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 English/Language Arts Course Descriptions 

Please note that we offer one level of language arts for elementary grades 4-5,  two levels of language arts for middle school (advanced and regular) and two levels of English for high school (honors and regular).  If you have questions about which level is appropriate, please contact Angie Mendez (

High School 

Honors English: American Literature and Composition (Mrs. Mendez) (This class has a 3 year rotation--American, British, World) 

By reading, discussing and evaluating the works of authors which have endured as classics of literature, students will enter the “Great Conversation” in this honors level class.  We will consider each work of literature in light of the author’s purpose and worldview, the prevailing cultural and philosophical ideas of the period and the art and music it produced. Students will be challenged to become competent communicators, writing with proper structure, style, and grace using IEW based materials, but encouraged to develop their own personal flare. Students will practice the essay and the research paper, model and write poetry, and produce literary critiques of selected literature. Since this class is honors level and incorporates Advanced Placement vocabulary and skills, it is excellent preparation for dual enrollment and college. 

Literary Works

  • Excerpts from Colonial writers: Franklin, Edwards, St. Jean deCrèvecoeur

  • Irving: “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”

  • Various American poets: Bradstreet, Longfellow, Poe,Dickinson, Frost, etc.

  • Hawthorne: “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Birthmark”(provided)

  • Melville: Billy Budd, Sailor

  • Thoreau and Emerson excerpts—TBA

  • Henry James: Daisy Miller

  • Crane: The Red Badge of Courage

  • Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby

  • O’Conner: “A Good Man is Hard to Find”

  • Wilder: Our Town(play)

  • Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Hemingway: The Old Man and the Sea

  • Frank: Alas, Babylon

  • Grammar/Style Book—TBA 

Writing Assignments

  • Literary Critique

  • Descriptive Essay

  • Biographical Essay

  • Persuasive Essay

  • Super Research Essay

  • Letters (personal, editorial)

  • Poetry

  • Modeling


*Please order using the ISBN number so that we will all have the same book.  This information will be sent after enrollment.


Regular English: American Literature and Composition (Mrs. Mellichamp) (3 year rotation: American, British, World.)
Required Materials:

Structure and Style for Students; Year I, Level B--Student book only; Purchase latest edition from IEW:


Novels/Short Stories/Poetry:

"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"--Irving

"The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" or other Twain short story--TBD

Poe short story and "The Raven"--TBD

The Red Badge of Courage--Crane

The Old Man and the Sea--Hemingway

To Kill A Mockingbird--Lee

Middle School 

Advanced IEW/Lang Arts Class (Rotation-American History-Based) (This class has a 3 year rotation.) (Mrs. Mendez)

Using materials from the Institute for Excellence in Writing, we will practice the style, structure, and grammar of writing.  This year, we will use American History-Based  Lessons and material from the B Writing Intensives.  Vocabulary and grammar are included. Writing assignments include the following: description, narration, summarizing from various sources, short story, reports, basic essay, literary critique/response, newspaper based on novel, and poetry—modeling and original.  More challenging assignments will be balanced with fun and creative writing. 

We will read and discuss the novels listed below along with various short stories and poems, learning how to recognize literary elements (plot, setting, theme, etc.) as well as consider the purpose of the author and his worldview along with the art and culture of the time period.  

Required Materials:

  • American History-Based Writing Lessons(most recent edition from IEW--2019) by Lori Verstegen—Student Copy only.

  • 2 inch binder with dividers and paper

  • Grammar: TBD

  • Access to a computer and printer


  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond—Speare

  • Sign of the Beaver—Speare

  • Johnny Tremain—Forbes

  • “Paul Revere’s Ride” (poem)—Longfellow

  • Carry on, Mr. Bowditch—Latham

  • The Journeyman—Yates

  • Little Britches—Moody

  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry—Taylor

  • Farewell to Manzanar

  • Poetry and short stories will be provided.

Writing Includes:

  • Description

  • Narration

  • Summarizing from various sources

  • Short story

  • Reports

  • Basic essay

  • Literary Critique/Response

  • Newspaper based on novel

  • Poetry—modeling and original

More challenging assignments will be balanced with lighter, fun, and creative writing. 


Regular IEW/Language Arts (Rotation 1) (This class has a 3 year rotation: Narnia 1, Narnia 2, Wonders of Science.) (Mrs. Mellichamp) 

Required Materials:

Following Narnia: The Lion's Song Volume 1--Bettis (Purchase student book only from IEW)

The Magician's Nephew--Lewis

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe--Lewis

The Horse and His Boy--Lewis

Biography and short story TBD


Elementary School 

4-5th IEW/Language Arts 1 (Mrs. Mellichamp)(This class has a 2 year rotation.)


  • Student Copy of Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales by Maria Gerber (available from IEW) Please purchase the latest edition.

  • Binder with dividers and paper

  • Access to a computer and printer

  • Grammar will be either Fix-it Level 1 or Fix-it Level 2 student book (Mrs. Mellichamp will let you know.)

  • Various Novels from the following (subject to change)


My Father’s Dragon—Ruth Stiles Gannett

The Whipping Boy—Sid Fleischman

The Sword in the Tree—Clyde Robert Bulla

The Tale of Despereaux—Kate DiCamillo 

The Trumpet of the Swan—E.B. White

The Penderwicks—Jeanne Birdsall

Various myths and short stories (provided)

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