Intermediate Literature, Writing
(offered every year)

Taught by Andrew O'Brien

Taught by Andrew O'Brien

  • two main objectives: develop critical literacy and thoughtful written expression

  • read some of the greatest works published in English

  • develop confidence in writing academic essays

  • improve the quality of our writing through skills acquisition

Course Description

Intermediate Literature, Writing is an 8th/9th grade reading and writing course which attempts to develop critical literacy and thoughtful written expression. These two objectives are always balanced by the overall purpose of the language arts: to hone skills of communication. Because reading and writing are so closely tied together, students will always work to improve their writing when they are dealing critically with a literary text and, through excellent writing, they will learn to be strong readers.

This course will introduce more mature literature than offered in our MS literature class, and will engage more complex contexts for various writing genres. Writing assignments cover a wide range of written expression geared toward the students’ specific ability levels: reflection, exposition, persuasion, literary analysis, narrative, poetry, etc. This class prepares students to begin to do mature literary analysis and to communicate this analysis through writing. Students who fulfill all requirements of this class will demonstrate the skills needed for the high school level English courses-of-study offered by New Hope.

Students will write approx. 1 ½ to 2 ½ typed pages every two to three weeks. Assignments will vary, sometimes connecting to the reading curriculum and sometimes independent from it. At least one longer paper will replace this pattern, giving students the time they need to work on a more complex and far-reaching essay. I will teach basic concepts behind persuasion, expression, exposition, theme writing, narrative and verse, and I will ask students to write within these genres (at their ability levels). Students will have the option of sharing their writing with the class, although this is almost never mandatory. Outlining, paragraphing, and effective syntax (sentence structure) will be stressed and taught.

This course includes some of the most delightful works of our literary tradition. Books like Les Miserables and Jane Eyre are fondly remembered as the years go on. To Kill a Mockingbird is most often identified as students’ favorite book of all their years of literary study. These are the books which have served so well in teaching students how to read novels, and most of them are books I never grow tired of reading.

The Last Leaf

If you are new to New Hope, please download the following PDF and return it to the office along with your application.

Book List

Short Stories, Essays and Poetry, Instructors choice [handout]
A Light in the Forest by Conrad Richter ISBN 1400077885
A Separate Peace by John Knowles ISBN 0743253973 As You Like It (No Fear Shakespeare) ISBN 1897377770 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte ISBN 0141441143
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo ISBN 141650026X Lord of the Flies by William Golding ISBN 0571056865 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Burton Raffle ed.) ISBN 9780451531193 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ISBN 0060935464