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Descriptions


Language Arts

Our goal is to help students become effective communicators: developing and refining their writing and speaking skills to effectively communicate with others, and honing their reading and listening skills to effectively receive communication from others. In addition, we strive to increase our students' appreciation of literature by introducing them to some of the great literary works.
Adv. Literature&Writing 15+ Permission W/F Rm #21
Teacher: Sarah Skeggs
Outside Work: Significant
Ages: 16 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $50.00
Permission Only

Analyzing the Apocalypse 14+ W Rm. 25
Teacher: Julie Aubrey
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 14 and up
1.5 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Did you say zombies? Yes, zombies, disaster, disease. This cross- curricular course will examine the apocalypse in different forms to answer questions such as what about the current state of culture makes apocalypse themes so popular, how does the apocalypse reveal our humanity, what is it about the undead that makes us feel so alive? We will look at the apocalypse in history, in religion, in art, in literature, and in film and use critical thinking skills to engage in hands-on activities and thought experiments involving humanity in crisis, survival in an apocalypse, rebuilding society from the rumble. Students will inquire history for earliest examples of apocalypse, will will read and response to apocalyptic literature, will examine and evaluate apocalyptic art and film, will learn basic survival skills including how to construct a water filter and solar oven. The class will culminate in students designing an apocalypse escape room and inviting family and friends to play and experience a taste of the apocalypse.

Books Come Alive 8-10 Rm #11
Teacher: Jennifer Deming
Outside Work: Minimal
Ages: 8 - 10
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Open the pages to a whole new world as we bring some favorite books to life. Have you ever read Harry Potter and wondered just what Hagrid's treacle tart tastes like? Would you like to create your own Quidditch Game? How about creating your own snowy, wonder-world like Narnia? As we read our books, we will recreate recipes, create games, perform short skits, and more to make these stories come alive. Let the adventure begin!
Outside class work: Students will be required to read (or listen to) the books outside of class time.


Creative Writing 10-12 Rm #25
Teacher: Julie Aubrey
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 10 - 12
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $40.00
Everyone has a story to tell! What's yours? Watch yours take shape as you learn to write your own masterpiece. The components of creative writing will be covered such as topics, detail, time, etc.

Facts, Fiction and Lies 14+ Rm. 31
Teacher: Julie Doughty
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 14 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Who wrote this? What was their motive? What are they trying to tell me, and why should I believe them - or care? What is the plot? And who is plotting? This class will search for clues in a variety of written materials, from books and articles to social media posts. We will look at themes, ideas, supporting details, context and source. We’ll work on organizing the information we collect, and our thoughts, and we’ll share those both orally and in writing. The focus on mechanics and grammar will be in improving each writer’s skills, clarity, and appeal

Film and Literature 14+ Rm #21
Teacher: Sarah Skeggs
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 14 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $50.00
This class provides an introduction to film studies, film techniques and aesthetics, film history and its impact on culture. Students will view, discuss, and write about films with an eye to specific cinematic techniques. Students will learn about psychoanalysis, feminist film theory, audience response, and spectator theory; the influence of cognitive psychology on individual response; and stereotyping, race, ethnicity and culture in film. We will explore the evolution of classical Hollywood cinema.

Game Changing Grammar 7-9 Rm. 11
Teacher: Jennifer Deming
Outside Work: Minimal
Prerequisites: Students must be able to read at a 2nd grade level or higher.
Ages: 7 - 9
1 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $40.00
This class finds fun and unique ways to explore grammar and writing. We will study parts of speech, basic sentence structure, paragraph structure, and punctuation. We will also work on writing with description and details. Students will play, sing, move, and write in this action-packed course.

