Middle School Ancient Literature

Term: Yearlong 2018–19, September 4–May 24
Target Grade Levels: Grades 7–9
Instructor: Mr. Lockridge
Schedule: T/Th 3:30 p.m. EST, 60–75 min.
Price: $595.00
(Enroll in this course and the corresponding history course and save $195.00! To take advantage of this discount, call our office at 866-730-0711 to register.)

This course introduces middle school students to some of the classical texts and literature of the ancient Greek and Roman periods. Students will read and discuss some of the great books from three dynamic eras in early human history: Classical-Era Athens, the Roman Republic/Empire, and early Christian writers. By studying these great works, students will gain an appreciation for some of the most important ideas that have shaped Western civilization.

While this course primarily features literary study, it will also incorporate some study from ancient history, helping students to see and enjoy the integration of these two genres of history and literature. As a middle school course, this class aims to introduce students to ancient literature by means of a deep study of a few seminal and primary works, while also providing students with the general historical context that will enable a better understanding of the literature and the ancient period.

Students are asked to consider and engage carefully crafted questions as their window into “the Great Conversation.” Occasionally, the teacher will present biographical, literary, and historical context through brief lectures, but all other classes are seminar-style discussions on the classical texts. Students are assessed for their curiosity, participation, and diligence during discussions, as well as by means of short response papers, essays, and occasional quizzes.

This class is paired with our middle school course on ancient history, taught by the same teacher and scheduled back-to-back with that course in a “block.” Students who take both courses receive a discount. This course may also be taken as standalone literature study.

Syllabus: Click here to view the course syllabus.

Placement: This course is suitable for rising 7th–9th graders. Students are expected to have proficient reading and writing skills as well as the interest and capacity for engaging in discussion about literature and history. Students suited for this course will also be cultivating the following scholarship skills:

  • Actively and independently engage in note-taking
  • Apply teacher critiques
  • Adhere to deadlines
  • Be responsible for class and project preparedness
  • Take initiative to ask questions for understanding and comprehension

How much time will students spend on homework?
This varies by student according to his or her pace. However, students are generally assigned about 1.5–2.5 hours of reading each week. Additional time may be required to supplement their own studying and paper or project development.

How does this course compare to the upper school ancient literature course?
The chief differences between the middle school and upper school levels for this course are noted below. While there will be some overlap of content taught, the upper school course will be much more challenging and assume a more mature student with more background knowledge and greater reading, writing, and scholarship facility.

How is faith integrated with these courses?
These seminar-style discussions unfold organically. One could approach the texts with a focus on defensive critiques of classical authors. By contrast, we seek to read charitably. We treat classic authors as if they were friends, gleaning every available truth while also examining them from a robustly Christian perspective.

Click here to view the course syllabus which includes the finalized reading list.*

*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.

Adam Lockridge, Mentor Teacher, is an experienced classical educator who was raised in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. It was there that he met his wife, Rachel, who continues to be his greatest blessing and encouragement. They met in high school and were married as students at the University of Kansas, where Adam studied philosophy and Rachel studied art education. In addition to studying together at KU, Rachel and Adam spent their second year of marriage as Fellows at the Trinity Forum Academy in Maryland. He later taught upper school humanities at a classical school in Tennessee for seven years. At KU, Adam was first exposed to many of the writers who would later inspire his teaching—especially Plato and the other Greek philosophers. He went on to complete his master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Memphis.

Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with processor with a speed of 1 Ghz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do NOT recommending using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.

Red checkmarkHigh-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with an download/upload speed of 5/1Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

Red checkmarkWebCam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer.
WebCam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

Red checkmarkHeadset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.
Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm

Red checkmarkZoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.
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To download Zoom:

  1. Visit zoom.us/download.
  2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
  3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
  4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

from Classical Academic Press

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