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Wow. Mosdos Fiction Collection is wonderful!


lisabees

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On a whim, I bought the Mosdos fiction short story anthology, called Silver, from RR. DS has been reading a story a day and loving it! Intelligent, thoughtful stories with great discussion questions at the end. Perfect for a middle schooler. We've made a number of changes in this new year and have had so many success stories. I had to share this one. ;)

 

http://www.mosdospress.com/fiction.html

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On a whim, I bought the Mosdos fiction short story anthology, called Silver, from RR. DS has been reading a story a day and loving it! Intelligent, thoughtful stories with great discussion questions at the end. Perfect for a middle schooler. We've made a number of changes in this new year and have had so many success stories. I had to share this one. ;)

 

http://www.mosdospress.com/fiction.html

 

Thanks for posting this!

 

Hey, you said you've made lots of changes & had many success stories... I'd love to hear what the positive changes have been if you have the time! :001_smile:

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We love it too! My dd is halfway through the Ruby level right now and we both really enjoy it. The story selections are of excellent quality and the review/analysis questions are top-notch. I intend to stick with this series for my dc all the way through. Glad to hear good reviews for the Silver level.

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Thanks! These are great. The sample story almost brought tears to my eyes. One more thing to add to my wishlist!:lol:

 

I was a mess after today's reading also! :lol:

 

amsunshine, Silver is different than the other collections. This are only 12 short stories in a small paperback book. If the large textbook selections are similar to this one, it might be worthwhile looking into!

 

Stacia, I am kind of flying high as a kite, because things are coming together for us. I give all credit to the great board members who have helped me knowingly and unknowingly. :) My 13 year old WAS a struggling reader and is just reading wonderfully now. And his spelling is sooo much better.

 

We are now concentrating on reading comprehension and writing. We have been using WriteShop since the holidays and it is just what we needed for a reluctant writer! In addition, we started Thinking in Threes and Sentence Composing for Middle School. Both are wonderful supplements. We are technically doing the Brave Writer course, though we are not getting too much out of it. We continue enjoying WWE3 to work on his summarizing skills. DS just finished reading Lightning Thief - this was a tremendous deal for us. He loved it and is so proud. For reading comprehension, I am still a little unsure, although Deconstructing Penguins has created some wonderful discussions. I used to worry that my son wasn't able to comprehend. Now that he is reading on grade level and we are talking about books, I understand that he just has never been taught (plus how could he comprehend a book he couldn't read?)! It is exciting for both of us.

 

Megawords and Spelling Through Morphographs continue to work wonders.

 

We also just started doing Lial's BCM. I am following Jann in TX's ideas for using the text and it is perfect. We finished our first chapter and ds got an A on the test. I feel confident in moving on.

 

For history and science, we are scrambling to find the time, as we are working so hard on the core problems. But, a couple of times a week, we do each. For History, we are now using SOTW 2 - ds reads it to himself. We discuss, do the map and do any activities that are appropriate for a 7th grader (usually it's food)! We also use Teaching Company, Famous Men of Middle Ages and Little History of the World audio. He outlines from Usborne's World History. Unfortunately, science has really been put on the backburner since the holidays. Ds reads and outlines science books, as well as doing Supercharged Science. He also uses Thames and Kosmos' Physiks Workshop when he has the time.

 

Hmmm...what else? JAG is very difficult for him. I wouldn't call it a success...yet. I think ds needs to see the big picture and JAG is part-whole instead of whole-to part.

 

For Spanish, as a gentle introduction, he is using Mi Vida Loca (BBC) every night. I am not sure how much he is retaining, as it is really to give him a sense of how the language sounds versus truly teaching him Spanish. He can barely grasp English grammar; I'm afraid to start him on Spanish grammar!

 

I am going on way too long here. Successes for my other kids (who are ps) are Irasshai for my Japanese-obsessed 10 year old and La Clase Divertida for my 6 year old. The entire family actually enjoys each of these programs.

 

Well. That is WAY more than either of us expected. I am sure there are tons of typos!

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This looks really interesting. Do you use it as your literature study or just as a reader? I ask because I am considering their literature series but can't decide whether I want just the teacher's book, student book only, or both.

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amsunshine, Silver is different than the other collections. This is only 12 short stories in a small paperback book. If the large textbook selections are similar to this one, it might be worthwhile looking into!

 

 

Interesting! I thought Silver was just another level -- I'll definitely check it out.

 

 

also hoping to find out what components everyone is using with Mosdos

 

 

With Ruby, we use the TM (which is pricey, but I feel it is worth it...it has a lot more discussion/analysis questions in it that aren't in the basic text).

