Multicultural Literature and Composition
Multicultural Literature and Composition*
Learn about "Honors" option at www.MargaretShuman.com
This is an active class that takes place in an encouraging environment. The skills of literary analysis, writing, and speech are taught simultaneously since much of the structure and style of oral and written communication are complementary.
Units of literature focus on short stories, poetry, visual media, and plays. Students are taught the rhetorical framework of fiction and nonfiction, investigating literary analysis skills one can build on for future AP classwork if desired. Optional, extra-credit summer reading can contribute to literature requirements and may cover August classwork if parents desire to start the course before Labor Day.
The composition aspect of the course covers organization and editing skills needed for ACT and SAT essays, college/scholarship applications, business letters, discussion/exam-style essays, speaker analyses, resumes, and other practical writing. Targeted grammar study is included in editing workshops, useful for those who have a mind for grammar and/or those with an ear for error correction. Teacher feedback in writing and speaking focuses on encouragement and "next steps" rather than punitive or negative assessment. Having said that, there is accountability for each student to grow and work toward his or her writing being able to match up with standard written English. Students often turn in writing assignments during the week via email, making this a part-online/part-classroom experience. Students practice meeting deadlines and assignment details, with penalties (and rewards!) increasing over the semesters. Graded work is promptly sent home for parent perusal. Spring projects include an MLA-style research paper on a career chosen by the student and a formal, persuasive speech.
The oral communication aspect of ML starts with non-intimidating assignments in order for students to build basic communication skills with a group, and comfort for themselves. The class progresses through stages until basic solo speeches found in Speech 101 in most universities are presented, and life skills such as persuasive speaking and communicating in group settings are practiced. We also practice job interview skills, non-verbal communication, small group consensus, and impromptu speaking. Students practice design and use of various visual aids such as PowerPoint, posters, white board, and demonstration tools. Want to visit a class? Please drop into any of Margaret's classes at any time.
Required Texts: Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense (ISBN 0155511084) and Outcasts United (ISBN 97803855222045)
*Instructor can work with parents on any potential class name to fit transcripts.
Tuition: $65/month for 9 months
Take $5 off per month per student for families with multiple students enrolled in Shuman courses in a current year.