Classical Composition: Fable I (ages 9-11)

Fall, 2020

September 14th-December 21st (New Style)

Available Times (EST):
Saturdays 1PM

Price: $400US

Course Description

What if your child could have the same training as the greatest writers and speakers of all time? These giants of history learned their art through a system called the progymnasmata, which taught them how to effectively communicate and persuade their audiences – a necessary skill in any time period. These days, being able to clearly articulate the tenets of our Orthodox Faith is more needed than ever. The progymnasmata will teach your children to express themselves clearly through writing and speech, so that they might convincingly convey the Truth to others.
The first progymnasma is the Fable.

Learning Objectives

In this course, students will:

  • learn the three plot components essential to the fable
  • learn how to vary words and sentences
  • learn to paraphrase fables through the use of amplification and reduction
  • learn the eighteen figures of description and how to use them in their writing
  • learn the basics of grammar, including capitalization, punctuation, and parts of speech

Textbooks and Other Resources

Classical Composition Fable: Discovering the Skills of Writing, Student Book, James A. Selby. It can be ordered here:

Classical Composition I: Fable Student Book

English Grammar Recitation Student Workbook. It can be ordered here:

English Grammar Recitation I Student Workbook

Instructional Format: A class will be held each week in real-time, using the Zoom web conferencing system. In addition, video lessons will be sent out throughout the week. Students will be expected to watch these lessons each week, completing any activities sent out with the videos.

Office Hours: In addition to the required weekly meetings, the instructors will hold “office hours” each week. Office hours will be conducted using Zoom and will be by appointment.

Anticipated Assignments and Exercises

In the live class, the instructor and students will read a fable together and work through some of the exercises in the student workbook. 

There will also be two pre-recorded lessons per week. One will introduce a new principle of grammar, and the other will introduce two figures of description. 

For homework, students will practice the word and sentence variation, paraphrasing, grammar, and figures of description learned in class.


The grading in this course will follow a more elementary/middle school model. Since students are completing exercises and participating in classroom activities, they will be graded on how well they have completed their exercises and on their participation in class.

Class participation – 25%

Homework – 25%

Quizzes – 25%

Tests – 25%