 

We are also using the workbook, but I may drop that in future years. We already discuss a lot of the new vocabulary as we go along in the text. The additional review questions for written work are very good, but I find the TM questions are more than enough.

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With Ruby, we use the TM (which is pricey, but I feel it is worth it...it has a lot more discussion/analysis questions in it that aren't in the basic text).

 

Do they have samples of the TM on the website or am I just missing them?

 

If they don't have samples up, could you give a little more description about what the TM includes for each story? Is it just discussion questions, or does it go into genres, etc...?

 

Thanks!

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Do they have samples of the TM on the website or am I just missing them?

 

If they don't have samples up, could you give a little more description about what the TM includes for each story? Is it just discussion questions, or does it go into genres, etc...?

 

 

On the page she linked earlier in the thread, there's a little icon on the bottom right hand corner under some text referring to samples or some such. If you click on the icon, you'll get a pdf sample of the TOC, a sample chapter, and the corresponding chapter from the Teacher's Manual.

 

It looks interesting, but I already have the Jamestown short story collection! Now I covet this one too... :glare:

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Do they have samples of the TM on the website or am I just missing them?

 

If they don't have samples up, could you give a little more description about what the TM includes for each story? Is it just discussion questions, or does it go into genres, etc...?

 

 

 

Yes, they should have samples of the TM up on the website. However, to give you an example, for the short story we are reading now (taken from Landmark Books -- the Wright Brothers), the focus is on dialogue and how the reader gains insight into the characters of a story through dialogue. With the previous stories, we've learned about on character, theme, internal and external conflicts, setting, rising action, climax, foreshadowing, etc. Each new chapter introduces a new literary component. Each of these components is reviewed through subsequent stories by questions in the TM that address those topics, such as foreshadowing, conflict, etc.

 

There are both literal review questions and deeper, more analytical questions for each story, page by page. Answers to these and those in the text are in the TM.

 

There is also some brief introductory information before each story for the teacher, and a selection summary.

 

Hope my rambling helps a little!:)

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Yes, they should have samples of the TM up on the website. However, to give you an example, for the short story we are reading now (taken from Landmark Books -- the Wright Brothers), the focus is on dialogue and how the reader gains insight into the characters of a story through dialogue. With the previous stories, we've learned about on character, theme, internal and external conflicts, setting, rising action, climax, foreshadowing, etc. Each new chapter introduces a new literary component. Each of these components is reviewed through subsequent stories by questions in the TM that address those topics, such as foreshadowing, conflict, etc.

 

There are both literal review questions and deeper, more analytical questions for each story, page by page. Answers to these and those in the text are in the TM.

 

There is also some brief introductory information before each story for the teacher, and a selection summary.

 

Hope my rambling helps a little!:)

 

Yes, it does help:)

 

I know you only use TM. Do you find the page too busy and print too small with student text and teaching notes together? I would really like to avoid buying both TM and student book because they are not cheap, but looking at the sample makes me wonder whether the TM will be too distracting too look at.

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Oh, I didn't mean to imply we only use the TM -- we use both the student text and the TM. I do think the TM would be too busy to use alone, and the text print would be a little too small for the student. Also, all the answers to the questions are right there on the page, so -- I don't think using the TM by itself would be a good idea. YMMV.

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Oh, I didn't mean to imply we only use the TM -- we use both the student text and the TM. I do think the TM would be too busy to use alone, and the text print would be a little too small for the student. Also, all the answers to the questions are right there on the page, so -- I don't think using the TM by itself would be a good idea. YMMV.

 

Thanks for clarifying that. I have to think again though, both TM and student book will cost me$ 122. Yikes!

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Thanks for clarifying that. I have to think again though, both TM and student book will cost me$ 122. Yikes!

 

:confused: Are you talking about the Silver short story collection the OP was talking about, or one of the full-year levels of Mosdos? Because the Silver collection is only $12.95 and the Educator Guide's only $16.

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:confused: Are you talking about the Silver short story collection the OP was talking about, or one of the full-year levels of Mosdos? Because the Silver collection is only $12.95 and the Educator Guide's only $16.

 

I am talking about their regular literature program. It looks like a great program to go along with MCT.

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I am talking about their regular literature program. It looks like a great program to go along with MCT.

 

Ah, yes, that's pricier. I'm considering Lightning Lit for the same reason next year (along with MCT). It's a little less pricey - $30.60 for the student materials and $18.95 for the TM. That doesn't include the books, though - I was thinking I might use the library for some/most of them.

