Online Middle School English Course
This online English course for middle schoolers is designed to lay a strong foundation for reading literature and engaging in critical analysis of texts through close-reading, discussion, and writing. In our classroom of one, the student will explore texts by reading carefully to decipher meaning and arrive at paragraph- and text-level interpretations. The course texts—co-selected by teacher and student during the collaborative design phase—are selected in order to encourage debate and argumentative writing, and include themes like conflict between main characters and their larger surroundings; and the student will work to sharpen their critical thinking by exploring them from all angles. Even as they work to construct clear arguments and thesis-driven essays, they will begin to notice and unpack nuance and complexity in their understandings of literature.
Weekly Cadence & Style
We normally offer this course in semester-length halves—14 – 16 weeks per semester—with a weekly cadence of either 1 or 2 live sessions weekly, plus an additional 3-5 hours of work that the student does on their own.
We will very much follow an inquiry-based learning model in our weekly get togethers where together the teacher and student will explore the texts and ask open-ended questions about character development and themes.
Additionally, this course introduces the student to a process approach to writing—with drafting, peer and teacher review, and editing as integral components—whether the student is writing essays, fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry.
The following is an illustrative list of common texts that are read in this middle school English course. Keep in mind that each course is customized to the student, and the reading list will vary according to their interest and level.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Pearly by John Steinbeck
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- 12 Angry Men by Reginald Rose
- Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare