Upper School Ancient Literature
Term: Yearlong 2018-19, September 4–May 24
Target Grade Levels: Grades 11–12
Instructor: Mr. McIntosh
Schedule: M/W 11 a.m. EST, 60–75 min.
(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 is designed for high school students who want to read and have lively discussions about the classics of Greek and Roman literature. Students will read and discuss literary works from three dynamic eras in early human history: Classical-Era Athens, the Roman Republic/Empire, and early Christian writers. While reading and discussing these literary classics, Mr. McIntosh will guide students in discovering what the greatest writers believed about the biggest questions of human existence: Do we have a soul? How ought we treat our neighbors? What do we owe the state?
While this course primarily features literary study, it also incorporates some study from Medieval and Renaissance history, helping students to see and enjoy the integration of both history and literature. In this upper school course, students will seek and examine the virtue and wisdom in these great books, while also noting the ways in which the authors influence one another and participate in the “Great Conversation” of Western civilization.
Occasionally, the teacher will present historical background through brief lectures. All other classes will be seminar-style discussions on the classical texts. At the end of every book (or book selection), the teacher will provide one synopsis question. Each student will provide a brief answer (maximum length is 150 words). Once per semester, students will present a brief oral overview of an important aspect of Greek or Roman literature. There will be a cumulative test at the end of each semester. Thus, the bulk of students’ grades will be determined through their curiosity, participation, and diligence during discussions. These courses will be taught by veteran college professor Tim McIntosh, who has taught Great Books courses at Gutenberg College for a decade.
Placement: This course is suitable for rising 11th–12th graders. Students are expected to have strong reading and writing skills as well as the interest and capacity for engaging in discussion about literature and history. In preparation for college-level courses, students suited for this course will continue refining the following scholarship skills as they approach mastery:
- 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
High School Credit: This course is the equivalent of one high school credit in history.
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 middle 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.
The reading list for this course includes the following texts and excerpts.* Minor adjustments may be made in the coming weeks. A finalized reading list, including indication of which texts students should purchase and preferred versions, will be provided to enrolled students. Please wait to purchase course texts until you’ve received this finalized list from the instructor. The following list will give you a sense of the scope of the course.
- The Odyssey, Homer
- Oedipus Rex, Sophocles
- “The Trial of Socrates” and “Euthyphro”, Plato
- Lives, Plutarch
- Early History of Rome, Livy
- Julius Caesar, Shakespeare
- “On Duties,” Cicero
- The Aeneid, Vergil
- The Gospel of Luke
- Confessions, Augustine
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
Timothy McIntosh, MA, received his BA from Bryan College (Tennessee) and his MA in theology from Reformed Theological Seminary. Before he joined the Scholé Academy faculty, Mr. McIntosh served as a Great Books tutor and later as the provost at Gutenberg College in Eugene, Oregon. In addition to his work as a classical educator, Mr. McIntosh is a playwright, screenwriter, and actor. His play Søn of Abraham received a “Best New Plays” award, and the film of his screenplay Mandie was released by Kalon Media in the spring of 2009. Timothy is also featured on the book club podcast Close Reads, produced by the CiRCE Institute.
Computer: 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.
High-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.
Headset: 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
Zoom: 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.
To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
from Classical Academic Press