Online Course Descriptions


Posted on Mondays

 

Geared toward beginner or struggling writers, this class will explore the fundamentals of a strong paragraph: proper sentence structure, topic and concluding sentences, supporting sentences, and organization. Use of transitions, formal language, vocabulary, and end of sentence punctuation will be emphasized.




Introduction to Poetry  (Grades 4-8)

Posted on Wednesdays


An introduction to popular forms of poetry including couplets, haiku, quatrain, limerick, and more! Students will learn the basics of poetry construction, rhyme pattern recognition, and syllable counting as they form their own personal poetry collection.


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Poetry II (Grades 4-8)

Posted on Wednesdays


 This class will build upon the concepts taught in Poetry I including syllabication, end rhyme patterns, couplet and quatrain formation, and poetic form. Each week, students will be taught two new forms of poetry that utilize their poetic knowledge and creativity including Giving Poetry, Color Poetry, Ballads, and Clerihews. Students should have completed Poetry I with Online Scribblers or a similar course of study.


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Writing the Short Story (Grades 4-8)  

Posted on Tuesdays


Writing the Short Story is an introduction of the basics in creative writing. Students will learn by reading, learning techniques, and practicing their new skills. The elements of successful story writing will be taught individually including characterization, setting, plot, dialogue, and more! By understanding how a short story is constructed, students will become more proficient in their reading and writing skills as they write their very own short story.



Techniques of Creative Writing  (Grades 4-8)

Posted on Tuesdays


Students will develop a strong foundation for the art of creative writing. They will explore a variety of figurative language writing techniques including alliteration, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, paradox and more as they stretch their imagination and delve into the artistic world of writing.




Grammar I: Parts of Speech (Grades 4-9)

Posted on Thursdays


Every writer needs a firm foundation in the basics of grammar, punctuation, and proper word usage. Grammar I is the first in a series of three courses designed to teach and/or review important elements of language arts. This class will teach the 8 parts of speech so that students can identify and use nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions, and interjections properly in a sentence. In addition, attention will be given to capitalization, verb tense, active voice, homophones, and more! Students will practice these concepts in two weekly writing assignments in addition to quizzes and lesson content. Although the class is geared toward grades 4-9, it is open to all grade levels.

 

**Although this class will not be a formal prerequisite for Grammar II and III, the concepts in this course are the foundation for the next levels.


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Grammar II: Common Errors in Writing (Grades 4-9)

Posted on Thursdays


Every writer needs a firm foundation in the basics of grammar, punctuation, and proper word usage. Grammar II is the second in a series of three courses designed to teach and/or review important elements of language arts as they pertain to writing. This class will teach phrases and clauses, subject and predicate, mood, and sentence structure so that students can build powerful, intelligent paragraphs. In addition, attention will be given to word choice, voice, possessive form, and more! Students will practice these concepts in a weekly journal and a secondary writing assignment.


 


Grammar III: Punctuation (Grades 5-9)

Posted on Thursdays


This final class in the 3 part Grammar series offers instruction in punctuation usage and placement including commas, colons, semi-colons, dashes, hyphens, ellipses, and more! Emphasis will be placed not only on proper usage, but the importance of using a variety of punctuation to enliven writing and improve clarity.


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Writing the 5 Paragraph Paper (Grades 6-9)  

Posted on Wednesdays


This class provides a comprehensive look at the essential elements of a well-organized 5 paragraph paper. Emphasis will be placed on forming useful outlines as well as developing a good thesis, hook, and conclusion with adequate supports. Students will be required to proofread first, second, and final drafts. This class is for the middle school student preparing for serious writing. Students will write three original papers over the 8 week session. (Although geared toward middle school students, high school students struggling with basic paper writing would benefit from this class.)


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The 5 Paragraph Paper: Literary Analysis (Grades 6+)

Posted on Thursdays

 

Students will write papers based on literature that they have read including theme and compare and contrast papers. Students will learn to use text excerpts to support their own conclusions as well as format citations. Prerequisite: Writing the 5 Paragraph Paper.



The 5 Paragraph Paper II (Grades 6-9)

Posted on Wednesdays

 

 A follow up class to Writing the 5 Paragraph Paper, this 8 week session provides extra practice on developing strong and compelling 5 paragraph papers for middle school students. Students will write three papers, one in each of the following disciplines: historical events, the arts, and a paper of their choice. Students will be required to develop and submit their own thesis for approval prior to writing each paper and will work through outline, rough draft, and final draft formats with teacher commentary. Students must have taken the first course prior to enrolling for this class as weekly lessons will not be provided on the "how to's" of writing a paper. This class will be strictly writing based for growth and practice: no quizzes or lessons.




