Writing & Rhetoric Year 3
Term: Yearlong 2018-19, September 4–May 24
Target Grade Levels: Grades 6–7; 5th graders welcome (see placement details below)
Course Sections (Choose One)
Section 1: M/W 12:30 p.m. EST, 60–75 min. with Mrs. Gerard
T/TH 11:00 a.m. EST, 60–75 min. with Mrs. Sethman (FULL)
Please note: Section 1 of Writing & Rhetoric Year 3 is now full. If you’d like to be added to the waiting list, please contact us with your request, including your name, phone number, and email address, as well as the following student information: name, grade (2018-19 school year), and age on Sept. 1, 2018.
Writing & Rhetoric Year 3 continues the series with Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation and Book 6: Commonplace. In this stage, students start to develop and hone their skills in persuasive writing and speaking. In the first semester, students learn to refute or defend certain parts of narratives according to whether the identified parts are unbelievable, improbable, unclear, or improper—or believable, probable, clear, or proper. After learning to identify the parts of a story that can be attacked or defended, students practice writing refutations or confirmations using sound arguments to explain their opinions. In the second semester, students continue to develop the art of persuasive writing and oration. They learn to create six-paragraph essays that are arguments against the common vices of people and arguments in favor of common virtues. Students also learn to support a thesis statement, use comparison and contrast, introduce and conclude an essay, use a rhetorical device known as “the contrary,” invent soliloquies to support an argument, deliver writing orally, and revise writing.
In this course, students dive deeper into their understanding of narratives to make connections between their lives and stories. Students are exposed to peer editing and are expected to assess their own writing by identifying the main argument, selecting appropriate textual support, strengthening phrasing, and finding grammar errors. Students will be expected to write on average one essay a week and begin to develop the skill of annotation (learning to take notes and comment on the readings). For a closer look at the texts used in this course, please follow these links and click “Look Inside”: Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation and Book 6: Commonplace.
Syllabus: Download the 2018–19 course syllabus here.
- Students who have successfully completed Books 1–4 of the Writing & Rhetoric series will be ideally prepared for this course. Students who are new to the Writing & Rhetoric series should be familiar with elements of narration, description, and exposition in writing and should feel comfortable writing a five- or six-paragraph essay when guided by prompts. The course material provides a light review of some of the concepts and program vocabulary that was introduced in the prerequisite material, and the course instructor will work to welcome and orient students who have a foundation in writing skills but are new to the program.
- This course is designed for rising 6th–7th graders. Rising 5th graders who have completed the previous level of Writing & Rhetoric are welcome, though in most cases 5th-grade students require additional support from a parent in conjunction with the course.
- Occasionally students older than 7th grade are well suited for this course. If your student is in 7th grade or above and is new to the series, please contact us for a placement recommendation.
- Recognizing that each student develops keyboarding skills at a different pace, neatly handwritten essays are acceptable, but typed essays are preferred.
- If a student does not have a strong command of grammar and a basic understanding of syntax, outside grammar instruction is advised.
- Scholé Academy administers placement assessments in order to get to know each student and find the best learning environment for him or her, as we seek to educate our students well and wisely. Students should print and complete the WR3 Placement Assignment to confirm proper placement in this course. Please note that registration is not finalized until the student has submitted a placement exam and received confirmation of proper placement from the course instructor. Download the WR3 placement assignment instructions here.
For further information on the Writing & Rhetoric series, please see the Classical Academic Press FAQ page.
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation Audio Files
- Writing & Rhetoric Book 6: Commonplace Audio Files
These audio files allow students to engage their sense of hearing and their listening intelligence as Dr. Christopher Perrin, Christine Perrin, and Greg Lowe deliver the readings aloud in a thoughtful manner.
*Required texts are not included in the purchase of the course.
Emily Gerard is a graduate of Gordon College (BA, political science and philosophy) and The Johns Hopkins University (MA, government). She has taught philosophy, rhetoric, and Latin for the past five years, most recently at a classical school in downtown York, Pennsylvania. Mrs. Gerard currently lives in York with her husband, their young daughter, and a border collie.
Charissa Sethman holds a B.S. in Philosophy and Religion from Covenant College near Chattanooga, TN, where she resides with her husband, Michael, and their five children. Mrs. Sethman brings to the classroom more than a decade combined of classical teaching experience in home-education and tutorial settings. With a passion for Classical and liberal arts education, she relishes the order and beauty of language, mathematics, and music and finds great satisfaction in reading and writing a well-turned composition. Her interests extend further to the visual arts and to music, having taught art studio and a lecture series on the cultural heritage of the West. Charissa aims to help students do good, careful work unto mastery while also allowing time for restful, worshipful contemplation of great ideas. Her passion is to help her students to enjoy truth and to know and love God through their experiences with beautiful and good things.
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 recommend using an iPad or another 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 a 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.
Please Note: This recording is a sample of Writing & Rhetoric Year 3 with Mrs. Joanne Schinstock.
from Classical Academic Press
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