High School Literature Class 2019-2020: Book List
Welcome to the high school literature and composition class! The books I have listed below cover a variety of topics and a variety of genres. A word of warning however: As the class and I get to know each other, I often tweak the book selections to reflect the abilities and interests of the students. The Session One books are written in stone (figuratively speaking!) I will post each session’s books at least two weeks prior to the start of that session so that you have time to prepare.
Parents, your job is a vitally important one: You are the cheerleaders and book-providers. Your attention to the book list and attention to your student’s progress will make a great difference. I really appreciate you all!
With that said, here is this year’s book list.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom OR
- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand OR
- The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson
- The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- Peace Like a River by Lief Enger
Goals: Session One
- To read three examples of fantasy fiction: allegorical, heroic, and religious.
- To explore the historical settings and forces behind the stories.
- To add to the student’s literary vocabulary.
- To correct any ongoing grammar and punctuation issues.
- To walk the students through essay development from the idea stage to the final product.
- To assess the students through reflective quizzes at the completion of each book.
- To take a field trip to the Wheaton College Wade Center, a research and collection center for C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien materials and memorabilia.
Books: Session One
- Animal Farm by George Orwell. Easily found in through the library system.
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Easily obtained through the library system.
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Easily obtained through the library system.
High School Literature Syllabus: Session One
Week One: September 6
- We will spend this first class getting acquainted with the class goals and format. No reading will be required prior to Week One’s class.
- This session’s reading selections will focus on fantastical writings. Though thoroughly fictional, these stories each pack a truthful punch.
- This session’s writing and composition will focus on some basics: grammar, punctuation, and solid essay composition. You will begin compiling literary vocabulary.
- Begin reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. You will be responsible for reading the first six chapters for Week Two’s book discussion. To fully appreciate this allegory you should have a basic understanding of the Russian Revolution. You will be assigned a history scavenger hunt.
- Vocabulary and quotes will be expected homework each week.
- Tea will be a vital part of our discussion time 🙂
Week Two: September 13
- We will discuss the first half of Animal Farm, propaganda, and allegory. We will develop our own examples of propaganda in class.
- This session we will focus on the basics of grammar and punctuation. Each week we will edit writing and spend time on any weak spots.
- Each week this session we will also work on developing an effective essay. Week Two will focus on formatting and idea formulation.
- Read the second half of Animal Farm. Vocabulary and quotes.
Week Three: September 20
- Discuss the second half of Animal Farm. Find modern day parallels.
- You will be presented with some reflective questions concerning the book. This will be graded.
- Editing work
- Continue developing a strong thesis.
- Read chapters 1-6 of The Hobbit by Tolkien for Week Four. Vocabulary and quotes.
Week Four: September 27
- Discuss the first six chapters of The Hobbit. We will discuss exterior and interior quests; the definition of hero; what makes a reluctant hero. Discuss what themes are presented in this novel.
- Continue editing work.
- Develop and write three-prong thesis statements.
- Read the next six chapters of The Hobbit. Vocabulary and quotes.
Week Five: October 4
- Discuss chapters 7-12 of The Hobbit.
- Continue editing work.
- Finetune thesis statements. Begin work on the three supporting body paragraphs.
- Finish The Hobbit for Week Six. Vocabulary and quotes.
Week Six: October 11
- Discuss the final chapters of The Hobbit. Take a reflective test on the book.
- Editing work.
- Read the first sixteen letters or chapters of The Screwtape Letters by Lewis. Define apologetics. Homework will require a one sentence summary per letter (chapter). I will also require you to choose one quote per letter. An essay rough draft will be handed in on Week Eight; we will discuss the topic and begin working on the essay this week.
Week Seven: October 18
- Discuss the first sixteen letters of The Screwtape Letters.
- Come up with working theses for the paper. Work on introductions and conclusions. Create an outline. Write the rough draft. Take notes.
- Read the next sixteen letters; continue writing out summaries and quotes.
- Assign Food for Thought 🙂
Week Eight: October 25
- Discuss The Screwtape Letters. Hand in your summaries and quotes.
- Hand in your rough drafts.
- Take a reflective test on the book.
- Eat good food!
- Begin reading The Lord of the Flies by William Golding.