Fostering academic excellence and biblical virtue to equip students for lives as local and global Christian servants.

English 4/5/6 Western Lit and Comp (Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Defoe and others)

Course Catalog ID:
3902
Subject Categories:
English Language Arts, Literature and Media, Writing and Composition
Description

Every day as we focus on our primary tasks we also ponder questions like: What is our purpose? How and why do we exist? Is there a God? What is he like? What is our relationship with him? These are questions man has thought and written about for as far back as we have written records. This integrated literature and writing course inspires and guides students to study how writers have been answering these questions since ancient times. We will read “classics” from the western literary canon — many will be familiar and some will be new. We will analyze, discuss and write about these great works and the deep enduring ideas they attempted to capture. We start under the weight of war in the Aeneid and then join the sobering trek of Dante through the underworld. We see Shakespeare’s monologues bring Hamlet, Macbeth and others to life and we follow Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver on his satirical journey. We contemplate the intersection of nature and faith on an isolated island with Robinson Crusoe. We consider myth with C.S. Lewis and the encounter terror with Poe. In addition to required course texts, students will choose readings from a variety of plays to bring their own ideas and interpretations to a unit on drama and dramatic characters. Throughout these journeys and encounters we also learn to write insightful analytical essays using fresh approaches to structure and rhetorical development. Students will leave the course well-read in the classics of Western Literature, and well-prepared for writing analytical essays in later high school and college.

Prerequisites
Grade Levels*:
10, 11, 12
* Enrollment restricted based on Date of Birth and Grad Year (whichever is more limiting). Enrollment outside these levels requires written concurrence from TPS Support.
Notes and Conditions

Transcript Planning: Students typically take two or more English 4/5/6 courses. They may generally be taken in any order, though some sequences may be better for some purposes (e.g., preparation for a particular AP course).

“I truly loved this course so much! From the basics of lit analysis to the complex symbolism and character archetypes to the hidden connections between books, we discussed both tedious wars and tragic romance — along with everything in between. The teacher really pushed my writing to the next level, and I am forever grateful for her intentional words of wisdom and encouragement. This class helped me become way more confident in my abilities to write, analyze, discuss, and learn. I would definitely recommend Western Lit & Comp to anyone who wants to take their writing and analysis to the next level, while also reading thought-provoking literature and having a ton of fun!”

Kate S
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Student

“If you are someone who is passionate about literature and want a passionate teacher to guide you in your learning, this is for you! This course guides you through amazing books that will change the way you view composition and the world around you while your amazing teacher will continue to lead you through tales as old as time. This is the best English class I’ve ever taken!”

Micah G
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Student

“This course is made wonderful by the complex and thought-provoking texts explored as well as the wonderful teaching methods. Rather than viewing literature as a black and white monolith with only one correct interpretation, the teacher invites her students to think critically and extract their own interpretations and opinions from the text, which encourages students to develop their own meaningful literary analysis rather than parroting back what they are told the text is about. Students who are used to getting perfect scores on English papers may be frustrated with the scrupulous grading at first, but those who learn to listen to and value her feedback will see boundless improvement in both their writing and critical thinking skills. She is a kind and encouraging teacher who seeks to instill a love for both the moral lessons and art of literature in every one of her students.”

Ella B
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Student

“As a young child it would have been a miracle for me to pick up a book and read it for fun. I never had a love for books and only viewed them as objects that made me look smart. However, this class truly gave me an eye-opening experience! I actually enjoyed reading and learned to devour the beautiful language of literary works and admire flawless sentences produced from the minds of poetic and genius authors. The teacher’s passion for literature truly impacted me positively and her lovely reverence for Christ allowed us students to see the love of God seep from pages of ink. I strongly recommend this course to anyone who wants to read challenging and thought-provoking works! Developing a love for literary analysis and the poetic language will never hurt you!”

Lauren K
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Student

“I would recommend this course to anyone who enjoys or is interested in reading literature. What I loved about this course is that it challenged me to read critically and try to think as the writer would, looking for hidden meanings and messages. Much of the course load is reading, with just a few writing assignments; but those writing assignments still helped me to improve, allowing me to practice specific diction and to craft sentences that were both elaborate and precise. I also appreciated the teacher’s perspectives and enthusiasm for the material we studied, as well as the useful insights shared by fellow classmates.”

Danielle L
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Student

“If you are looking for a class that can amalgamate Godly instruction with timeless literature, then this is the class for you. From Dante’s insightful literary works to The Great Gatsby, the teacher always intertwined meaningful lessons and themes into our class discussions, while enhancing our skills with literary analysis. After taking this class, I have come to fully appreciate the worth of classic Western literature in a way that I haven’t before!”

Shreya C
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Student

“I never knew how valuable and timeless the Western classics were until I took this course. With a perfect balance between consuming literature and analyzing it, I learned to note character archetypes, settings, and universal truths. In addition to gleaning life lessons through the books, the CEA (claim, explanation, analysis) structure forced me to use every word to enforce my claim with specific diction and phrasing.”

Elizabeth P
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Student

“I absolutely loved this class!! The teacher is very sweet and kind, and encouraging at the same time. She wanted all of us to do our bests and graded us according to a high standard. She gave us so much feedback which I think was very helpful. I loved the books which we read during the school year. I gained so many life lessons and different perspectives and got to dive deeper into them than when I was younger and just reading them for fun. The Divine Comedy was especially one of my favorites. My classmates and the discussions we had were amazing throughout the whole year, during every class. We almost always ran out of time at the end because there was more that the class wanted to discuss and talk about. I never felt bored during classes and it was a wonderful start to my Wednesday mornings.”

Madeleine F
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Student

“Although I did enjoy reading before, through this course, I came to appreciate it much more. I can even say that I learned how to properly read. This course dives deep into the symbolism and themes of the books, a process which can even aid in our spiritual lives. The teacher also challenges her students to write concisely and specifically as she always says to ‘modify to clarify.’ :)”

Hyeyoung J
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Student

“TPS Western Literature has been one of the most influential classes I’ve ever taken. The teacher has fostered in me a newfound love for writing and appreciation for meaningful prose. In observing the different styles of literature, from the adventurous works of Homer and Mark Twain to the deeper, meaningful compositions of Shakespeare and Woolf, I understand more fully the effects literature has had in the course of Western Civilization — first how it is influenced by the current ideas of the time it was written, and second how it will influence the next generation of thought and communication. If you want to develop a sense of appreciation for fine literature, writing and the ‘grand conversation,’ take this class!”

Christian C
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Student
Reviews from Students and Parents