***Prerequisite*** Students must be able to read at a 2nd grade level or higher.


How to Be Funny 13+ Rm # 23
Teacher: Rick Sowash
Outside Work: Minimal
Ages: 13 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
-- jokes, jests, puns, wordplay, double talk, malarkey, poppycock, balderdash and twaddle
-- stunts, tricks, gags, practical jokes, high jinks, shenanigans, tomfoolery and monkeyshines
-- funny actual words like rannygazoo, flummery, oompus-boompus, phonus balonus, kerfuffle
-- funny names, like Jack Dupp, Eileen Dover, Plato Beans, Helen Highwater, Hugo Yorway
-- learning to speak apparent gibberish, i.e, ‘code languages’ similar to Pig-Latin
-- legerdemain (sleight-of-hand) for beginners
-- plus Other Things to Say & Do of Which Serious-minded People Scarcely Approve
-- Discovering classic written humor:
PG Wodehouse, Jerome K Jerome, Mark Twain, James Thurber, humorous poems, aphorisms, one-liners, parody, satire, writing your own humor
-- Discovering classic film humor:
Laurel & Hardy, The Three Stooges, The Marx Bros., Jonathan Winters, Monty Python
-- Discovering musical humor:
Gilbert & Sullivan, Spike Jones, Peter Schickele, Porky Pig’s Blue Christmas, Jonathan & Darlene Edwards, Ray Stevens
funny songs, novelty numbers, writing your own funny song
-- Discovering the practical uses to which funniness can be put: to have fun, to amuse friends, to compel people to listen to you, to appeal to potential boyfriends and girlfriends, to see the comedic potential in almost every situation, to develop a healthy alternative to the Blues and to banish dull care with a hey nonny no and a hot cha cha.
-- Philosophizing throughout on the nature of comedy, i.e, why something is funny.

Mr. Sowash, who is the author of seven books, will also share some of his own humorous writings.”


Interactive Grammar 13+ W Rm. 25
Teacher: Julie Aubrey
Outside Work: Minimal
Ages: 13 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $35.00
Learn to love grammar with hands-on activities, multi-media presentations, and games, games, games. We’ll play Parts of Speech Bingo, Verb Charades, Hide and Seek Adjectives/Adverbs, and more. We will be living sentences, get messy dissecting words and phrases, learn complex clauses tossing the dice, and construct our own, personal punctuation guidebook. Come join the fun and learn the important skills of how language and grammar work together.

Intermediate Lit. & Writing 15+ 11:00 Rm # 21
Teacher: Sarah Skeggs
Outside Work: Significant
Book Purchase Required
Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation and at least one year of Literature and Writing 9/10 or 14+
Ages: 15 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $50.00
This course is designed for students who are becoming more advanced in the study of English. This class provides a college preparatory level of study equivalent to junior and senior level English. Students will engage in an in-depth survey of challenging texts from different periods of literature. They will develop higher level analytical skills and will further their understanding of literary elements. This course will introduce students to a variety of genres and modes of literature. Writing instruction will focus on enhancing coherence, unity, and depth of analysis in addition to writing in multiple modes. Students will research literary criticism and learn to integrate secondary sources. Teacher recommendation is required.

Intermediate Lit. & Writing 15+ 11:00 Rm # 21
Teacher: To be determined
Outside Work: Significant
Book Purchase Required
Ages: 15 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $35.00
coming soon

Intermediate Lit. & Writing 15+ 1:00 Rm #21
Teacher: Sarah Skeggs
Outside Work: Significant
Book Purchase Required
Prerequisites: Teacher recommendation and at least one year of Literature and Writing 9/10 or 14+
Ages: 15 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $50.00
This course is designed for students who are becoming more advanced in the study of English. This class provides a college preparatory level of study equivalent to junior and senior level English. Students will engage in an in-depth survey of challenging texts from different periods of literature. They will develop higher level analytical skills and will further their understanding of literary elements. This course will introduce students to a variety of genres and modes of literature. Writing instruction will focus on enhancing coherence, unity, and depth of analysis in addition to writing in multiple modes. Students will research literary criticism and learn to integrate secondary sources. Teacher recommendation is required.

Intermediate Lit. & Writing 15+ 2:15 W/F Rm. 21
Teacher: Sarah Skeggs
Outside Work: Significant
Book Purchase Required
Ages: 15 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $50.00
This course is designed for students who are becoming more advanced in the study of English. This class provides a college preparatory level of study equivalent to junior and senior level English. Students will engage in an in-depth survey of challenging texts from different periods of literature. They will develop higher level analytical skills and will further their understanding of literary elements. This course will introduce students to a variety of genres and modes of literature. Writing instruction will focus on enhancing coherence, unity, and depth of analysis in addition to writing in multiple modes. Students will research literary criticism and learn to integrate secondary sources. Teacher recommendation is required.

