NEW!! Classic Literature Series: Their Eyes Were Watching God$75
About this course
Recommended Ages: This class is ideal for students ages 13-17. Younger academically gifted students will be accepted.
Start Date: January 5. Course consists of 6 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.
Why should we read literature? Of what value is literature? What power can literature hold?
Reading great literature exercises our imaginations. It transports us out of our present and into other ages and places. It enables us to see the world through other’s eyes and understand other perspectives. Reading literature helps us to know ourselves—to understand man.
A book may be considered great for three main reasons. It is universal—affecting, inspiring, and changing readers, no matter the time or place. Second, it has a central idea and theme, address matters of enduring importance. And third, a great book is written in noble language that enriches the mind and elevates the soul.
In this classic literature series, each course will focus on one novel considered to be classic literature—a novel accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy. This particular course will focus on the 1937 novel written by American author Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God. It is considered a classic of the Harlem Renaissance. The book follows the story of main character Janie Crawford’s who grows “from a vibrant, but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her finger on the trigger of her own destiny.” The novel is set in Florida in the early 20th century and explores themes of race, gender roles, femininity, and freedom. Finally, the course will end with the comparison of the book to a film rendition of the story.
This 6-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 may also 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 the first 2 chapters of the novel.
Week 2 will cover chapters 3-6. 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 7-10. 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 first half of the story.
Week 4 will cover chapters 11-14, further explore literary devices, and discuss how this story comments on culture and the real world.
Week 5 will cover chapters 15-18.
And week 6 will cover the last two chapters of the book. The course will end with the comparison of the book to a film rendition of the story and an exploration of the novel’s legacy.
This is class is not recommended for most children under 14 (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 6 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, as well as a link to the Project Gutenberg free e-book copy:
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.