Section: Composition, Literature   |   School: Grammar School, School of Logic

Writing instruction at WHA begins with Language Arts in the Grammar School and continues through the School of Logic and School of Rhetoric years, culminating in Rhetoric 2: Senior Thesis.  The primary goal of our writing process is to teach students how to write coherent, logical, and elegant essays.  To accomplish this, students need a solid foundation in writing, which our Language Arts courses seek to provide.

 

Language Arts Level 1

Language Arts 1 effectively transitions students from such early grammar and composition programs as Shurley Grammar and IEW to more concise forms of sentence and paragraph writing with reinforcement in the elements of sound grammar and mechanics.  LA 1 is not strictly a writing course, however.  We believe that writing is best taught, not in isolation, but in the context of reading and discussing great literature.  Students in this course will be reading such books as Old Yeller, Phantom Tollbooth, and The Trumpet of the Swan.  Cultivating a love of great books is an ideal first step in teaching excellent writing.  We hope you will join us!

Typical Reading:

  • The Trumpet of the Swan, E. B. White
  • Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
  • Old Yeller, Fred Gipson
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Robert C. O’Brien
  • Johnny Tremain, Esther Hoskins Forbes
  • Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling

An official book list will be distributed to registered students by April 1.

Language Arts Level 2

This course introduces students to great works of children’s literature that contain increasing complexity. In studying poetry, students will explore what this playful form can teach us about using the English language more effectively in all writing. While students will review the elements of quality sentences and paragraphs, the primary writing goal is to learn how to construct an essay, focusing on narrative and expository writing. Students will read primary sources and utilize the Jane Schaffer Writing Program and Shurley Grammar curriculum in order to learn the tools necessary to improve writing.

Typical Reading:

  • The Oxford Book of Children’s Verse, edited by Iona and Peter Opie
  • The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O’ Dell
  • Call it Courage, Armstrong Sperry
  • Eagle of the Ninth, Rosemary Sutcliff
  • Lad, A Dog, Albert Payson Terhune
  • Redwall, Brian Jaques
  • The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis

An official book list will be distributed to registered students by April 1.

 

Language Arts Level 3

Moving into the logic phase, this course continues to expose students to great works of youth literature that contain increasing complexity. In addition, they will focus on mastering English grammar and further developing their essay writing skills.  Students will read primary sources and utilize the Jane Schaffer Writing Program and Shurley Grammar curriculum in order to learn the tools necessary to improve writing.

Text & Typical Reading:

  • Text: Analytical Grammar, a Systematic Approach to Language Mastery (Student Workbook) R. Robin Finley
  • Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Chronicles of Prydain (Book 1), Lloyd Alexander
  • Voyage of the Dawn Trader, C.S. Lewis
  • Huck Finn, Mark Twain
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  • and various poems and short stories provided as PDF links

An official book list will be distributed to registered students by April 1.

LA4: Fundamentals of Expository Writing

This course gives students tools for learning how to appreciate and interpret others’ writings in order that they may gain the skills to successfully create their own well crafted essays. By thoughtfully unpacking specific aspects of style (diction, literary terms) in selected pieces of literature, and through learning to write formally and critically about the works of great authors, students begin the process of writing well themselves. The classical challenge of clarifying and communicating one’s thoughts by distilling them into coherent and persuasive writing is furthered in Fundamentals of Expository Writing. Students also master the basic essay form.

An official book list will be distributed to registered students by April 1.