Literature Studies


Teacher:  Amber Gersbach

Ages:  9-12

Class Fees $240 or $230 if taking 2 or more classes per child.   Can be split into three equal payments.

Material Fees: $30

Homework:  Students will be required to read PAX and answer questions about the story at home to be prepared for our discussions and projects, which will likely take 1-2 hours per week.



The One and Only Ivan- By Katherine Applegate

This life changing story is about Ivan, a gorilla that is a mall attraction. He is accustomed to his living conditions and human interaction. He watches people and learns their humanness. Then Ruby, a baby elephant, arrives and changes Ivan and his perspectives. This is a heartfelt story of a friendship and life circumstances.

In Literature Studies, this trimester, we will explore apes and elephants & learn about zoology.

We are going to plan a hypothetical Day at the Zoo, compare and contrast characters, ape & elephant cuisine, and Design a Zoo.  Our diorama will include Ivan and Ruby’s habitat. There will be weekly homework questions, class discussions, worksheets and projects.



By the Great Horned Spoon- Sid Fleischman


Set during the California Gold Rush, Jack and his butler go on a long adventure from Boston to strike it rich in California and save his aunt’s house. In this study, we will learn about all the different aspects of the Gold Rush. We will map out the routes taken to California, become a Gold Rush newspaper reporter, learn mining camp life and much more.  Students will read and answer questions with homework being 1-1 1/2 hours per week.



Fall Trimester:


Join us on a journey of a young boy, Peter, and his rescued kit, Pax. When Peter’s father joins the war, Peter is sent to live with his grandfather and can not bring his friend Pax. Both find they can’t be without each other and journey to try and reunite, learning much about life and themselves along the way.



Students will read the story at home, and then extend their learning about the story in our class with projects in geography, language arts and compare and contrast writing exercises.   Students will always be bringing home a work sample for your records as well!   Because this book is about a journey, our weekly projects will include learning the survival skills that Peter needed to have, like preparing for a journey and first aid. We will learn how to make and use maps, and we’ll also make our own Pax!   Because this beautiful story also includes the topic or Peter’s father going to war, we will also talk about the effects of war, both in Peter’s time and in our own time, and how we can help those affected by war.




SPring Trimester:

Swiss Family Robinson