Mastering Language Arts is a high school preparatory course designed to hone Language Arts skills, deepen critical thinking skills, and improve writing strategies, so that students will be able to master their upcoming high school courses. Students will interact with literature and non-fiction, examining styles, genres, points of view, and themes. Through vocabulary games, close reading, discussion, analysis, creative works, and writing practice, students will learn how to read more fluently and formulate their ideas more articulately. We will also engage in an investigation of vocabulary, using prefixes, suffixes, and roots as our clues! Each student will be prepared for high school, increase their reading, writing, critical thinking, and discussion skills vital to a literate and engaged life in the modern world.
What you’ll learn?
- Short Story, Science Fiction, Plot & Setting
- Ray Bradbury & selected Illustrated Man stories
- “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut
- “A Sound Of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury
- Plot, Setting, Character, Theme
- Write your own creative Science Fiction Story
Poetry & Figurative Language:
- Write an“I am” Poem
- Poetry Styles & Stations
- Read Poetry and Analyze
- Figurative vs. Literal Language
- Descriptive Writing & Mandala Project
Learning Styles & Modes
- Read and Analyze Flowers for Algernon
- Analyze Character Development, Mood, Tone & Theme
- Briggs Meyer Personality Test & My Special Skill Set
- Analyzing Plays & Scenes
- Acting Games
- Public Speaking & Performance
- Characterization & Character Creation
- Credible Sources and sorting through the wide-wide web
- Bias, Connotations
- Make your own advertisement
- Compare/Contrast News Sources on the same issue
The Impact of Language on History & The Personal Essay
- Analyze Famous Speeches & Impact on History
- What Matters? Critically Examining Issues
- “This I Believe” Personal Essay
The Novel & Analyzing Literature
- The Pearl by John Steinbeck
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- Identify and understand the effects of literary devices
- Identify themes and how they develop throughout the plot
- Write analysis paragraphs and essays, developing your voice and style as a writer, with a strong thesis, explicit justification and overarching analytical connections
- Engage: Show some sort of video or do a hands on activity that hooks the students into the lesson.
- Warm-up: Speaking & Vocabulary Investigation
- Journal: Write about a Topic from the Lesson; Brainstorm & Writing Practice
- Lesson: Literary Topic Dissected
- Group Reading & Analysis
- Independent Reading & Writing Assignment (to complete at home)
- Enrichment Activities – connect literature to modern day & your own life!
Students will be able to:
- Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
- Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
- Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
- Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.
- Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.
- Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
- Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
- Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
- Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
- Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
About the teacher
Ms. Lara has taught English for fifteen years in different countries around the world. After getting her BA in Sociology and Photography at the University of California, San Diego, she worked with students with special needs for several years, trying to understand every kind of learner and diverse modalities of helping students to utilize their strengths and access learning from their own points of view. She has taught in Honduras and Hungary, as well as many kinds of schools around the US. After teaching English, Science, Art, and Music to 2nd, 6th, 10th and 11th grade students in the Caribbean, she came back to the
US, and got her teaching credential at California State Monterey Bay. Following this, she taught at a small high school in Santa Cruz, CA for twelve years, where she instructed 9-12th grade English, Art, Digital Photography, and History as well as Advanced Placement classes for 5 years. In 2012, she took a hiatus to complete a year as a Fulbright exchange teacher in Budapest, where she taught ESL and was an ambassador for the US. She was nominated for Teacher of the Year in 2015, and received a commendation for her work in 2018. She now tutors students in many subjects, while being a student herself, pursuing another degree. She enjoys working with students and learning from them, and finding new ways to communicate and understand the world around us.