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      Language Arts provides numerous tools for sharing our lives with each other. Teaching others how to utilize those tools is one of my greatest delights. I love sharing books and how much we learn about our Creator, our world, and each other through reading. I'm excited about digging into the theme of being on a quest which recurs often in ancient literature. Literature is an attempt to make sense of the world around us from the perspective of the writer. Using some older literature and more recent literature that reflect similar themes, we’ll use the tools of reading comprehension, reflective writing, and vocabulary to better understand what we read.

      In history this year, students are studying the period of time from the beginnings of the Roman Empire through the Middle Ages, the Reformation, and the Renaissance. This time period in our past shows individuals building kingdoms, fighting tyranny, and shining a light on truth. Our literature theme will reflect this with a focus on who is a hero. What makes a hero? Why did and do people look for heroes? What qualities should a hero have? What expectations are placed on heroes? Most importantly, Who is our true hero?

      Our novels for this year are The Eagle by Rosemary Sutcliff, Julius Caesar and Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare, The Tale of Gwyn by Cynthia Voight (8th grade), The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley(6th grade), The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz, and Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. We will study poetry by a variety of authors including G. M. Hopkins and selections from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by J.R.R. Tolkien. Non-fiction is also included this year through biographies and a look at medieval Africa, The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack.

      Language communicates knowledge, wisdom, and experience to others. Writing effectively and efficiently in our own voice, without fear of the editing process is the goal. Be prepared; we will write, edit, re-write, edit, and likely re-write again towards concise dynamic papers. Daily Grammar is our resource for reviewing punctuation and usage. History and science will provide the topics for our expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays. Writing of any kind can be very personal and intimidating. My hope is for class to provide the opportunity to try, perhaps even to mess up, to try again, and to gain confidence in the process as we encourage one another.

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