Youth Literature Series: The Westing Game$60
About this course
This class is part of our NEW Youth Literature Series. Classes in this series are intended for students at elementary and middle school reading levels. Other classes in this series include:
Recommended Ages: This class is ideal for students ages 9-13. Younger academically gifted students will be accepted.
Start Date: April 5, 2022. Course consists of 4 lesson plans. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete the course. No live classes- view the lessons on YOUR schedule.
In this youth literature series intended for primary school levels, each course will focus on one novel or novella. This particular course will focus on the 1979 novel written by author Ellen Raskin – The Westing Game. This mystery novel centers around sixteen people who gather for the reading of the will of Samuel W. Westing – a game-loving millionaire. These unlikely strangers have a whirlwind experience as they play Westing’s game and try to figure out why he has chosen a stranger, and possible murderer, to inherit his fortune. Finally, the course will end with the comparison of the book to a film rendition of the story.
This 4-week course will focus heavily on reading, and a full copy of the novel will be provided in both pdf and audiobook format. Although, students are also encouraged to purchase their own copies or borrow one from their local library. Student may either read the full text before the class begins, or their will be weekly reading assignments during the course.
Assignments contain multiple options for creative and/or analytical responses to the readings, including: quizzes for basic reading comprehension, creative visual projects, and analytical critiques to understand the literary merits of the writer’s work.
Week 1 will begin with a focus on biographical information on the writer’s life and career, and will discuss why this person has remained such a significant voice in classic literature. This week will also cover introductory information to the novel, discussing themes and characters, as well as Chapters 1-6.
Week 2 will cover Chapters 7-15 We will further explore how themes are present in the story, discuss symbols, and explore other literary devices present so far in the first half of the story.
Week 3 will cover Chapters 16-24. We will further explore how themes are present in the story, discuss character progression and dynamics, and explore other literary devices present so far in the story.
Week 4 will cover the end of the novel, and we will further explore literary devices and the greater messages of the story. Finally, the course will end with the comparison of the book to a film rendition of the story.
This is class is not recommended for most children under 10 (but we trust that you know your child’s abilities better than we do!). There will be only one level for this course.
LESSON PLAN: This is a 4 week class. Students have 6 weeks to complete all work. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.
Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them.
MATERIALS: This course will focus heavily on reading, and full copies of stories we will cover will be provided for students to read on their own. Here is a link where you can purchase a copy of the book.
DISCUSSION: There will be discussions about the lesson plan with the instructor. We also offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!
ASSIGNMENTS: Assignments contain multiple options for creative and/or analytical responses to the readings, including creative visual projects to depict scenes from each story and analytical critiques to understand the literary merits of the writer’s work. All submitted assignments will receive instructor feedback.
QUIZZES: Online quizzes will be provided as a tool for students to test and build reading comprehension skills. Formatting for quizzes is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.
GRADES: All quizzes and online assessments automatically receive a grade in the system. You have the option of having your student’s individual projects graded or not (all assignments receive instructor feedback). Report cards are issued at the end of the course- one for ungraded students and one for graded students. These mean nothing other than for your own records or reporting purposes. We do not maintain copies.
TIME: In general, expect 1-2 hours to work through the lesson plan, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).
Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.