Advanced 5 Paragraph Paper (Grades 6+)

Posted on Wednesdays

 

Students who have progressed through the first 3 courses in the 5 Paragraph Paper series have the option to take a final course that will further challenge them to write excellent papers in both research and literary analysis. At this point, students are expected to have a full understanding of thesis writing, introductions, conclusions, and everything in between. Focus will be on deepening content and producing well organized and comprehensive papers



Essay Writing (Grades 5-9)

Posted on Tuesdays


This class will teach the 4 basic styles of essay writing including expository, persuasive, descriptive, and narrative. Students will have the opportunity to study the elements of each distinct style so that they can both recognize them in reading passages and write excellent essays of each type.



Essay Writing II (Grades 5+)

Posted on Tuesdays

 

This follow up class to Essay Writing requires students to write a new essay each week, making use of the expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive formats that they learned in the first section. Students are required to write 5 paragraph essays and to hone their existing skills with the aim of achieving proficiency in essay writing techniques.



High School Business Writing (Grades 9-12)   

Posted on Fridays


 Students will learn practical applications for writing including resume preparation, cover and business letters, outline techniques,  agendas, minute taking, and instructional writing.  Emphasis will be placed on professionalism, adherence to format requirements, and infusion of individual personality into formal writing.


 


Journaling: The Writer's Voice (Grades 8-12)

Posted on Fridays


We all know that daily writing is important to the development of writing skills and technique. But daily writing or journaling is also a useful life-long habit for students in high school, college, and into adulthood. Students in this course will develop and hone their individual writer's voice and style through daily journaling on a variety of topics. Students will be encouraged to try a variety of voices (humor, irony, inspirational) as well as use journaling as a way to explore the world and their connection to it. Comparisons will be drawn between journaling and the field of professional online blogging. The focus of this course is less reading and more writing. Daily journal entries are to be submitted at least 4 times per week.


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High School Academic Papers (Grades 9-12)

Posted on Mondays


Perfect the skills needed to write an excellent academic paper: complex thesis development, introductions, drawing conclusions, research techniques, how to support an idea with specifics from a book, and comprehensive bibliography/footnote format. Students who are not proficient in writing a good 5 paragraph paper should complete that course first.

Students will construct a history research paper and two English literature papers in the 8 week session. They will learn how to organize their work and draw inferences and conclusions from their materials. Emphasis will be placed on grammar and logical thought patterns as well as rough draft and editing techniques for final drafts.  This class will be geared toward excellence in writing and preparation for college level work.

Students will be asked to read the book A Separate Peace by John Knowles by the third week of class. This is a short, classic novel for high school students and will be used to develop an English paper.



High School Academic Papers II (Grades 9-12)

Posted on Mondays  


Using the skills acquired in Part I of this class, students will write four High School level and length academic papers. One history research paper will be assigned by the instructor. One research paper will be student choice, and two papers will be based on the reading and comprehension skills of a classic novel: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

 

There will not be weekly quizzes or lessons. This is a follow up course designed to give additional practice utilizing the skills learned in Part I.Students must have taken Part I of the series prior to enrolling in this class.



 

 Journalism (Grades 7-12)

Posted on Fridays

Journalism includes the reporting, writing, editing, and presenting of the news in articles or newspapers. This class will teach the art of clear, concise, and unbiased writing as students develop their journalistic voice. Each week, students will learn the techniques and skills required for a different type of journalistic submission including feature articles, editorials, advertisements, headline creation, and more! Attention will be paid to format, grammar, voice, and adherence to deadlines. At the end of the 8 week session, student work will be formatted into a class newspaper.


 


Writing Workshop  (Grades 8-12)

Posted on Fridays


Throughout this 8 week course, students learn how to properly “workshop” a short story written by their peers as well as how to use a good critique to improve their own work. Students will submit their own short story of 5-10 pages and will be given an opportunity for the class to workshop the piece under instructor supervision.





High School Rhetorical Analysis Papers (Grades 9-12)

Posted on Fridays


In this class, students will learn to analyze a piece of work - a speech, an article, or other short piece of writing. They will learn to decipher the techniques that authors use to present information including the SOAPSTone technique to determine if the piece of writing has been successful in informing, entertaining, or persuading. Students will learn to analyze author appeals and style to formally critique a piece of academic writing. This critical analysis of a piece of writing is an important bridge to college writing and assumes an existing understanding of the 5 paragraph paper format and strong grammar skills. This course also includes a vocabulary building section utilizing Latin and Greek roots to improve comprehension of a growing personal vocabulary.


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