Hello! I’m Leah Bashaw. I am a homeschool graduate and am currently working toward a Bachelors of English in World Literature. Throughout my homeschool education, literature and creative writing were subjects about which I was passionate. This excitement has continued into my college years, where I have taken courses in Literature, Shakespeare, Creative Writing, and multiple levels of English Composition. Unfortunately, many students find classic literature dull and difficult. Uninteresting literature, leading questions on study guides, and slow pacing hold back and dampen the mood of the entire class. Literature has no right or wrong answers: It is open for interpretation from every student! It is very exciting to read a book and draw your own conclusions.
For this reason, I will be teaching a high school literature class in the 2015-2016 school year. I have chosen many thought provoking books to read over the two semesters. Students will read at a fast pace, discuss with other high schoolers the books and their meanings, learn how to research and write MLA formatted essays, and participate in projects and creative writing.
- Strong analytical skills are important to learn when reading literature. Being able to critique and analyze a piece of work will benefit students in a college or work setting, but also encourages creative thinking for all books in life.
- Discussions are an important part of literature, as we strive to understand the author’s intent. Together the group will discuss many of the themes represented in the literature, and learn from each other’s individual interpretations.
- Writing is another important skill for students to learn. MLA is the standard essay format, and while not difficult, the technicalities can seem overwhelming. We will practice this formatting, as well as choosing secondary sources to cite in an essay, developing a thesis statement, and developing an opinion in the essay.
- Creative writing exercises help bring another dimension to the student’s writing skills and their interpretation of the book. These exercises are fun and engaging.
I am aware that many classic books have mature themes, language, or inappropriate content. I have chosen books that I believe are appropriate for high schoolers but by nature some do deal with thematic elements. We will discuss these themes tactfully and with sensitivity in class. I would always encourage parents to read along with their students, and they are welcome to discuss the books with them.