ISBN-13: 978-0140714784; available here.
Much Ado About Nothing, ASIN: B00FDVBRP8; available here.

Hamlet, ISBN-13:978-0140714548; available here.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, ISBN-13: 978-0451530783; available here.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, ISBN-13: 978-0141439556; available here.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, ISBN-13: 978-0486406510; Available here.

*The teacher will provide free online .pdf files of Anglo-Saxon riddles, “Caedmon’s Hymn,” The Dream of the Rood, selections from Bede’s The Ecclesiastical History of the English People, and the Romantic and Victorian-era poems.


Thematic Literature Courses

 


Strange Science and Spooky Situations: British Gothic Literature

Instructor: Mrs. Jenny Cutler
Email: jennycutler@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Fall Semester, Tuesdays @ 12:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School Students
Min/Max#: 8/28
Prerequisites: Some essay composition experience
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

Think you know all there is to know about Frankenstein? Monsters? Insane scientists? Animal testing? Think again! You may be very surprised in this course which tackles the foundational works that have remained part of our cultural subconscious. This class is a brief survey of the origins of British Gothic literature. Students begin their study of this subgenre with Mary Shelley’s landmark story of a mad doctor and his creation. This seminal work stands alone. Students will be fascinated and challenged by Frankenstein and will wrestle with a number of difficult questions including the role of science, the ethics of scientific work, and the love (or lack thereof) of a creator for his creation. Robert Louis Stevenson’s short stories and cultural mainstay The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde poses further thought-provoking questions regarding friendship, worldview, and responsibility. The students’ journey continues with H.G. Wells’ surreal and compelling The Island of Doctor Moreau, another tale that forces students to think about ethical choices. Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca and Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black are gripping tales. The semester ends with the enormously popular classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. This is a highly interactive class with lots of discussion. The course includes discussion questions, vocabulary quizzes, projects, and two papers. Because of the dialogue nature of this class, a functioning microphone will be needed. Special Note: Students can combine this class with the spring semester course entitled American Gothics to create a full year course experience which could be coined as “Survey of Gothic Literature.”

Course description and class content developed by Jenny Cutler for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

 

Required Supplies:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; Barnes & Noble Classics; ISBN: 9781593081157
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson; Barnes & Noble Classics; ISBN: 9781593081317 (we will be reading other stories from this book)
The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells; Modern Library Classics Edition; ISBN: 9780375760969
Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier; William Morrow; ISBN: 978-0380730407
The Woman in Black by Susan Hill; Vintage; ISBN: 978-0307745316
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; Sterling; ISBN: 978-1402766909 (any edition is acceptable)


Spine-Tingling Stories and Deep-South Drama: American Gothics

Instructor: Mrs. Jenny Cutler
Email: jennycutler@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Spring Semester, Tuesdays @ 12:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School Students
Min/Max#: 8/28
Prerequisites: Some essay composition experience
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

For this fun and unique course, mature students will explore with the groundbreaking works of several American writers who are masters of the Gothic tradition while examining the subgenre across the years. Students will start the semester tackling some of Edgar Allan Poe’s timeless short stories. Poe is credited with authoring the first detective story, fostering science fiction, and being the foremost practitioner of Gothic horror stories. Pupils will become acquainted with some of literature’s most unique characters including the first detective in literature, Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin. Students will also spend some time reading some of Poe’s less familiar Gothic tales, which are always a good read. Another practitioner of Gothic elements and a literary genius is Ambrose Bierce. This class will read several of his short stories, one of which has been deemed “a work of flawless American genius.” Moving into the 20th century, students will explore the evolution of the Gothic novel in the Southern Gothic short stories by Nobel Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner William Faulkner and Christian writer and National Book Award winner Flannery O’Connor. The semester will close out with a lighter Southern Gothic work by Eudora Welty, another Pulitzer Prize winner. This course is an excellent choice for those who love Hawthorne and Poe, or the creepy and weird. It is also wonderful for those students who do not particularly enjoy reading; they may be convinced otherwise. Due to gravity of content and some language, this course is best suited for mature dispositions. This course includes reading comprehension, vocabulary, discussion, and composition. Because of the dialogue nature of this class, a functioning microphone will be needed. Special Note: This class requires a brisk pace for reading. Students can combine this class with the fall semester course entitled British Gothic Literature to create a full year course experience which could be coined as “Survey of Gothic Literature.”

Course description and class content developed by Jodi Guerra for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies: 

Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales and Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, Castle Books; ISBN: 978-0785814535
The Ponder Heart by Eudora Welty,  Mariner Books; ISBN: 978-0156729154
Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesselring; Dramatists Play Service; ISBN: 9780822200659

Teacher will provide several short stories for students to read.


