Writing COUrses

Writing Workshops (Grades 5-9)
Each class is guided by a theme and paired with a short piece of fiction.  These pieces of fiction are launching  points for writing, and students move from class discussion of the author’s stylistic choices, to imitation of those choices, to the creation of their own works.  This course is a great fit for those students who already have some interest in / experience with writing.  It is also a great opportunity for lovers of literature who want to turn their appreciation of writing into active engagement! Students will study and learn to apply the mechanics of grammar, and gain confidence as writers as they learn strategies to apply to any writing task. 

The Narrative Essay (Grades 4-5)
In this course students will study and learn to apply the mechanics of grammar within a theme-based approach of journal writing, short story responses, and essay prompts, gaining confidence as writers as they learn strategies to apply to any writing task.

The Persuasive Essay (Grades 4-5)
In this course students will study and learn to apply the mechanics of grammar within a theme-based approach of journal writing, short story responses, and essay prompts, gaining confidence as writers as they learn strategies to apply to any writing task.

Critical Reading and Writing – (Grades 5-6)
Students will learn critical reading strategies to gain a deeper understanding of what they read. Analyzing and evaluating tone, defining main idea, making inferences, understanding context clues and identifying cause/effect. In addition, students will learn to apply the mechanics of grammar as they write responses to reading passages, constructing sentences for fluency, meaning, and style. Moving from paraphrasing and summarizing to essay writing, students will gain confidence as writers as they learn strategies to apply to any writing task.

The Expository Essay (Grades 6-7)
This course will utilize a diverse mix of history and literature to explore an in-depth study of writing.  The course will be framed around questions and debates, capturing the raucousness of Early American History.  Students will choose a topic to research and present to classmates at the end of the session.

Looking Toward a Mastery of English Grammar (Grades 7-9)
Give your child a jump-start on polishing and honing grammar skills now to improve language abilities, produce those A+ essays, and develop lifelong critical reading techniques. Do you know what a comma splice is or understand why it shouldn’t happen in standard written English? How about parallelism and its importance in writing?
In elementary school, students learn the eight parts of speech and the elements of a sentence. For many, that is as far as the grammar study goes, and just knowing those elementary grammar rules is not enough as you progress through the grades and on into college. Effective communication in speech and writing—and possessing critical reading techniques—comes from understanding how the English language functions. College entrance exams such as ACT or SAT, and AP exams require a student to know and understand those tricky technical aspects of English Grammar—and much more.This 12-week course will specifically focus on technical grammar lessons and exercises, annotation instruction and several short writing exercises for practice.

Literary Essay (Grades 8-9)
Students will learn the ins and outs of the literary essay beginning with the mechanics of insightful writing—i.e. how to respond to a text, balance summary with response, make the most of quotation, transition between topics, etc. Then, moving on to literary analysis specifically - reading several short pieces as a group, discussing various elements of fiction, and formulating an argument around them. Students will write 2-3 pieces across the duration of the course applying what they learn to polish their skills. Revision and peer-feedback, as well as instructor feedback, are a weekly feature of this course. Students will learn to both understand and meaningfully engage with literature.  

Film as Literature 
The way we talk about film closely mirrors the language we use to discuss literature.  It’s somewhat funny, then, that students can talk about movies at length and with great ease, yet they struggle to do so with literature.  This course aims to bridge this gap.  We use film as an entry-point for the types of literary analysis expected of students in the classroom, approaching these topics in a fun and unconventional way.  This course is a great fit for those students who want to improve their writing skills over the summer, just as it is a great fit for those who love film and want to enrich their appreciation of the form. (Grades 9, 10, 11)

Crafting an Unforgettable College Essay 
This course will teach students how to write a college application essay that will set them apart from other talented candidates. The essay is an opportunity to impress an admissions team that may be on the fence regarding your application. While much of the application review process is automated, the essay is an opportunity for students to be evaluated on their creativity and personal experiences. And, with the recent changes in SAT requirements, the college app essay will hold more weight.
6-week summer course will be a combination of group lessons (6-hours) and private sessions (4.5-hours). 

SAT/ACT Verbal Prep 
This course is designed to optimize one’s performance on the verbal subsets of both the SAT and ACT.  Though these tests are largely the same, there are key distinctions between them—distinctions that compliment different types of students and test takers.  This course offers the opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with both tests so that they can determine which would best reflect them on the college application. To this end, students familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of each test, situating lessons in reading strategies and grammar in the context of the SAT/ACT’s standardized question and answer formats.  We also focus on time management skills through a series of timed practice drills. Students  take a mock SAT and ACT at the end of the course, and spend the last class reviewing their scores on each test.  (Grades 9, 10, 11, 12)

The Research Paper 
Research papers pose a different challenge than other forms of writing students are tasked with in high school.  This course breaks down this process—daunting as it can seem—into a series of discrete steps, from pre-writing through copy-editing. Students select a topic that is of academic interest, formulate a question concerning said topic, and then proceed to research the larger conversation that surrounds their question.  Finally, they contribute their own voice to this larger discourse. This class is a great fit for those students entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of high school.  All subjects and interests, from history to poli-sci to social studies and beyond, are encouraged!

Not all courses are offered every semester.  Contact us for availability of classes.
Private Tutoring is available for SAT Prep and College Application Essay.