Teaching the Classics (6th-9th) (4th period)


Course Description:

Teaching the Classics is a literary analysis program by Adam and Missy Andrews that uses the Socratic Method of questioning to engage students in meaningful discourse about works of literature. It helps students to develop an appreciation for literature as they learn to think deeply through the process of reading and discussing great books. The students will learn how authors use literary devices to enrich the story. They will learn to identify the parts of a story such as the exposition, rising action and climax of a story.  They will also learn to analyze a story for plot, conflict, setting, character, and theme as they discover great works of children’s and young adult literature. A Selection of classic literature, short stories and poetry will be used for the course.

Course Expectations:

Students will be expected to complete any assigned reading (as listed on the syllabus) prior to class time each week. They will also be expected to participate in class and to be actively involved in completing analysis exercises in class. Keeping up with reading assignments will allow students to participate in classroom discussions and activities and will enable them to progress in skill development.

Homework will consist mostly of pre-reading the various works of literature to prepare for Socratic Discussion. Occasionally a student may need to complete a story chart worksheet, but there will be no essay writing or formal papers required.

Textbooks and Materials:

1.5 inch binder and 8 tabbed dividers

Copy of novels for the course. A final book list will be sent out prior to the beginning of classes. (Copies of poems and short stories will be provided by the teacher)

Possible Book List for Teaching the Classics. This is only a “working list”.  Some selections may change. The list of required novels will be finalized and sent out to participating students prior to the beginning of classes.

We will occasionally add in short stories and poetry, but copies of those selections will be provided by the teacher.

There will be 8-9 novels covered over the year as well as some poems and short stories. The titles below are probabilities, but this list could change.  Some additional titles that are being considered are listed below these.

  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers by Ralph Moody
  • The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stephenson
  • The Green Ember by S.D. Smith
  • Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
  • Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric Kelly (Renaissance Period)
  • The Hawk that Dare not Hunt by Day – Scott O’Dell (Reformation)

Wednesday class may also read: The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

Alternate titles

  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry (not about a girl, but most girls like horses)
  • Watership Down
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis (book #5 of the Narnia series)
  • The King’s Fifth by Scott O’Dell (exploration of the New World)

Arrow Program: Arrow Academics
Class Day: Wednesday 
Teacher: Bridget Williams
Prerequisites: None 
Expectations: Approximately 1-2 hours per week
Supply Fee: None

Syllabus: Arrow Teaching the Classics Middle School Literature Syllabus


The Teaching the Classics course is offered in both the Arrow Primer and Arrow Academic Programs.  Although the content of the two classes will be similar in scope and the book list will be similar, the Wednesday class (Arrow Academics) will be more comprehensive and will include a deeper analysis of the literary works as well as additional books and/or short stories. There will be no formal essays required in either class. However, the skills taught in literary analysis will be practiced and assessed through the completion of story charts and literary analysis worksheets.  Expectations of mastery of these elements will be greater in the Arrow Academics (Wednesday) TTC course. 

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