Shakespeare Sampler

Instructor: Mrs. Jodi Guerra
Email: jodiguerra@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Spring Semester, Thursdays @ 10:00 AM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School Students
Min/Max#: 8/15
Prerequisites: ability to read 125 pages per week; willingness to wrestle with Shakespeare
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

Since his genius is unparalleled, an education is incomplete without some Shakespeare appreciation. Come and spend some time with the Bard of Avon. In this fun (yes, FUN!) course, students will sample a smattering of Shakespeare’s dramas. Pupils will explore the weighty tragedies of Macbeth and Coriolanus. The comedies The Merchant of Venice and As You Like It will lighten things up. The history plays students will consider span the spectrum and eponymously include that most dastardly king Richard III and the hero of Agincourt, Henry V. Students may even read a few of those sonnets! Because this is a summer session, students will increase composition skills by creating projects using innovative technologies rather than write the typical five paragraph paper. Due to gravity of content and some language, this course is best suited for mature dispositions. Be prepared to be a drama king or queen with your camera and a functioning microphone.

Course description and class content developed by Jodi Guerra for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Macbeth, Folger; ISBN: 978-0743477109
Coriolanus, Signet Classics; ISBN: 978-0451528438
The Merchant of Venice, Signet Classics; ISBN:  978-0451526809
As You Like It, Folger; ISBN: 978-0743484862
Richard III, Signet Classics; ASIN: B00E8H45N4
Henry V, Signet Classics; ISBN:  978-0451526908
Any unabridged edition of these plays is acceptable. The teacher has several editions, and these are some of the ones she uses.

 


Grammar & Vocabulary


Word Guru I: Intermediate Grammar and Vocabulary

Instructor: Mrs. Marilyn Whitlock
Email: marilynwhitlock@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Fall Semester, Wednesdays @ 10:00 AM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School Students
Min/Max#: 5/20
Prerequisites: Knowledge of basic English grammar (placement tests available)
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

This class is intended to help students solidify and expand their knowledge of basic grammar. All foundational grammar concepts will be reviewed, but then students will study more advanced concepts. The class will emphasize the application of grammar concepts to increasingly complex sentence structures and to correcting common grammar, usage, and mechanical errors in writing. In the vocabulary portion of the class, students will continue to build their knowledge of Greek and Latin word stems that make up a multitude of English words.

Course description and class content developed by Marilyn Whitlock for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Holt Traditions: Warriner’s Handbook, Fifth Course: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Sentences, ISBN-13:9780030990045; available here.

Vocabulary From Classical Roots D, ISBN-13: 978-0838822586; available here.


Word Guru II: Advanced Grammar and Vocabulary

Instructor: Mrs. Marilyn Whitlock
Email: marilynwhitlock@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Spring Semester, Wednesdays @ 10:00 AM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School Students
Min/Max#: 5/20
Prerequisites: Word Guru I or knowledge of basic English grammar (placement tests available)
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: 0.5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

This class is the final and most advanced in our series of grammar and vocabulary courses. In the grammar portion of the class, students will analyze the components of the English language in depth, with an emphasis on use in complex sentence structures. Ample time will be devoted to instruction in proofreading and revising so that errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics can be detected and avoided. Students will also finish a comprehensive study of Greek and Latin word stems. Upon completing this course, students will be well-prepared to understand college-level texts and to apply that understanding in their own use of the English language.

Course description and class content developed by Marilyn Whitlock for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Holt Traditions: Warriner’s Handbook, Sixth Course: Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Sentences, ISBN-13:9780030990045; available here.

Vocabulary From Classical Roots E, ISBN-13: 978-0838822609; available here.


High School Creative Writing and Composition Courses


Creative Writing

Instructor: Mrs. Jess Woods
Email: jesswoods@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Spring Semester, Mondays @ 10:00 AM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School Students
Min/Max#: 7/28
Prerequisites: Student must be able to demonstrate solid paragraph writing skills with the appropriate application of punctuation and grammatical structure. Equivalent of a full year English course is preferred.
Homework Load: Normal
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

This course is for both aspiring writers AND those who would consider themselves non-writers.  Whatever the student’s  level of inspiration or ability, this course will push all students to grow in skill and creativity.  During this 15 week course, students will explore the world of blogging, short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and playwriting.   Pupils begin the study by delving into the exciting blogosphere, an emerging and relevant form of modern writing.  Students will create their own themed blog within the class’ private LMS.  For the remainder of the course, students will study classic and modern examples of short story, poetry, and non-fiction.  The semester concludes with a quick study of playwriting.