 

Actually, they sell a pack with all the books and it's still only $85.95.

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Ah, yes, that's pricier. I'm considering Lightning Lit for the same reason next year (along with MCT). It's a little less pricey - $30.60 for the student materials and $18.95 for the TM. That doesn't include the books, though - I was thinking I might use the library for some/most of them.

 

Actually, they sell a pack with all the books and it's still only $85.95.

 

Matroyshka,

 

You and I think alike:001_smile: I've considered Lightning Lit too, but I like Mosdos' setup better than Lightning Lit. That said, I will probably go with Lightning Lit though because of price.

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You and I think alike:001_smile: I've considered Lightning Lit too, but I like Mosdos' setup better than Lightning Lit. That said, I will probably go with Lightning Lit though because of price.

 

What do you like better about Mosdos' setup? I'll admit I haven't looked as closely at the full-year curriculum, but that's partly because I got the vibe that it wasn't full works - or maybe just one novel included - more similar to the lit texts we had in school. Or is that not how it works? I was more drawn to LLit because it used full works.

 

That short story collection, on the other hand... I may have to have that, even though it kind of duplicates something I already have...

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Can I jump in to ask if you ladies would do Mosdos Silver short story before LL7? I've glanced at both, but not sure what we'll do next year ( for 6th grade)? LL? WTM logic stage literature discussion questions? Figuratively Speaking? or ????

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What do you like better about Mosdos' setup? I'll admit I haven't looked as closely at the full-year curriculum, but that's partly because I got the vibe that it wasn't full works - or maybe just one novel included - more similar to the lit texts we had in school. Or is that not how it works? I was more drawn to LLit because it used full works.

 

 

If you take a look at Mosdos' sample of their full-year program, which I encourage you do especially their table of contents, you can see that they are not using books but short stories. They do occasionally use parts of books but the majority of them are short stories in their entirety. I like that it's very easy to use with all the components laid out for me and I can just pick it up and teach.

 

When I previewed LL(I actually had a physical copy in my hand), I got the impression that I would have to learn how to use their TM first before I can teach. Of course I am sure if I just devote some time to learn the system once I would be able to teach, but somehow Mosdos' presentation fits my sequential mind better.

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If you take a look at Mosdos' sample of their full-year program, which I encourage you do especially their table of contents, you can see that they are not using books but short stories. They do occasionally use parts of books but the majority of them are short stories in their entirety. I like that it's very easy to use with all the components laid out for me and I can just pick it up and teach.

 

When I previewed LL(I actually had a physical copy in my hand), I got the impression that I would have to learn how to use their TM first before I can teach. Of course I am sure if I just devote some time to learn the system once I would be able to teach, but somehow Mosdos' presentation fits my sequential mind better.

 

Hmmm, I also have a sequential mind, hope I can wrap my head around it! :tongue_smilie:

 

If the full-year curriculum is mostly short stories anyway, I think I'll just get the Silver book to add to the Lightning Lit (or actually I'm thinking of doing the Silver book this spring and LLit next year).

 

Anyone happen to have used the Jamestown Best Short Stories (which I already own) and be able to comment on how that compares to the Silver book?

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I have never heard of these but they look fascinating! I love that it starts with 4th grade. Some questions...

 

Do you think the 4th grade level would be adequate for a strong 4th grade student?

 

What subjects could be 'replaced' besides reading...it sounds like there is vocab? anything else?

 

Right now we are using Progeny Press guides mostly...any thoughts on how the 2 compare?

 

Thanks! Brownie

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What does Mosdos stand for? I keep hearing "Moss Bross" or "Moss Brothers" the tux place in England, such that if one was getting married one could say " I'm going down to Moss Bross".

 

The list of stories is interesting. And secular!

 

I'm suspecting that it's Hebrew. I have an email in to my Israeli brother in law asking about it. Stay tuned!

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Hmmm, I also have a sequential mind, hope I can wrap my head around it! :tongue_smilie:

 

If the full-year curriculum is mostly short stories anyway, I think I'll just get the Silver book to add to the Lightning Lit (or actually I'm thinking of doing the Silver book this spring and LLit next year).

 

Anyone happen to have used the Jamestown Best Short Stories (which I already own) and be able to comment on how that compares to the Silver book?

 

I have the Jamestown Best Short Stories and LL 7 & 8. What would you like to know?

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This looks very interesting. For anyone that has used SL or TOG How doyou think it compares with the discussion/analysis those programs teach with their reading selections? We are about to start our SL core now that we are nearly done our current history unit, and I am thinking about using TOG when we are done the 2 cores I have planned out. Is it worth looking deeper into this program if I am using either of those programs? I am no good at analyzing stories etc without a script to follow.

