Is this a Christian-based Literature curriculum?
Although Mr. Stephens, the author and teacher, is a Christian, the curriculum is not Christian based. His goal is to provide a literature curriculum that focuses primarily on exploring and analyzing literary elements through short stories, shorts works of nonfiction, novels, and poetry. From this approach, parents have the option to teach their values and beliefs relating to events in stories or characters’ actions or reactions.
Are there many writing assignments?
Each short literary work contains one small writing assignment (one paragraph in size) in addition to answering comprehension and connection questions. Independent Practice activities contain two small writing assignments (one paragraph in size). Students may complete one or both writing assignments.
What literature is covered? Classics?
Essentials in Literature uses a variety short works to teach elements of literature and uses recent works as well as the classics. Novels are a mixture of both as well.
Does Essentials in Literature cover American, British, or World Literature?
Why are the literary works or internet links not included in the curriculum?
Essentials in Literature comes with a complete textbook, parent/teacher handbook (containing a syllabus and an answer key), and one complete novel. Short works such as short stories, nonfiction pieces, and poems may be found by searching online. Search the internet using the title of the work and author’s name. In order to ensure that you are reading the correct literary work, include both the title of the literary piece and the author’s first and last name of your internet search.
See example below:
Short story: Stop the Sun by Gary Paulsen
Search terms entered at google.com: stop the sun gary paulsen
If you need assistance locating a literary work, contact customer service.
Is the program a vendor for my charter school?
Please contact your charter school and have your vendor contact customer service at 417-256-4191.
What levels are available?
- Levels 7-11
Can we see a table of contents or a list of literary works explored?
A list of all literary works that are explored for each level is listed in the appropriate level Literary Works PDF on the individual level pages.
How does Mr. Stephens suggest we pace the course--especially if we are using it with Essentials in Writing? For instance, I alternated between literature studies and writing workshops in blocks ( a few weeks at a time) throughout last year with my son, but I need some idea of how to intermix these two programs.
Alternating is one of many effective approaches. Complete a writing activity (one week or more) then switch to a literature study (one week or more). The key is to allow the “flip-flop” to occur naturally without trying to hold to a rigid schedule. Additionally, there are many parents who choose to complete literature in the fall and writing in the spring. Both approaches are acceptable.
If you are using Essentials in Writing and Essentials in Literature, you can download the 34 Week Plan located on each level’s webpage. For a detailed explanation of all options, please contact Customer Service.
Can we see a sample lesson or a walk through of a lesson?
Yes. There is a video sample and textbook sample for each level on our website. We also have a “Try Before You Buy” demo available on our website.
How does the curriculum challenge the student to analyze the literature and develop critical thinking skills?
Students learn to analyze the literature through multiple lectures, graphic organizers, and written answers. Students develop critical thinking skills by constantly reading about, exploring, and participating in activities such as seeing the relationships between events, analyzing characters’ actions and reactions, drawing conclusions, etc.
Any ideas of special help for students who have difficulty?
As with any curriculum, modifications may be necessary for students who struggle. However, because the approach is a day by day, step by step, small bite size chunk approach to literature, students typically fare well with this type of approach.