Course description and class content developed by Jess Woods for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies: all materials provided by teacher.


Screenwriting I

Instructor: Mr. Tom Khazoyan
Email: tomkhazoyan@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Fall Semester, Wednesdays @ 12:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School
Min/Max#: 10/25
Prerequisites: None
Homework Load: Project-based, Normal Load
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

Screenwriting 1 is a 15-week creative writing course focused on the screenplay as a literary genre, with practical application as students write their own short film scripts.

The course takes students through a process of analysis of storytelling in screenplays, development of original creative stories, and writing exercises to create polished screenplays of their own. This is an essential skill for any student interested in pursuing filmmaking and it’s a lot of fun for students who just love to write and want to explore different writing styles.

Screenplays are a modern form of literature and are unique in that they are created as the foundation of another medium, narrative film. They possess all of the literary qualities of other story forms: character, plot, dialogue, theme, etc. but convey these elements in a unique and exciting format that is intended to be portrayed visually. Join us as we explore this important modern storytelling medium.

Screenplays completed in this class will be ready for production by students independently or to be further developed as part of the Film Producing & Directing class the in the Spring semester.

Course description and class content developed by Tom Khazoyan for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Textbook: The Screenwriter’s Bible, 6th edition by  David Trottier,  ISBN: 978-1-935247-10-4  — approx. $20 on Amazon.

“Flipped” Classroom Model: In order to cover more material in an on-line setting, students need to be prepared to watch pre-recorded lecture material before some weeks’ classes. This will be posted and explained. Working in this way helps to maximize live class interaction.

Equipment & Software: One of the great things about writing is that you don’t need a lot of gear (unlike other parts of filmmaking!)  Students will need to have a working word processor program and a DVD player/movie streaming service for some assignments. As we begin to develop formal screenplays, it will be helpful for students to invest in screenwriting-specific software such as Celtx (there is a free version), WriterDuet (free, online), Slugline (inexpensive, but Mac-only), FinalDraft, or others we will discuss in class.


Foundations of Composition I: The Basics

Instructor: Mrs. Jess Woods
Email:
Time: Fall Semester, Wednesdays at 12:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: 8th grade and up
Min/Max#: 5/20
Prerequisites: Ability to type one to three pages independently; familiarity with sentence construction and basic conventions of grammar, punctuation, and spelling; placement advice available by emailing teacher
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

Writing well is an essential communication skill that will positively impact the future career and life path of any student. This course sets the foundation of solid writing proficiency in paragraph and basic essay construction. Employing a color-coding strategy with a checklist in weekly writing assignments, students can visibly see their writing growing stronger with each week’s lesson as they apply the writing color key to their own writing. Coaching students each step of the way, the teacher provides detailed feedback moving students from where they are one or two steps at a time. This individualized feedback promotes student growth and ensures individual writing success no matter the writing background. Students will be exposed to expository, persuasive, and descriptive writing in detail with a touch of creative and narrative writing along the way for a well-rounded semester of writing exposure. Students will learn basic conventions of MLA format, thesis construction, introduction and conclusion writing techniques, revising and editing strategies, and more. This course will promote student choice in weekly writing topics under large topic guidelines, which provides the opportunity to integrate other subjects and interests being studied into the writing assignments for this course. This course is ideal for a student new to formal writing instruction or for the student who needs help mastering the basics of quality writing.

Course description and class content developed by Jess Woods for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies: colored pencils, paper; the teacher will provide all other materials (some handouts will need to be printed by student prior to class beginning)

Jensen’s Punctuation, ISBN978-1886061262


Foundations of Composition II: Research Papers

Instructor: Mrs. Jess Woods (Fall) or Mrs. Marilyn Whitlock (Spring)
Email:
Time: Group 1 - Fall Semester, Wednesdays at 10:00 AM ET ;
Group 2 – Spring Semester, Thursdays at 12:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: 8th grade and up
Min/Max#: 10/20
Prerequisites: Foundations of Composition I or English I; experience with 5 paragraph essays and MLA; check with teacher for evaluation of previous work if the student has not met the prerequisites
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

Writing papers is an inevitable part of academia, and mastery of the form is critical for success regardless of intended field of study. It is not sufficient to be able to write a thesis statement and have strong topic sentences. Many students cringe when they hear the words “research paper,” but this need not be so!

In this course, your student will practice and develop the skills necessary for conducting, managing, and presenting research. This course uses an incremental approach by beginning with guided research and gradually increasing skills and concepts to the final extended research paper. Skills learned in this class include: choosing a topic, conducting research on both primary and secondary sources, using both paper notecards and electronic notecards, editing drafts, and compiling documentation.