Investigative Journalism 14+ Rm #
Teacher: Alex Schrank
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 14 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Coming soon

Literature and Writing 14+ Rm #25
Teacher: Julie Aubrey
Outside Work: Significant
Book Purchase Required
Ages: 13 - 17
1.5 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
This class offers a minimal refresher on reading comprehension techniques along with a review of literary elements and grammar concepts. Students will explore how literary elements such as setting, tone, mood, character development, symbols, etc. enhance themes and will use textual evidence to support claims in discussion and writing. Students will practice skills such as close reading and annotation. Class discussion and participation will be mandatory, and for each text explored, an essay will be assigned.
The class will culminate in student-led lessons allowing each student to prepare to lead the class in a discussion and lesson of the assigned text. Also, there will be a focus on research techniques and writing. Students will research a topic, prepare note-cards, write a research paper using an outlining/writing/rewriting process. Instruction will be engaging, student-forward, quick-paced with many visual presentations, powerful examples, and opportunities for engagement.


Literature and Writing 14+ Rm #25 1:00
Teacher: Julie Aubrey
Outside Work: Significant
Ages: 14 - 16
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
This class offers a minimal refresher on reading comprehension techniques along with a review of literary elements and grammar concepts. Students will explore how literary elements such as setting, tone, mood, character development, symbols, etc. enhance themes and will use textual evidence to support claims in discussion and writing. Students will practice skills such as close reading and annotation. Class discussion and participation will be mandatory, and for each text explored, an essay will be assigned.
The class will culminate in student-led lessons allowing each student to prepare to lead the class in a discussion and lesson of the assigned text. Also, there will be a focus on research techniques and writing. Students will research a topic, prepare note-cards, write a research paper using an outlining/writing/rewriting process. Instruction will be engaging, student-forward, quick-paced with many visual presentations, powerful examples, and opportunities for engagement.


Literature and Writing 15+ Rm. #21
Teacher: Sarah Skeggs
Outside Work: Significant
Book Purchase Required
Prerequisites: At least 1 year of Literature and Writing 8/9.
Ages: 15 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $50.00
See description for for 2017-18 class.

Literature and Writing 4/5 Rm #11
Teacher: Jennifer Deming
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 9 - 11
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Dive into the wonderful world of words! This class focuses on strengthening reading comprehension, building writing skills, and analyzing literature. The course is creative, challenging, engaging, and entertaining.

Through the use of novels, plays, poems, short stories, and articles we will explore many places, realms, and characters. We will create, perform, research, and play to enhance learning.

Students work on implementing correct sentence structure, basic grammar, and paragraph structure. The class is a safe space for writers to express themselves and try new skills.

All Literature and Writing classes are multi-age/grade classes and it is expected that most students will stay in the class for two or three years. The material will be new each year.

Every attempt will be made to have a class set of each novel provided by the library. However, in the event that the library cannot accommodate our needs, book purchases will be required.


Literature and Writing 5/6 Rm #11
Teacher: Jennifer Deming
Outside Work: Moderate
Book Purchase Required
Ages: 10 - 12
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Welcome to the exciting world of reading and writing! These two elements go hand in hand and will therefore be looked at through a wider lens. Our goal is to become lovers of reading and writing by delving into the 'how' and 'why' some books and authors captivate our minds. Over the course of the year, we will explore novels, plays, poems, short stories, and articles. We will analyze literature through discussion, written response, and creative activities.
Writing will include work with fiction and non-fiction. Writers will review basic sentence structure and work towards building/implementing expressive, varied, grammatically correct sentences. We will focus on proper paragraph structure and build towards Five Paragraph Essay responses. This class is a safe space for authors to express themselves and try new skills.

All Literature and Writing classes are multi-age/grade classes and it is expected that most students will stay in the class for two or three years. The material will be new each year.

Every attempt will be made to have a class set of each novel provided by the library. However, in the event that the library cannot accommodate our needs, book purchases will be required.


