Introduction to Literature (English 1) is a one year, college-preparatory literature and composition course for co-op, classroom, or homeschool use. It includes novels, plays, short stories, and poetry, and is the first volume of the Excellence in Literature curriculum.
With the Introduction to Literature study guide, students study and write about the following books:
— Short Stories by Welty, O. Henry, and others, — Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, — A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, — Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, — Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, — Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, — Animal Farm by George Orwell, — The Tempest by William Shakespeare, — Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
The curriculum The Excellence in Literature curriculum is designed to present a feast of great ideas by immersing students in great literature. The self-directed format helps students learn to think and work like college students. Classics that have stood the test of time—rollicking adventures, compelling plays, engaging poetry—encourage students to enjoy literature study, rather than just endure it.
How it works A four-week lesson plan guides the study of each complete, unabridged classic, providing writing assignments and "context resources" — background information on the author, relevant historical events, related art and music resources, etc.. To help students stay engaged, a variety of sources, voices, and formats have been carefully chosen as context resources, with links provided to those that are online. There are nine four-week modules in each study guide for one full school year of study. An optional Honors track adds additional reading and writing assignments, including a research paper and an optional CLEP exam. The text is written directly to the student, and can be used independently or in a classroom. There is no separate teacher manual; all writing assignments, context resource links, and student/teacher helps are included in the Introduction to Literature study guide.
Student helps — A week-by-week assignment schedule — Instructions and a student-written model for each type of paper assigned — A chapter on how to read and understand challenging literature — An overview of how to write an essay, from conception to revision — Brief descriptions of major literary periods — A curriculum website with supporting resources, including brief author biographies, art, music, related poetry, and writing helps. — Built-in time for both a rough and a final draft of each month's essay — Instructions and guidance for setting up a study area and English notebook — Suggestions for study habits, time management, and use of the computer — A model essay that teaches and demonstrates MLA formatting — Glossary of literary terms
Teacher helps — Week-by-week pacing chart with overview of reading and writing for the entire school year — Instructions for evaluation — A reproducible rubric with standards for content, style, and mechanics — Suggestions for using in a co-op or classroom — A year-end Student Evaluation Summary to keep with student records
Each student and teacher will need a copy of the study guide, plus a copy of each classic that is studied (short stories are found online). There are specific book editions recommended, but students who already own a different edition may use that. It is also helpful to have access to a dictionary, thesaurus, and writer's handbook.
The curriculum, developed in 2004 and now in its third edition, is designed to be flexible and easy to use for homeschoolers, parents, co-op teachers, and classroom instructors. Reading and listening to wonderful books, poetry, and plays, all at a reasonable pace, can cultivate a love of great literature, just as steady, careful practice in a variety of writing forms helps to cultivate clarity and confidence in communication skills. Enjoy!