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Full Semester 8th and 9th Grade English Language Arts | the Lord of the Rings

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Mr. Van, Certified Teacher
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In this complete curriculum, 8th or 9th grade students will engage in State Standard-based ELA lessons including writing, poetry, vocabulary, debate, analysis, and comprehension through the novel The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien

Class Experience

US Grade 8 - 9
Intermediate Level
Follows Teacher-Created Curriculum
Aligned with State-Specific Standards
  • Learning goals are informed by NDE STATE STANDARDS FOR THE 8TH GRADE https://www.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/ELA-Standards-2021-8-25-22.pdf COURSE GOAL • Students will read, analyze, and comprehend The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien to sharpen a variety of grade-level state-standard-based ELA concepts. VOCAB • LA.8.V.1 Integrate grade-level academic vocabulary appropriately for a variety of tasks and purposes INFORMATIONAL TEXTS (integrated into several units throughout) • LA.8.V.2 Interpret an author’s use of figurative, connotative, and technical language in grade-level literary and informational text. • LA.8.RI.8 Read and comprehend a wide range of informational texts of appropriate complexity at the high end of the 6-8 grade band independently and proficiently. CLASS DISCUSSIONS • LA.8.SL.1 Initiate and participate in structured discussions and collaborations about 8th grade topics and texts. • LA.8.RI.6 Analyze the development of an argument and evaluate the effectiveness of the type(s) of reasoning used to support the argument. • LA.8.RI.7 Analyze regional, national, international, and/or multicultural perspectives to make connections among and distinctions between individuals or ideas within and across a range of informational texts. • LA.8.W.4 Write arguments that develop a perspective with supporting reasons and evidence, organized as appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. UNIT 1 (Biography) • LA.8.W.1 Create grammatically correct multi-paragraph compositions with varied sentence structures. • LA.8.W.2 Use a recursive writing process to develop, strengthen, and produce writing appropriate to the audience, purpose, and discipline. • LA.8.W.5 Write informative/explanatory pieces to clearly convey ideas and information in which the development and structure are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. • LA.8.W.6 Gather and use credible evidence from multiple trustworthy sources and assess its relevance in answering the research question(s). UNIT 2 (Poetry) • LA.8.RP.1 Determine two or more implied or explicit themes of a text and how they develop over the course of a literary text, including their relationship to supporting ideas. • LA.8.RP.2 Analyze how particular events, lines of dialogue, or descriptive details develop the plot, reveal aspects of characters, or create meaning. • LA.8.RP.3 Analyze how an author establishes, conveys, and contrasts the points of view of the audience and the characters to create effects such as suspense, humor, or dramatic irony in a literary text. UNIT 3 (Critical Analysis) • LA.8.W.1 Create grammatically correct multi-paragraph compositions with varied sentence structures. • LA.8.W.2 Use a recursive writing process to develop, strengthen, and produce writing appropriate to the audience, purpose, and discipline. • LA.8.W.5 Write informative/explanatory pieces to clearly convey ideas and information in which the development and structure are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience. • LA.8.W.6 Gather and use credible evidence from multiple trustworthy sources and assess its relevance in answering the research question(s). UNIT 4 (Literary Analysis) • LA.8.RI.1 Determine two or more implied or explicit central ideas and how they develop over the course of an informational text, including their relationship to supporting ideas. • LA.8.RI.2 Analyze how particular events, interactions between individuals, or key facts and details contribute to meaning. • LA.8.RI.3 Analyze how an author establishes, conveys, and contrasts perspective or purpose in a text and how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints. • LA.8.RI.4 Compare and contrast the structure of a specific paragraph in an informational text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept. UNIT 5 (Debate) • LA.8.SL.2 Present claims and findings, emphasizing key ideas in a focused, coherent manner with relevant descriptions, facts, details, and examples to clarify themes or central ideas. UNIT 6 (Literary Elements) • LA.8.RI.1 Determine two or more implied or explicit central ideas and how they develop over the course of an informational text, including their relationship to supporting ideas. • LA.8.RI.2 Analyze how particular events, interactions between individuals, or key facts and details contribute to meaning. • LA.8.RI.3 Analyze how an author establishes, conveys, and contrasts perspective or purpose in a text and how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints. • LA.8.RI.4 