Literature and Writing 6/7 Rm B-3
Teacher: Adi Nulsen
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 11 - 13
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Students will explore different genres of literature. Through multiple novel studies we will read and analyze authors and their work. This will be done through games, art, writing activities, read alouds and other hands-on activities. Exploring literature through these interactive activities is sure to excite your child about literature and encourage him/her to continue reading! Novels will be chosen during the year.

In our writing excercises we will focus on multiple paragraph development. Additionally, we will work on focus within our writing, grammar and sequencing. Students will be asked to write a research paper on a topic of their choice. This class will help students realize the importance of writing and the influence they can have through their words.

All Literature and Writing classes are multi-age/grade classes, and it is expected that most students will stay in the class for two years. The material will be new each year.


Literature and Writing 7/8 Rm # B-3
Teacher: Adi Nulsen
Outside Work: Moderate
Book Purchase Required
Ages: 12 - 14
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Welcome to the exciting world of reading and writing! These two elements go hand in hand and will therefore be looked at through a wider lens. Our focus this year, will be to read as many different authors that excite and stimulate our senses and to then dissect and learn from their particular styles. What makes one author's style enthralling, while another may seem a little less stimulating? Our goal is to become lovers of reading and writing by delving into the 'how' and 'why' some books and authors work, while others are not as successful.
Some examples of our course studies will be:
read a realistic fiction novel within a book club type setting- discuss the different elements of writing such as plot, setting, conflict, climax, antagonist, protagonist, and so forth. Within each reading genre, dissect and analyze the stylistic choices the author made in order to capture a tiny moment, or perhaps create a mood, etc- and then emulate it within our own realistic writing piece.
Read historical fiction- briefly learn about that historical period. Our focus will be to understand the historical points that are important to the book and what elements specifically categorize this novel as historical fiction. Next, emulate this style within our own writing.
Poetry unit (read the poetry, emulate the writing styles within our own writing pieces)
Fairy tale unit (during this unit we will actually be creating fairy tale books that we will then read to the elementary school classes if possible, maybe even preschool/kindergarten classes)
Nonfiction reading and writing unit
Op-eds for newspapers
If time allows, continue on to a fantasy unit, sci-fi, play scripts, and any other genre that may be of interest to the students.


Literature and Writing 8/9 Rm #25
Teacher: Julie Aubrey
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 12 - 14
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
This class focuses on developing and enhancing students' reading and writing skills. It is challenging and fun and sure to encourage your child to love to read and write!

We explore many different places, meet exciting characters and perform all kinds of stimulating activities through reading. We read aloud, perform plays and play games to enhance reading skills. We do at least one novel study; the students will choose the book after classes begin.


Students work on correct sentence structure, grammar and paragraph development through practice and activities. We focus on character development within our stories and have the chance to express our opinions through essay writing.

All Literature and Writing classes are multi-age/grade classes, and it is expected that most students will stay in the class for two or three years. The material will be new each year.


Once Upon A Time: Folktales frm Arnd the Wrld # 12
Teacher: Kim Taylor
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 13 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $35.00

This class will explore and creatively interact with famous folk and fairy tales from around the globe! We’ll read familiar classics like “Snow-White” (Germany) and “Beauty and the Beast” (France) and explore stories that equal them from all continents including “The Stonecutter” (Japan) and “The Baba Yaga” (Russia). Students will be assigned creative writing projects inspired by each week’s story!

RequiredTextbook: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Loved-Folktales-Anchor-Folktale-Library/dp/0385189494/ref=nodl_


Once Upon A Time:Folktales from Around the World
Teacher: To be determined
Outside Work: Moderate
Book Purchase Required
Ages: 13 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $35.00
Once Upon A Time: Folktales from Around the World

This class will explore and creatively interact with famous folk and fairy tales from around the globe! We’ll read familiar classics like “Snow-White” (Germany) and “Beauty and the Beast” (France) and explore stories that equal them from all continents including “The Stonecutter” (Japan) and “The Baba Yaga” (Russia). Students will be assigned creative writing projects inspired by each week’s story!