 

Just a note too, I noticed on their site that March 2011 they will be releasing a 3rd grade level.

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I have the Jamestown Best Short Stories and LL 7 & 8. What would you like to know?

 

I was thinking of doing the Jamestown this spring and then LL in the fall, but now I see this Silver collection and my head is turned. Have you done the Jamestown, and if so, did your kid like doing it? For some reason when I look at it, I imagine my kids groaning at it a bit, but I'd really like to do a short story lit study. And how do you think it compares to the Silver book - the Silver book is inexpensive enough that I'm feeling like buying it just to compare. Also, I don't have a teacher's guide for the Jamestown, and the Silver TM looks affordable...

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I was thinking of doing the Jamestown this spring and then LL in the fall, but now I see this Silver collection and my head is turned. Have you done the Jamestown, and if so, did your kid like doing it? For some reason when I look at it, I imagine my kids groaning at it a bit, but I'd really like to do a short story lit study. And how do you think it compares to the Silver book - the Silver book is inexpensive enough that I'm feeling like buying it just to compare. Also, I don't have a teacher's guide for the Jamestown, and the Silver TM looks affordable...

 

First, I would love to hear from Lisabees what type of instruction you get with the Silver Collection. She mentioned discussion questions. Does the book cover any literary devices or is it strictly a nice collection of stories with discussion questions?

 

Jamestown offers 10 stories which progressively work through what a short story is, character, plot, setting, use of language, theme, tone and mood, folk story, science fiction, and judgments and conclusions. We have used components of this book as well as some of the other Jamestown books.

For my youngest last year, I used several different parts of LL 7 & 8 that corresponded with the SL core he was using or that he could do simultaneously with his older brother. We are using Jamestown while we are covering ancient history but will return to LL next year to finish what we haven't used.

 

My son is fine with using Jamestown but prefers LL. We like most of the literature choices just fine, but I find the format irritating. The common public school approach to analyzing literature is used here. Jamestown tells the student what the piece is going to be about (in too much detail), gives them questions to think about while they read and has them start the planning process for the writing project. You read the story and then a lesson on the topic, for instance character. There are several mini lessons involving character and corresponding steps in the writing process. Then there are comprehension questions, discussion questions and then the final writing exercise for which you have been preparing. The child has thoroughly flogged the piece to death by the time they are done. Imho.:D

 

The thought of following this process through 5 books is more than I can bear. Okay, that was a bit dramatic but you get the idea. Lightning Lit was patterned after the Jamestown books but I personally think it is better than the model. It's gentler, includes more classic works and full works. And it doesn't take all the mystery out of the work.

 

Again, I'd love to hear what Lisabees has to say. I also would like to hear what the routine for analysis is for the full curriculum editions for Mosdos.

 

Matroyshka, I don't think you would be sorry for using Ll and the Silver Collection.

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Another satisfied customer here! We've done 2 units of Ruby, and dd9 who is an intelligent but unethusiastic student is actually excited about this. She'd definitely prefer not to use the workbook, and we need to work on how she answers written questions, but we'll get that right by the end of the year. I love the teacher's manual - it makes it so easy to work through the piece intelligently.

 

I'm interested to find out what Mosdos means. I'm also assuming it's Hebrew, given that Mosdos comes from a Jewish publisher, and googling the word throws up Jewish websites.

 

We are using Mosdos with the full MCT Grammar Island series, but it is expensive, and I might have to compromise somewhere in the future.

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My son is fine with using Jamestown but prefers LL. We like most of the literature choices just fine, but I find the format irritating. The common public school approach to analyzing literature is used here. Jamestown tells the student what the piece is going to be about (in too much detail), gives them questions to think about while they read and has them start the planning process for the writing project. You read the story and then a lesson on the topic, for instance character. There are several mini lessons involving character and corresponding steps in the writing process. Then there are comprehension questions, discussion questions and then the final writing exercise for which you have been preparing. The child has thoroughly flogged the piece to death by the time they are done. Imho.:D

 

Lias, thanks for this review on actually using it. I really wanted to do some short stories and go over them for these elements, but looking at the Jamestown book, I was a bit worried that there would be some flogging, and end up having them groan in pain at the process rather than enjoying as well as learning from the literature.

 

This is why my interest is piqued by the Silver - it looks like it might be a bit more gentle. If you want to see a sample chapter of the teacher's guide with questions, click on the icon on the lower right corner of the page and scroll down - the sample has the TOC, a story, and then the section from the TM that goes with that story.

