Middle School Literature


Tuesdays at 2:15PM and Thursdays at 2:30PM

Price: $400US


To register, call (215) 987-2655.

Course Description

The English language has produced beautiful and inspiring pieces of children’s literature which are the envy of nations around the world. We will be dipping into iconic and timeless creations covering prose, drama and poetry, exploring the building blocks of narrative, verse and dramatization.

Topics to be covered:
Character types and characterisation
Narrative Voice
Structure (openings, endings, climax, twists, flashbacks, story mountain etc)
Plot structure
Authorial message and intention
The role of the social and historical context
Poetic Devices
Meter and Verse

Students will be encouraged to think critically and to engage with the texts both analytically through essay writing and imaginatively through creative writing. We will be taking an extract based approach to the text, reading key scenes from a range of genres which will provide breadth to the studies and a range of examples to work from and to function as models for creative writing. This will hopefully give students a good overview of some of the classics of English literature.

Learning Objectives

tudents will develop an appreciation and love of reading, and read increasingly challenging material independently.

Students will understand increasingly challenging texts through: 
-learning new vocabulary, relating it explicitly to known vocabulary and understanding it with the help of context and dictionaries 
-making inferences and referring to evidence in the text 
-knowing the purpose, audience form and context of the writing and drawing on this knowledge to support comprehension 
-checking their understanding to make sure that what they have read makes sense. 
-read critically through: knowing how language, including figurative language, vocabulary choice, grammar, text structure and -organisational features, presents meaning 
-recognising a range of literary conventions and understanding how these have been used 
-studying setting, plot, and characterisation, and the effects of these

Textbooks and Other Resources

Extracts and resources will be provided by the instructor.

Students will study a selection of prose, poetry and drama extracts from the following list:

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)
Treasure Island (Robert Louis Stevenson)
The Prince and the Pauper (Mark Twain)
Gulliver’s Travels (Jonathan Swift)
Sherlock Holmes short stories (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
The Phantom Tollbooth (Norton Juster)
Animal Farm (George Orwell)
War Horse (Michael Morpurgo)
Lord of the Rings (J R R Tolkien)
The Cask of Amontillado (Edgar Allen Poe)
Frankenstein (Mary Shelley)
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

Famous Shakespearean speeches (from Henry V, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice)
Extracts: Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet
Sonnet 18 – William Shakespeare
Sonnet 130 – William Shakespeare

O Captain! My Captain! – Walt Whitman
Charge of the Light Brigade – Alfred Tennyson
Ozymandias – Percy Byssche Shelley
If – Rudyard Kipling
A Poison Tree – William Blake
I wandered lonely as a cloud – William Wordsworth
Stopping by woods on a snowy evening – Robert Frost
The Raven – Edgar Allen Poe

Instructional Format: Two classes will be held each week in real-time, using the
Zoom web conferencing system.


Instructional Format: Two classes will be held each week in real-time, using the
Zoom web conferencing system.