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Language Arts II – GROUP 2


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Language Arts II – GROUP 2


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Language Arts II focuses on developing well-rounded and deep-thinking eighth-grade students to prepare them for high school and college, but it is also appropriate for students not ready for English I.

This course will engage students in improving grammar, vocabulary, composition, and literary analysis skills. Students will discover how grammar impacts sentence structure and will practice correct usage and mechanics. An understanding and appreciation of the structure of language will provide a foundation for students to learn writing structure, organization of ideas, and MLA formatting through the completion of six writing assignments (including several literary essays and one short research paper).

The literature in this course encompasses a wide variety of interests and topics and includes full-text classic and contemporary novels, nonfiction, drama, short stories, and poetry. Students will be challenged to dig deeply into the literature to understand and discover life lessons through literary elements such as theme, characterization, and symbolism. Individualized and relevant vocabulary studies will correspond with reading materials.

Throughout the semester, students will grow academically through in-class discussions, writing assignments, and feedback from the teacher.


Please view prerequisites and required supplies below.

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Language Arts 1 or equivalent; students should have solid paragraph writing skills and basic grammar and punctuation understanding and application. Please email the teacher with placement questions.

(Optional: Rod and Staff provides a free grammar assessment that will be helpful in determining if your student is ready for LA II in eighth grade.  Students should score 80% or above on seventh-grade grammar in order to advance to eighth-grade grammar covered in LA II.  The grammar assessment can be found at

She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar (ISBN-13: 978-1982139599)

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (ISBN 13: 978-0312369811) *Any complete edition is fine.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (ISBN 13: 978-1451673319) *Any complete edition is fine.

Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis (ISBN 13: 978-0060652937) *Any complete edition is fine.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (ISBN 13: 978-0449300022) *Note: This version is abridged and is translated by Charles E. Wilbour, et al. Be sure you have this version! Here is the right one on Amazon:

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne (ISBN 13: 978-0385751537) *Any complete edition is fine.

The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie (ISBN 13: 978-0573702440) *Note: Be sure you have the PLAY rather than the short story.

Rod and Staff Grade 8 English Pupil Textbook (ISBN 13: 978-0739905319) *Note: Check the ISBN so you don’t accidentally get the workbook.

All other materials will be provided by the teacher.

Dawn Burnette​ is truly excited to be part of the Excelsior family as an English teacher! Dawn holds a B.A. in English Education/Journalism from Lenoir-Rhyne University and an M.A. in English Education from Georgia State University. She has also earned National Board Certification and gifted endorsement. While teaching English at a public high school for 15 years, Dawn served as English department chair, coached a nationally ranked dance team, and won a few local, state, and national teaching awards. Dawn loves sharing her passion for reading and writing, and she works tirelessly to help students reach their academic potential and to glorify God in all pursuits. Soli Deo Gloria!

When it was time for their children to start school, Dawn and her husband Rod moved the family from an Atlanta suburb to the North Georgia mountains, acquired way too many animals, and spent the next 12 years homeschooling. Their daughter Ansley graduated from Samford University in 2022 and works at Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and their son Beck graduated from and played collegiate golf at Lee University and the University of Georgia and began playing professional golf in 2024.

Check our calendar for start dates

3 reviews for Language Arts II – GROUP 2 (5/5 stars)

  1. Lauren

    We love this class, and it has been such a benefit to us. I wholeheartedly, recommend it and wish I had taken it myself.

  2. Chrisanta G.

    This was our first time taking Excelsior Classes and reached out to Mrs Burnette to ensure we were enrolling our daughter in the right class. She thought our daughter would do fine and perhaps struggle a little but our daughter LOVED this class and did very well. In addition, Mrs Burnette was willing to help with any other papers my daughter was working on. My daughter really enjoyed this class and found a love for English she never had before thanks to Mrs Burnette.

  3. Sally R

    I signed my daughter up for Language Arts II with Mrs. Burnette in the 2022-2023 school year. It was our first time enrolling in Excelsior Classes and at first, I didn’t know what to expect. LA2 quickly become my daughter’s favorite class, and she enjoyed it tremendously! I watched her really grow in her grammar skills, and I could evidently tell that she really loved the books that she read in this class! As a parent, I was overjoyed to hear all about what she had been learning, and she was always eager to get up for class on Wednesdays.
    Mrs. Burnette is a fantastic teacher, and responded to our emails so quickly and efficiently! We enjoyed her teaching so much that we have enrolled in more of her classes next year. We look forward to another great school year in the fall with Excelsior Classes and Mrs. Burnette!

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