Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Kathryn

Excellence in Literature or Lightning Literature?

Recommended Posts

Looking to decide which to use for eighth grade. DS is using Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings this year. We’ve also been using Writing and Rhetoric and are on Book 8. 

I’m looking at Lightning Literature 8 or Excellence in Literature Introduction to Literature. Can anyone tell me about experiences with each?

Also, for Lightning Lit, is the student guide consumable or only the student workbook?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used both LLftLotR and LL8. I have also looked closely at the table of contents and samples of the different levels of EiL.

On 1/25/2019 at 9:51 PM, Kathryn said:

Looking to decide which to use for eighth grade. DS is using Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings this year. We’ve also been using Writing and Rhetoric and are on Book 8. 

I’m looking at Lightning Literature 8 or Excellence in Literature Introduction to Literature. Can anyone tell me about experiences with each?


The target audience for LL8 is the average 8th grader. The program also works well for a later-blooming 9th grader, or an advanced reading 7th grader. The target audience for EiL Intro to Lit is the average 9th grader. The program also works well for an advanced reading/writing 8th grader, or a later-blooming 10th grader.

Both programs are written to the student; LL8 is more informal and "friendly" in tone, and closer to the informal tone of the chapter notes in LLftLotR. There are also "work pages" for practicing the literary topic discussed in the informational section of the student guide as well as work pages for doing beginning guided literary analysis on an excerpt from a work of classic literature (reprinted in the work pages). The instruction in EiL is a bit more formal in tone, and has no work pages. Instead, EiL requires the student to have more of an ability/interest in independent study, as the program has the student researching / looking up things as far as background info about author/times/the work.

LL8 is lighter in analysis and writing than EiL (from the samples I've looked at online). LL8 is about a 1/2 step further in guided literary analysis and formal literature studies than LLftLotR. EiL is a "full step" further along the path of being more formal. The Literature selections in LL8 are mostly right on target for an average 8th grade reader in both reading level and interest level. Some of the Lit. selections in EiL are more advanced, so best for a strong reader if doing it in 8th grade.

LL8 covers a wider range of types of literature -- poetry, short stories, plays, autobiography, and novels -- and several genres (fantasy, adventure, realistic, humorous). EiL covers several types of literature -- short stories, plays, and novels -- and several genres (fantastical, adventure, realistic, humorous).

Neither LL8 or EiL teach writing, although LL8 does have a "mini writing lesson" (2 pages) at the end of each of the 12 units about some detail or aspect of writing an essay or research paper. Both have writing assignments. EiL overall is more "writing heavy" than LL8 -- but since your student is already advanced in writing, that would not be a problem.

In addition to the above factors, I would also consider which booklist would be a better fit for this student's interests.
(FWIW: of the LL8 selections, our DSs enjoyed all of the novels, and unexpectedly really loved the 2 autobiographical works, which we had never heard of prior to doing LL8. They tolerated (LOL!) the poetry (which is actually praise for the program, as they are not big poetry fans, lol), and did not much care for first 2 of the 3 short stories. Of the EiL selections, in 8th grade, I can pretty safely say that DSs would not have enjoyed any of the unit 4 or unit 9 selections, and they were not ready for the level of writing of Shakespeare until about 10th grade.)

LL8
3 poetry units (6-8 poems in each)
3 short stories (A Crazy Tale; Wakefield; Reflections)
2 novel-length works of autobiographical sketches (A Day of Pleasure; My Family and Other Animals)
4 novels (Treasure Island; A Christmas Carol; The Hobbit; To Kill A Mockingbird)

EiL Intro to Lit
unit 1 = 6 short stories
unit 2 = novel: Around the World in 80 Days (honors option = 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)
unit 3 = novel: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (honors option = Prince and the Pauper)
unit 4 = novel: Jane Eyre (honors option = Shirley, or, Villette)
unit 5 = play: Pygmalion (honors option = Murder in the Cathedral)
unit 6 = novel: Treasure Island (honors option = Kidnapped)
unit 7 = novella: Animal Farm (honors option = novel: 1984)
unit 8 = play: The Tempest (honors option = A Midsummer Night's Dream)
unit 9 = novel: Gulliver's Travels (honors option = Pilgrim's Progress)
 

On 1/25/2019 at 9:51 PM, Kathryn said:

... Also, for Lightning Lit, is the student guide consumable or only the student workbook?


