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Language Arts I – GROUP 1


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Language Arts I – GROUP 1


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Language Arts I will cover all the components of an English education at the seventh-grade level. The course will include a comprehensive coverage of grammar, including practice in correct usage and punctuation. Vocabulary studies will correspond with reading materials. For composition, students will hone in on paragraphing skills, beginnings of essay-writing, and literary 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 theme, characterization, symbolism, and other components of literature, but they will also analyze the effect of choices within these fields. Intermittent poem study throughout will provide unique imagery and inspire awareness of figures of speech in prose as well. The writing assignments will reflect our reading and study of the following novels: The YearlingOut of the DustThe Witch of Blackbird PondThe Boy on the Wooden Box, and Heart of a Samurai.


Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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Language Arts Bridge or equivalent; independent reader; able to read 50-75 pages weekly; able to demonstrate solid paragraph writing skills with the appropriate application of punctuation.

Additionally, Rod and Staff provides a free grammar assessment that will be helpful in determining if your student is ready for LA I grammar (Grade 7).  Students should be able to score 80% on Grade 6 in order to advance to Grade 7 grammar covered in LA I.  The grammar assessment can be found at Please contact the teacher with placement questions.

Rod and Staff English Pupil Textbook Building Securely – Grade 7 (ISBN: 9780739905272)
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (ISBN-13: 3: 978-0689846236)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (ISBN: 978-0547550299)
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse (ISBN-13: 978-0590371254)
The Boy on the Wooden Box (ISBN-13: 978-1442497825)
Heart of a Samurai (ISBN-13: 978-1419702006)

Jess Woods graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor's degree in English Education and from Arizona State University with a Master's degree in English. She began her career teaching in a public high school; however, since 2013, she has been teaching middle school and high school English courses online.  Jess is a life-long reader and writer.  She comes alive in the company of words and music, and she has a passion for literature that reaches through every part of her being.  She believes wholeheartedly that each person has a relevant voice and perspective, and she eagerly teaches her students to embrace their individual voices by exploring their own thoughts and learning to confidently articulate them.  It is her desire to encourage growth in all students (regardless of their love for English courses…or lack thereof).  She considers it a tremendous success if she can awaken a love of literature and/or composition in her students. Jess currently resides in Alabama with her pastor-husband, Josh and their three kids. They also have a lot of animals and plants.  While reading and writing are clearly on the top of her hobby list, Jess also enjoys all things musical, cooking competition shows, gardening,  hiking, and traveling.

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7 reviews for Language Arts I – GROUP 1 (5/5 stars)

  1. Theresa Adams

    This was a terrific class for my homeschooling son. He enjoyed how engaging in the interactive classes were, so much so that I’m enrolling him in three Excelsior courses next school year. His writing abilities and confidence have grown greatly. I enjoyed listening in on concepts taught and their book discussions. Thank you, Mrs. Woods, for a great class!

  2. Krista

    We have had 3 students go through this class and I recommend this class all the time. I would sign my kids up for any class Mrs. Woods teaches. She has a manageable pace for the kids that is challenging, but not overwhelming.

  3. Becky Kumprey

    Jess Woods has taught a few of my children, and she is one of their favorites! She is always engaging and and fun and challenges her students. She explains the topics very well and helps the students stay focused and motivated throughout the class.

  4. Miranda O

    This was my daughter’s first year with Excelsior and I have been so pleased with her progress in all subjects! The teachers truly care about the students but even better is the content that is covered and how it is presented. Everything is done to glorify God and the expectations set by the teachers help to propel the student towards achievement of their personal goals. We will be using Excelsior for the remainder of our homeschool journey!

  5. Sarah M

    We have loved having our daughter in this class! Mrs. Woods is such an engaging, fun teacher and really works to connect with her students which is no small task over Zoom! My daughter is being challenged and I love how many different type of books she will have read when it’s all said and done. 10/10 recommend!

  6. Anna B

    This was our first year (2022-2023) with Excelsior Classes- we are pleased and have pleasantly found an adjunct to our homeschooling curriculum.
    This class was well taught by Mrs. Woods. She provides thoughtful and insightful responses. Rod and staff grammar is a good supportive resource. The literature books were a nice compliment to the curriculum.
    We have enrolled for future classes.

  7. E.M.

    This Language Arts Course -1 is fantastic. I love the Excelsior format of working with Rod & Staff grammar, reading good literature, and learning to write. The only thing I need to add to my son’s language arts is a spelling book. The teacher, Ms. Woods, gives good feedback, discussion, and keeps the class on track to learn. Thank you for a great course!

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Verified purchasers and students in the class are allowed to fill out a review. While not all comments are published, all comments are sent to administration and to the teacher.

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