Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Total Language Plus Scarlet Pimpernel (What we're doing this year)

The Scarlet Pimpernel (Bantam Classic)

A little later than usual this year but typically I blog on what we're using/doing to give you some idea of what you might want to follow or check out.  As you know, whatever we are studying usually lead to more blog entries on the subject!  So without further delay, let's start with Language Arts.

Once again we'll be using Total Language Plus.  Why?  Quite simply it's the best at putting everything you need into one guide and gives just enough work without over burdening your student.  If I could fit one more thing in that last sentence about why it would be high interest/fun!  That sums up the why.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is the one we chose for Ariel and our high school co-op for this fall.  Ariel and I started it today and read the first two chapters which made me remember why I love it so!

 It begins, "A SURGING, SEETHING, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by the vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate."  Oh, my how I love that sentence.

Poor Ariel, I had to stop and read it three times and tell her what an awesome opening sentence this was. I had forgotten how my I loved the writing style in The Scarlet Pimpernel and I was once again smitten.

The "Scarlet Pimpernel" flower, read the novel to find out the significance

That's one of the aspects of studying The Scarlet Pimpernel that I love.  This novel gives your students incredible sentences to learn from, study and appreciate.  The first week the TLP study guide focuses on the examples of sarcasm and irony.  Each week has a different technique to look for in the text of the novel.

The other thing I love about using the TLP guide with the novel is the well thought out "Analyzing" questions.  Right off the top the first question is, "Why did the citizens of Paris want to watch the bloody, gruesome beheadings?"  Really good question.  I can't wait to discuss this with all the students next week at co-op and get their opinions.

Writing is the next logical step with using this literature based approach and with  The Scarlet Pimpernel the opportunity for essay or report development abounds.  We are choosing to focus on the essay prompts and working on narrowing to really well written 5-7 paragraph essay in preparation for the SAT, ACT essay's many of the students in our class may soon take.  Many of the prompts in the guide do have to do with the French Revolution making this guide an excellent choice if you are also studying them time period in history simultaneously.

I know I will thoroughly enjoy our discussions this fall of this well written book.  It makes me wish I could write like that.  Hope you have a chance to learn, be inspired by and experience The Scarlet Pimpernel as well!

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