There are 3 parts to the program: teacher guide, student guide, student workbook. The student guide is non-consumable and contains vocabulary, comprehension questions, and the lesson info. Here is a sample unit from the student guide. The workbook is the consumable work pages. Here is a sample unit from the workbook. The teacher guide has answers, discussion questions, and additional teaching info. Here is a sample unit of the teacher guide.

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Lori D. said:

We used both LLftLotR and LL8. I have also looked closely at the table of contents and samples of the different levels of EiL.


The target audience for LL8 is the average 8th grader. The program also works well for a later-blooming 9th grader, or an advanced reading 7th grader. The target audience for EiL Intro to Lit is the average 9th grader. The program also works well for an advanced reading/writing 8th grader.

Both programs are written to the student; LL8 is more informal and "friendly" in tone, and closer to the informal tone of the chapter notes in LLftLotR. The instruction in EiL is a bit more formal in tone, and requires ability/interest in independent study as the program has the student researching/looking up things as far as background info about author/times/the work.

LL8 is lighter in analysis and writing than EiL (from the samples I've looked at online). LL8 is about a 1/2 step further in guided literary analysis and formal literature studies than LLftLotR. EiL is a "full step" further along the path of being more formal. The Literature selections in LL8 are mostly right on target for an average 8th grade reader in both reading level and interest level. Some of the Lit. selections in EiL are more advanced, so best for a strong reader if doing it in 8th grade.

Neither LL8 or EiL teach writing, although LL8 does have a "mini writing lesson" (2 pages) at the end of each of the 12 units about some detail or aspect of writing an essay or research paper. Both have writing assignments. EiL overall is more "writing heavy" than LL8 -- but since your student is already advanced in writing, that would not be a problem.

In addition to the above factors, I would also consider which booklist would be a better fit for this student's interests.
(FWIW: of the LL8 selections, our DSs enjoyed all of the novels, and unexpectedly really loved the 2 autobiographical works, which we had never heard of prior to doing LL8. They and tolerated (LOL!) the poetry (which is actually praise for the program, as they are not big poetry fans, lol), and did not much care for first 2 of the 3 short stories. Of the EiL selections, in 8th grade, I can pretty safely say that DSs would not have enjoyed any of the unit 4 or unit 9 selections.)

LL8
3 poetry units (6-8 poems in each)
3 short stories (A Crazy Tale; Wakefield; Reflections)
2 novel-length works of autobiographical sketches (A Day of Pleasure; My Family and Other Animals)
4 novels (Treasure Island; A Christmas Carol; The Hobbit; To Kill A Mockingbird)

EiL Intro to Lit
unit 1 = 6 short stories
unit 2 = novel: Around the World in 80 Days (honors option = 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)
unit 3 = novel: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (honors option = Prince and the Pauper)
unit 4 = novel: Jane Eyre (honors option = Shirley, or, Villette)
unit 5 = play: Pygmalion (honors option = Murder in the Cathedral)
unit 6 = novel: Treasure Island (honors option = Kidnapped)
unit 7 = novella: Animal Farm (honors option = novel: 1984)
unit 8 = play: The Tempest (honors option = A Midsummer Night's Dream)
unit 9 = novel: Gulliver's Travels (honors option = Pilgrim's Progress)
 


There are 3 parts to the program: teacher guide, student guide, student workbook. The student guide is non-consumable and contains vocabulary, comprehension questions, and the lesson info. Here is a sample unit from the student guide. The workbook is the consumable work pages. Here is a sample unit from the workbook. The teacher guide has answers, discussion questions, and additional teaching info. Here is a sample unit of the teacher guide.

 

Thank you so much! You always give such wonderfully helpful and detailed responses!

May I ask what your high school literature courses looked like for your children ? Did you continue with LL or do something different?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Kathryn said:

May I ask what your high school literature courses looked like for your children ? Did you continue with LL or do something different?