RequiredTextbook: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Loved-Folktales-Anchor-Folktale-Library/dp/0385189494/ref=nodl_
(This can probably be a 13+ class)


Outside the Lines:Lang. Art ages 10-13T/TH Room 31
Teacher: Julie Doughty
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 10 - 13
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
In this class we will explore different ways to tell our stories, communicate, and play with and enjoy language. We will work on listening - to great examples of language and each other, and we will share and explore the ideas that language is meant to communicate. We will work on organizing our thoughts and finding ways to make our meaning clear. Yes, we will do some writing - or possibly typing or other word assembly, and in the process we may improve our mechanics. We recognize that we live in a society where written language skills are important and encourage you to work on them elsewhere, but the focus in this class will be on ideas, functions, and enjoyment of words.

Reading and Writing 1/2 Rm #B3
Teacher: Kelly Hilgeman
Outside Work: Minimal
Book Purchase Required
Prerequisites: -Know all letter names and sounds -Blend letter sounds to read short vowel sound phonetic words :cat, hat, tall etc. -Be able to listen to a word and identify initial, medial, and ending sounds as a foundation for writing. *Sometimes children will know the sounds in isolation but read them incorrectly, especially vowels in the middle of a word. This is not a problem at the beginning of the year. It is more that they have the foundation of knowing all letter sounds. -Write all uppercase and lowercase letters -Provide rhyming words when given a word
Ages: 6 - 8
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Students will participate in individualized as well as group activities to further develop and improve their reading and writing skills. Phonics, word attack skills, comprehension, journaling, a variety of writing activities, buddy-reading,and more will be part of our focus, as students work toward successful experiences in reading and writing.

All Literature and Writing classes are multi-age/grade classes and it is expected that most students will stay in the class for two years. The material will be new each year.


Reading and Writing 3/4 Rm #B3
Teacher: Kelly Hilgeman
Outside Work: Minimal
Prerequisites: -Be able to read end of second grade/beginning of 3rd grade books independently with comprehension. Usually these are lighter chapter books...i.e. Junie B. Jones. -Write independently with some use of phonetic spelling but an awareness of common spelling rules. -Write with complete sentences, correct capitalization, spaces between words, ending punctuation, and clear handwriting. -Be emotionally/socially capable of reading the content of 3/4 grade level books and participate in discussion groups. (For those little ones who want to skip to this older class, this is something to consider)
Ages: 8 - 10
1.25 Hour Class; 2 days/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $45.00
Students explore different places, meet exciting characters and perform all kinds of stimulating activities through reading. We read aloud, perform plays and play games to enhance reading skills. We do at least one novel study. The book is chosen by the students from a book list after classes begin.

Shakespeare Performance 14+ Rm MPR
Teacher: Jared Hudson
Outside Work: Significant
Prerequisites: Must be able to rehearse on Mondays close to show dates.
Ages: 14 and up
1.5 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $60.00
The works of William Shakespeare are meant to be performed! In this class students will study, interpret, rehearse, and perform one of Shakespeare’s 38 plays. The first half of the year will be spent studying the text, then the second half will be spent blocking and rehearsing the play (Note that there will be Monday rehearsals starting in January), all culminating in a performance at Leaves as well as a performance at Memorial Hall, organized through Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Project 38. Every actor should take on the Bard at least once in their career! Here’s your opportunity!

The Craft of Writing 15+ Rm #12
Teacher: Kim Taylor
Outside Work: Moderate
Ages: 14 and up
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $40.00
The Craft of Writing focuses on guiding students to become more confident and critical writers and readers while improving grammar in the process. Students will spend time writing and revising as well as understanding comma splices, subject-verb agreement, when/why to use a semicolon, and the standards of MLA. This class will also help prepare students for SAT/ACT essay writing and will include several practice prompts throughout the year. Along with weekly journal writing, students will complete 5 major essays throughout the year including Narrative, Expository, Exploratory, Rhetorical Analysis and a final Research project.


The Great Reading Adventure 6-8 Rm #11
Teacher: Jennifer Deming
Outside Work: Minimal
Ages: 6 - 8
1.25 Hour Class; 1 day/week
Yearly Materials Fee : $40.00
Come along with us as we journey through the amazing world of books. Our adventure will take a creative, active, enthusiastic, and diligent approach to reading and writing. This class is designed to work well either as a supplement to the Tuesday/Thursday classes, or as a stand-alone course. We will review fundamentals, play with vocabulary, and travel far and wide through our stories. Let the journey begin!

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