icRKphJXQm-ezth8lntKydifkDg The Loose Screw: Curriculum Review: Excellence in Literature

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Curriculum Review: Excellence in Literature

High School English Literature class.  Some remember it fondly, others with moans and groans.  I loved to read, but disliked writing, so I was happy sometimes and not other times.  I did okay in the class, but really don't remember much about it except a few classic books I read and enjoyed.  Now here I am with my own high-school age daughter, Alyssa (16).  She enjoys reading and is a good writer as well, so I was excited to review Introduction to Literature (English 1) from Everyday Education's Excellence in Literature Curriculum.  This curriculum was created by Janice Campbell, and was created to 'use great literature, studied in its historic and literary contexts, to help you learn to think and write analytically.'   The students are not given extensive instructions, rather they are encouraged to be independent learners and are given a framework of what needs to be done when.  They are provided with many resources to find what information they should need.  The objectives for this course are as follows:

• Introduce students to great literature from the western literary tradition.

• Teach students to read with discernment.

• Train independent, self-motivated learners.

• Provide tools that students can use to strengthen their writing skills.

• Introduce students to sources for high-quality online and offline research.

• Prepare students for college classes by expecting carefully researched, well-thought-out material to be presented in standard format, with preliminary proofreading completed.

Each level of Excellence in Literature: English 1 is broken down into nine units, each suggested to be completed in four weeks. 
Unit 1: Short Stories
Unit 2: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Unit 3: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Unit 4: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Unit 5: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
Unit 6: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Unit 7: Animal Farm by George Orwell
Unit 8: The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Unit 9: Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Click here to read how/why Janice Campbell chose these works for this curriculum.

The students are given links for reading their novel online, context reading, video available, and each unit even has an honors option.  Alyssa was excited to get to Jane Eyre, but I had her start with Unit 1, the short stories.  She did well with the writing she had to do for the first unit, but it definitely was much deeper than anything she had ever done before.  She is looking forward to continuing on with what she has learned in Unit 1 and applying it to the subsequent units. 

With Excellence in Literature, the students are learning time management and researching skills along with reading the great works of literature and learning the writing process. A rubric is provided to help parents evaluate their student's writing. This curriculum is rich and deep, and I just wish I would have found it a few years ago!  I highly recommend this curriculum for your High School English student! Excellence in Literature would be a memorable course, not like my High School literature experience!

There are five levels in Excellence in Literature, and each level is just $29.00 (plus $4.95 priority mail shipping)! The e-book is also available for only $27.00! That is incredible for an entire year's curriculum!  The suggested grade range is 8-12th. Everyday Education has many products you may be interested in.  Click here to be taken directly to their website. If you're interested in reading more reviews of this product, click here.

Disclaimer: I was provided with this curriculum free of charge in exchange for my honest review.

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