Tools of the Literary Scholar


Teacher:  Michael Belson

Ages 12-14

Materials Fee:  $30; includes copies of all literature read in this class

Class Fees:

Fall:        11 weeks:  $260 or $250 if taking 2 or more classes

Winter:  10 weeks:  $245 or $235 if taking 2 or more classes

Spring:  10 weeks:  $245 or $235 if taking 2 or more classes


What makes a great story? Why do some books make us laugh and some make us cry? How do different elements of storytelling work together to make a living, breathing world and take us on a journey with characters we love?

In this yearlong class, we’ll explore these questions and more. We’ll sharpen our analytical minds by reading well-written, thought-provoking stories and engaging in Socratic dialogue to help us uncover themes that are interesting to write about! We’ll learn how to generate a thesis based on our own insights about a text and develop our ideas into bold, original essays. We’ll write engaging beginnings with authenticity, and we’ll write conclusions that bring our ideas into focus by answering the deeper question: “So What”? Why is this theme important? What is the author trying to get us to think about? As we develop our skills and become fluid in the language of the literary scholar, we can discuss with greater depth how an author uses various writing techniques to impact the reader’s experience.


Some of our literature this year will include: Animal Farm, The Giver, & Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.


Our final product each session will be our own self-published Literary Review Magazine! Come to this class prepared to read, hone your writing skills from paragraphs to essays, and develop your own writing voice as you learn the tools of the literary scholar!


Homework: YES! There will be reading and writing homework. Plan on 1-2 hours per week.