Our high school Lit. was somewhat of a mix of SWB's Great Books style (described in her 2 books of Well-Trained Mind, and, Well-Educated Mind), excerpts from individual lit. guides (at least in the early years of high school -- much less by the later years), and following student interests, blended together for a "DIY" approach. The only formal, full Lit. programs we used in the middle/high school years were: LL7, LL8, and LLftLotR. And we interspersed units of Windows to the World over 2 years of high school, amongst our "DIY" Literature.

DSs still say that their favorite Lit. year was our home-grown "Worldviews in Classic Sci-Fi Lit" that loosely fit in with a "Great Books" type of study (matching up History & Lit), as we were also doing 20th Century World History that year. (:D In other years of high school, we did Ancient classics (focusing on the fiction -- epics, myths, and a few plays -- and no nonfiction, such as Plato or the Histories); American lit. (focusing on short stories, with some poetry, plays, novellas, and a few novels); British lit. (traditional classics, but also focusing on Christian authors); and a "Kitchen Sink" lit. year (some World lit. titles, but mostly titles I really wanted us to do before DSs graduated, lol). We did so much Lit. that DSs had enough extra over their English credits for 1-2 credits of Lit as Electives. (:D

If you're interested in going "DIY" style, you might find some of these past threads to be of interest:

general threads
If you make your own literature course / list
What kinds of questions do you ask your kids when reading
How do you come up with questions to prompt analysis/discussion?
How do you "do" literature? And balance/schedule writing assignments?
Have you ever done an "author's study"?
3 threads with actual lit discussion: Jane Eyre and boys; What's up with Wuthering Heights; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: need input please!

Fairytale / Fantasy
Fairy tale unit for high school?
Need ideas - classics: Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc.
Fairy and Fantasy literature for 7th grade" -- many titles listed are of high school level
Any serious Tolkien fans -- a long, rich past thread to mine for Lit. study ideas related to JRR Tolkien, fantasy, Anglo-Saxon works, etc.
Anyone know of a Fantasy and Sci-Fi literature course?

Sci-Fi / Steampunk
Science Fiction
Science Fiction unit

Roots of Steampunk

Utopia / Dystopia
Dystopian novel study
Dystopian novels
Utopian and Dystopian literature
Great Utopian and Dystopian Works of Literature by The Great Courses

Inspiring Classics
High literature which is encouraging

Miscellaneous
Gothic lit. = Suggestions for a Gothic lit class?
parody/satire = Literary spoof, satire, sarcasm, anyone?
19th century female British author study = Can I feel dumb here and ask about Victorian era, Pride & Prejudice and British Lit?
Women's Study literature = Women's Study

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lori D (as always) gives good advice! I will just say that we use EiL and I really like it a lot for my high schoolers. But it definitely does assume the students already know to write a literary analysis essay and it does not teach that skill. I love the context resources provided for each work of literature, although we pick and choose and don't go through all of them. I also like that I could buy the whole program and mix and match units depending on what time period we were studying. Also - we don't do nearly as many works as are assigned - instead of 9+ each year we do about 7.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thoughts from Momto5inIN, and the idea of picking/choosing your way through units, rather than feeling you have to do all of them! 🙂

Her comment about the EiL assuming understanding how to write a literary analysis essay leads me to suggest that if interested in doing EiL, what about first doing the 1 semester Windows to the World (which teaches annotation, how to write a literary analysis essay and how to use your annotations as the support in the essay, and then goes into detail about 8-10 of the most frequently occurring literary devices to aid in literary analysis).

WttW is a 1-semester program, so you could do that for the 1st semester, and then pick-and-choose units from EiL for the second semester. Or, start the year with WttW and get through the first 5 units which cover annotation and writing the literary analysis essay, and then pick and choose units from EiL to do alongside WttW for the rest of the year.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both so much! I think that’s exactly what I’ll do. We’ll spend the beginning of the school year focusing specifically on literary analysis and then I’ll choose which units of EiL to complete the remainder of the year. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lori D. said:

WttW is a 1-semester program, so you could do that for the 1st semester, and then pick-and-choose units from EiL for the second semester.

This is exactly what we do!

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...