Language Arts 4 emphasizes both literature and composition by focusing on the first three canons of classical rhetoric: invention, arrangement, and elocution. The thoughtful discussions about literary works help LA4 students develop habits of questioning and an appreciation for the art of writing. Students use these skills to write reflective essays that present a logical and clear argument. Literature selections include short stories, novels, a Shakespearean play, and poetry. These selections serve as the basis for composition assignments, which include evaluating ideas across more than one literary piece. Students expand their skills by varying the structure of body paragraphs through careful arrangement of the three parts of an essay: introduction, body, and conclusion. In creative exercises, students experiment with voice by imitating the diction and syntax of the authors.
The course continues to reinforce proper grammar mechanics and usage through weekly exercises and reading. In addition, students analyze sentences with advanced grammatical constructions using a four-level approach. This approach increases writing skills as well as reading comprehension.
This course is an advanced course and is appropriate for ages 12 to 14, depending on previously acquired reading, grammar, and writing skills. Students should have had practice writing body paragraphs which include textual evidence and clear analytical connections. The ability to identify parts of speech and noun jobs is essential as well as punctuating compound and complex sentences.