Students also will learn the very latest and up-to-date methodology for MLA form. The Modern Language Association recently published a new edition, and your students will learn precisely what to do as dictated by the most recent update. Information on APA form is also taught.

This course is an ideal way to prepare students for the rigors of college work by practicing not only the long research paper but also the essay including research.

Course description and class content developed by Erin Sipe for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

Rules for Writers with 2016 MLA Update, 8th Edition bu Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers, ISBN: 978-1319083496


Foundations of Composition III: Advanced Skills and Themes

Instructor: Mrs. Marilyn Whitlock
Email: marilynwhitlock@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Spring Semester, Thursdays at 10:00 AM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School Students
Min/Max#: 10/20
Prerequisites: Foundations of Composition I or English I ; Foundations of Composition II is helpful; significant experience with 5 paragraph essays and MLA; check with teacher for evaluation of previous work if the student has not met the prerequisites
Homework Load: College Prep
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

Advanced writing skills prepare the seasoned high school writer for college-level composition through the study of rhetorical methods applied to an array of writing situations.  Students will learn to read critically the thought-provoking essays in The Brief Bedford Reader while also learning tips from professional writers to better enhance their own writing.  Students will practice writing in traditional essay forms, timed writings, impromptus, and discussion boards as they navigate their worldviews with historic and contemporary issues.   Both APA and MLA documentation forms will be covered, giving students exposure to the most common writing formats they will encounter in college. Rules for Writers will be a mainstay students will reference throughout their academic careers. Students will need to secure access to Google Docs for this course. Detailed feedback will be given for assignments as students are coached through the art and science of writing well. This course is writing-intensive and will require students to keep a rigorous pace; the reward will be the acquisition of confidence and competence in practical skills necessary for university writing success.

Course description and class content developed by Marilyn Whitlock for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

The Brief Bedford Reader, 13th Edition, by X. J. and Dorothy M. Kennedy, Jane E. Aaron and Ellen Kuhl Repetto, ISBN-13: 978-1319031183; *You may rent this text through Amazon Prime

Rules for Writers with 2016 MLA Update, 8th Edition bu Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers, ISBN: 978-1319083496

Developmental Exercises for Rules for Writers, by Wanda Van Goor and Diana Hackner, ISBN-13: 978-1319011208


Essay Writing Workshop

Instructor: Mrs. Bethany Hathaway
Email: bethanyhathaway@excelsiorclasses.com
Time: Fall Semester, Mondays @ 2:00 PM ET
(90 minutes – see School Calendar on FAQ)
Ages: High School
Min/Max#: 8/15
Prerequisites: None
Homework Load: Normal
Suggested Credit: .5
Tuition: $275
Sign up now!

This class will revisit and polish essay writing skills to empower students for upper level high school classes and college. Students lacking practice, confidence, or interest in essay writing will benefit from instruction, workshops, and high-quality feedback delivered in writing and one-on-one teacher conferences. We will plan, write, and fine-tune three essays through several drafts. We will read some of the best American essays, studying why they are so successful. This class is perfect for high school students who are familiar with the basic structure of the essay but are uninspired or inexperienced with how to make their writing pop. Weekly themes will include: diction and tone, figurative language, paragraph structure, captivating thesis statements, striking conclusions, etc.

Course description and class content developed by Bethany Hathaway for exclusive use with Excelsior Classes.

Required Supplies:

The Best American Essays of the Century (The Best American Series) edited by Robert Attwan and Joyce Carol Oates, ISBN: 978-0618155873

Rules for Writers with 2016 MLA Update, 8th Edition bu Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers, ISBN: 978-1319083496

How to Register

To register for a class, you will click on the Register button. Fill out the registration form that pops up. You will fill out one form per student. Upon receipt of your form, the registrar will send you an invoice payable by PayPal for the registration fee. If you are registering more than one student, the registrar will collate all the forms, and send you only one invoice for the entire family. Once you have paid the yearly (school year) registration fee for the student(s), the registrar will confirm your seat in the class(es) and forward your information to the teacher(s). Teachers will invoice parents separately from the registration fee and will require 25% deposit to hold the seat. All tuition must be paid in full to teachers by August 1 (for fall semester and full-year courses) or December 15 (for spring semester only) in order for the seat to be complete and for the student to be placed into the virtual classroom. If registering after August 1 (for fall semester and full-year courses) or December 15 (for spring semester only), please speak with teacher about payment options. For questions regarding registration, email registration@excelsiorclasses.com.

 


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No part of this website, including but not limited to course titles and descriptions, may be reproduced without the express written permission of Excelsior Classes, LLC. All course development and course content is the proprietary material of the specified teacher and is under individual copyright.