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Language Arts II – GROUP 1


Deposit Due at Time of Registration:

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.

Course Details

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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.

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

Watership Down by Richard Adams (ISBN 13: 978-0743277709 ) *Any complete edition is fine.

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

19 reviews for Language Arts II – GROUP 1 (4.95/5 stars)

  1. Tarah

    Can’t speak highly enough of Mrs. Burnette’s professionalism and expertise as a teacher! This was my daughter’s first online English class and she absolutely loved it even though the workload was heavier than her previous experiences. Mrs. Burnette is so kind and encouraging and obviously a highly experienced instructor. She has developed an academically-rich class that keeps kids interested with engaging and well-paced assignments, activities, and readings. My daughter really enjoyed connecting with other students and being able to do her best work for a teacher who genuinely cared about her as an individual. Would definitely recommend this to Grade 8 homeschool students who are ready to learn how to work independently and grow academically as well as personally through an online course.

  2. This class was excellent! Mrs. Burnette is extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the class\/material. She chose interesting topics to discuss and made class time lively. This class helped me learn how to write thesis papers and allowed me to build literary analysis skills. Thank you, Mrs. Burnette!

  3. Alice

    When the year started, I had no interest in English, but Mrs. Burnette’s teaching really changed that around for me! Now, I love doing my ELA homework, and have an appreciation for it. In the future, I cannot wait to have Mrs. Burnette as a teacher again! I would both recommend the teacher and the class to any other student.

  4. Renee Royal

    This was the third L.A. class I have taken with Excelsior, and there are always so many things to admire in the classes they offer on this subject. This particular class teaches the student the structure and methods of writing in an easily comprehended way. Many of my peers throughout the school year were amazed and thankful at the breakthroughs they had in writing assignments with Mrs. Burnette’s different approaches. Sometimes, I felt repetitive by some of the requirements in the writing, such as the explanation after a quoted source. “Why do I need this? I’m just repeating myself and making it sound weaker,” I’d think; however, I grew a good grasp on writing meaningful explanations that furthered my point, and why they’re important…

  5. This is my first year of excelsior classes and was signed up for Language Arts II. My teacher was Mrs. Burnette. I really enjoyed the class my teacher really got me interested in reading more books. I improved my grammar and I learned how to diagram sentences. I highly recommend this class.

  6. Mandi Villanueva

    I loved this class! Mrs.Burnette is a great teacher! I learned how to perfect papers and grammar and now it has become fun thanks to this class!

  7. I have never specifically loved language mostly because i have always struggled in all my language classes, which is ironic since if you were to ask anyone i know, they would probably all say that two of my favorite things in the world to do are read and write. Either way, even if this class didn’t magically make me a spelling bee champion or a grammar fanatic, it did finally allow me to actually enjoy a language class. And I can say with certainty that it is all thanks to Mrs Burnette! Because of the way she is so passionate and excited about everything she is teaching us it is nearly impossible to not adopt some of her affinity for the subjects we are learning! She always made classes fun and seemed to be just as enthralled with our books as we were. Although not every book we read was a 5 star in my opinion, most of the time I did actually enjoy the reading we were doing! Mrs. B is careful to pick books from all different genres…

  8. Reema

    For starters, I really enjoyed this class. I would highly recommend it anyone who is searching for a Language Arts class. Mrs. Burnette was a remarkable teacher as she was always an encouraging teacher who said to do your best, and she always gave immensely helpful feedback that helped me with my writing in the future. She also had very good classroom management as none of the students ever stepped out of line… Thank you Mrs. Burnette for such an enriching language arts experience. Excelsior!

  9. Spring

    I am so great full for this class. Mrs. Burnette is a vary nice teacher, and she helps when you need it. I definitely recommend this class. She is understanding and give grace when you need it. She not only did those things, but she also is really good at helping you understand her point. Thank you, Mrs. Burnette, for as amazing class!

  10. Jodie

  11. Student G.

    This class (as well as the teacher) was great! I have learned a lot from this class and improved my writing skills in the past semesters. I would very much recommend this to any other student.

  12. Tanya

    I had lots of fun in this class. It helped my writing skills and built my confidence as a writer. I also enjoyed the books we read.

  13. Jen

    My son just finished Language Arts 2 with Mrs. Burnette. He learned a lot! The work was challenging, yet doable. I learned a lot as well working with him! One of the things I really appreciated was that Mrs. Burnette would respond quickly and patiently to my emails. Also, when I was around during the classes, I felt Mrs. Burnette did a good job handling this online class with many kids–taking questions, teaching, and even with handling the occasional behavior issue. 🙂 I’m looking into classes she is teaching next year for my son.

  14. This was a very fun class,and it helped improve my writing skills. The books were also very fun to read.

  15. I have learned more with this English course than any other one. It has extremely helped me with my writing and my teacher Mrs. Burnette was amazing. My teacher was super helpful all through the year. I wouldn’t have picked most of the books we read but I loved them. Overall, this course was great!

  16. Lash B

    I was enrolled as a student in this class for the 2023-2024 school year. I have nothing but incredible things to say about this class, I absolutely LOVED IT! This was easily my favorite class this year, and I can visibly tell that I have improved at grammar and writing. I normally do not enjoy English classes because I found them bored and too serious, but this class has the perfect mix of fun, games, hands on writing, and humor. I 100% recommend this class for anyone who is interested in writing and grammar, and hope anyone who enrolls in this class enjoys it as much as I did.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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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