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Literarure study for the 8th grade...suggestions needed...

MI Mom

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What would give a good overview and prepare my ds for high school literature studies? I am thinking that if he learns the literary terms and how to pick them out of literature he would have a good foundation? What curriculum study could we use for doing this?


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Figuratively Speaking

A very nice overview resource for covering 40 literary terms, such as metaphor, irony, alliteration, etc. Each term is covered in 3 pages. First the term is defined; then examples from classic literature are used; then there are a few exercises to practice using or finding the literary element; the section ends with a suggested writing assignment or additional activity.


We covered 1-2 literary elements per week and were able to finish the book in a single school year, taking about 10 minutes to go over the section aloud together. Once we'd discussed it, we often found ourselves pointing that literary element out in whatever else we were reading.




Lightning Literature and Composition

LL7 and LL8 are each a full year intro to literature and literary analysis program, for 7th or for 8th grade. It is "light" enough to allow for additional reading, writing and grammar programs, yet is thorough enough to cover realistic novel, fantasy novel, short stories, and poetry units.


LL is designed to be done mostly independently by the student, but we chose to do the reading/discussing aloud together, which was extremely beneficial in really seeing and discussing literary elements and themes as we came across them in the books.


What LL8 looks like

The program is broken into 12 units, with each unit covering a different literary element. Complete works of literature (rather than excerpts or abridgements) are read. LL8 is composed of 2 parts: the Student Guide, and the Student Worksheet Pages. There is also a Teacher's Guide, with answers to the worksheet pages, additional teaching notes, and discussion questions.


The Student Book has 2 parts:


1. Student Guide; each of the 8 units has:

- a page intro about each author, and tips on what to look for as you read.

- vocabulary list with definitions to make reading the book easier.

- comprehension questions to help student focus on key details.

- 6-10 teaching text pages (written to the student) about a literary element and examples of how that literary element is used in the work being read to go with that unit.

- a 2-3 page "mini-writing lesson" with information/tips on various aspects of writing (examples: how to cite sources; how to take notes; etc.)

- choice from 4-8 longer writing assignment ideas for finishing up each unit


2. Workpages

- 8-10 worksheets per unit to help student practice the literary element, occasional grammar aspect (punctuation, capitalization, etc.), or beginning analysis of an excerpt from literature.

- Sometimes a short story or a segment of a longer work is reproduced for the student to read/analyze.


To see an entire sample unit, go to Hewitt Homeschooling at: http://www.hewitthomeschooling.com/book/blight.asp -- scroll down the page and click on the link within the text to see samples of LL7 or LL8. Below is the list of what LL7 or LL8 covers.




1 = "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" (short story)

literary lesson: plot line

mini writing lesson: openings


2. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (novel)

literary lesson: plot line in a novel

mini writing lesson: outlines


3. poetry unit -- 7 poems

literary lesson: rhyme

mini writing lesson: limerick and haiku


4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (fantasy work)

literary lesson: creativitiy

mini writing lesson: nonce words


5. "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky" (short story)

literary lesson: saying it with style


6. The Story of My Life (autobiography)

literary lesson: autobiography

mini writing lesson: brainstorming


7. poetry unit -- 6 poems

literary lesson: sound

mini writing lesson: cinquain and the list poem


8. All Creatures Great and Small (novel)

literary lesson: character sketch

mini writing lesson: choosing a topic




1 = "A Crazy Tale" (short story)

literary lesson: author's purpose

mini writing lesson: taking notes


2. Treasure Island (novel)

literary lesson: setting

mini writing lesson: rewriting in your own words


3. poetry unit -- 6 poems

literary lesson: vivid imagery

mini writing lesson: free verse and ballad


4. A Day of Pleasure (autobiographical sketches)

literary lesson: sharing your culture

mini writing lesson: rewriting your own words


5. "Wakefield" (short story)

literary lesson: details in writing

mini writing lesson: citing sources


6. A Christmas Carol (novella)

literary lesson: character development

mini writing lesson: the narrator


7. poetry unit -- 8 poems

literary lesson: figurative language

mini writing lesson: fun poems


8 The Hobbit (fantasy work)

literary lesson: conflict

mini writing lesson: genre fiction


9. "Reflections" (short story)

literary lesson: symbolism

mini writing lesson: sentence structure


10. My Family and Other Animals (novel)

literary lesson: humor

mini writing lesson: bibliography


11. poetry unit -- 8 poems

literary lesson: meter

mini writing lesson: the sonnet


12. To Kill a Mockingbird (novel)

literary lesson: writing a literary analysis

mini writing lesson: writing a conclusion



Finally, here is a past thread on TWTM that might be of interest to you:

"Literary Analysis for a 12yo?"




BEST of luck in finding what works best for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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