 

However, it didn't look like there was as much (or any?) writing involved with the Silver, and from the sample I'm not seeing the specific focus on say, character, theme, or setting for each chapter, just discussion questions. Ah, I think I may have to buy the darn thing and see for myself. I guess I could use parts of both...

 

Do you think it would work to just skip parts of the Jamestown and make it more enjoyable but still edifying?

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I'm the OP.

 

Silver is a supplementary book...just a small paperback filled with twelve short stories. In no way can it be used as a reading curriculum. But, it is a perfect addition to one. And, a perfect introduction to Mosdos, if you want a taste.

 

Before each story, there is a "Consider This" page. This is where we may find out about the author, the moral struggle of the characters, the importance of the setting. Basically, this sets the stage for the story.

 

After each story, the "Thinking It Over" section asks various comprehension questions. Questions are in depth, such as "Why is George mad at the end of the story? Should he be?" "Why is the climax of the story the father's whispering, 'If only I had made him wear his helmet'?" "Does understanding why someone is mean help you understand him or her?"

 

There is an educator's guide/teacher's manual. I did not get that, so I'm not sure how much it would add to the readings.

 

HTH!

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Lias, thanks for this review on actually using it. I really wanted to do some short stories and go over them for these elements, but looking at the Jamestown book, I was a bit worried that there would be some flogging, and end up having them groan in pain at the process rather than enjoying as well as learning from the literature.

 

This is why my interest is piqued by the Silver - it looks like it might be a bit more gentle. If you want to see a sample chapter of the teacher's guide with questions, click on the icon on the lower right corner of the page and scroll down - the sample has the TOC, a story, and then the section from the TM that goes with that story.

 

However, it didn't look like there was as much (or any?) writing involved with the Silver, and from the sample I'm not seeing the specific focus on say, character, theme, or setting for each chapter, just discussion questions. Ah, I think I may have to buy the darn thing and see for myself. I guess I could use parts of both...

 

Do you think it would work to just skip parts of the Jamestown and make it more enjoyable but still edifying?

 

When I had originally looked at the link for the Silver, I got as far as the questions and dismissed them as the standard fare. Thanks for the prompt to go back and look at the rest of the materials. Personally, I don't think you could go wrong with this as an aid to help the student dig deeper into the meaning of the story. In rereading the posts, I think amsunshine said that literary devices are covered, right? It looks to be more flexible than Jamestown. I don't always want to spend 1-2 weeks on a selection.

 

That said, I've developed a pattern with Jamestown of skipping the introduction because it gives away the story. We'll read About the Lesson but I will often skip the pre-questions. I do this with most literary analysis that we use. Sometimes a beautiful, poetic phrase drawn from the work will be used in the pre-question. Ugh! If we are discussing a work around a literary device, I often skip the comprehension questions. I can tell from the discussion whether or not my ds understood the reading. The lessons are worthwhile and I do like them, but I may not use the writing portion.

 

Matroyshka, if you get Silver, definitely use parts of both. This way, you can pick two or more works on a topic, parse the lessons, and give your child more practice at literary analysis. I have found this to be more effective than only looking once at a topic, once a year. Of course if you make them cover the basics like setting, theme/moral, etc. in their book reports, the above is a moot point.:D

 

If Swimmer Dude weren't the last one home and I could justify the cost, I would pick the Mosdos Jade level and perhaps the Silver, LL 7&8, and a few of the Jamestown books and call it good for 6-8th grade. This would give me a variety of materials and formats to choose from to avoid stagnation, allow me to cover all the necessary analysis, and provide me with a framework to develop a lesson for a work that isn't covered.

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I'm the OP.

 

Silver is a supplementary book...just a small paperback filled with twelve short stories. In no way can it be used as a reading curriculum. But, it is a perfect addition to one. And, a perfect introduction to Mosdos, if you want a taste.

 

Before each story, there is a "Consider This" page. This is where we may find out about the author, the moral struggle of the characters, the importance of the setting. Basically, this sets the stage for the story.

 

After each story, the "Thinking It Over" section asks various comprehension questions. Questions are in depth, such as "Why is George mad at the end of the story? Should he be?" "Why is the climax of the story the father's whispering, 'If only I had made him wear his helmet'?" "Does understanding why someone is mean help you understand him or her?"

 

There is an educator's guide/teacher's manual. I did not get that, so I'm not sure how much it would add to the readings.

 

HTH!

 

Lisa, in the example you gave, is "climax" explained or is it assumed the student already knows the literary terms?

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