Compare and contrast the structure of a specific paragraph in an informational text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept. UNIT 7 (Beowulf) • LA.8.RI.5 Analyze how two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic, including where the texts disagree on matters of evidence or interpretation. • LA.8.RP.4 Compare and contrast the structure of two or more literary texts and how their structures contribute to style and meaning. • LA.8.RP.5 Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works. • LA.8.RP.6 Synthesize the implied or stated theme(s) in a literary text to draw conclusions and deepen understanding of self and others. • LA.8.RP.7 Analyze regional, national, international, and/or multicultural perspectives to make connections among and distinctions between characters or ideas within and across a range of literary texts. • LA.8.RP.8 Read and comprehend a wide range of literary texts of appropriate complexity at the high end of the 6-8 grade band independently and proficiently. UNIT 8 (Short Story) • LA.8.W.3 Write in a variety of literary forms to convey real or imagined experiences or events in which the development and structure are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience.
Bachelor's degree from Grace University 
Certification to Teach Secondary Students from the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Endorsement in English/Language Arts from the University of Nebraska at Omaha
ACE Educator
Over 10 years of experience in various educational positions
2 - 4 hours per week outside of class
Homework
Frequency: available upon request
Feedback: available upon request
Details: HOMEWORK • 1 to 2 Chapters (or articles) of reading per week (depending on week) • 3 Analysis Questions based on the text (these questions are important to answer during the assigned reading as they will add to the class-time discussion!) • Unit-specific assignment (for example, paper-writing, poetry writing, characterization charts, etc) • It is advised that students review vocabulary terms in their own time GRADING PHILOSOPHY • Students will receive a percentage (0-100) for the activities, and then an overall percentage (0-100) at the completion of the course. Percentage will show their accuracy in achieving the learning goals (will be provided per assignment) for each given assignment. • Guardians and learners will be updated on their grade per assignment (shortly after turn-in). They will be updated on their course-grade upon completion of each unit, and upon completion of the entire course. • A letter-grade does not get applied to the percentage (feel free to look up your local school district's grading scale if you wish to know a letter-grade) • NOTE: The idea of providing a grade and then moving on is not my style. If a student is willing to persevere, I want to keep working with them until the learning-goals have been achieved. • I view "bad grades" as learning opportunities. That said, I allow students to rework and resubmit any assignment as many times as they want by the end of the course!
Assessment
Frequency: available upon request
Details: HOMEWORK • 1 to 2 Chapters (or articles) of reading per week (depending on week) • 3 Analysis Questions based on the text (these questions are important to answer during the assigned reading as they will add to the class-time discussion!) • Unit-specific assignment (for example, paper-writing, poetry writing, characterization charts, etc) • It is advised that students review vocabulary terms in their own time GRADING PHILOSOPHY • Students will receive a percentage (0-100) for the activities, and then an overall percentage (0-100) at the completion of the course. Percentage will show their accuracy in achieving the learning goals (will be provided per assignment) for each given assignment. • Guardians and learners will be updated on their grade per assignment (shortly after turn-in). They will be updated on their course-grade upon completion of each unit, and upon completion of the entire course. • A letter-grade does not get applied to the percentage (feel free to look up your local school district's grading scale if you wish to know a letter-grade) • NOTE: The idea of providing a grade and then moving on is not my style. If a student is willing to persevere, I want to keep working with them until the learning-goals have been achieved. • I view "bad grades" as learning opportunities. That said, I allow students to rework and resubmit any assignment as many times as they want by the end of the course!
Grading
Frequency: available upon request
Details: GRADING SCALE • Bi-weekly vocabulary quizzes = collectively 10% of final grade • Final vocabulary quiz = 5% of final grade • Lesson participation (Analysis Questions & Lecture-Integrated Discussion) = 15% of final grade • Papers = 45% of final grade (each paper = 15%) • Other Unit Assignments (poetry, debate, charts, etc) = collectively 25% of final grade
*SUGGESTED*
The Hobbit
https://outschool.com/classes/full-summer-novel-study-of-the-hobbit-by-jrr-tolkien-pj0EbThO?usid=HjYuHv99&signup=true&utm_campaign=share_activity_link
 1 file available upon enrollment
NOTE: I am not affiliated with any of the following sources: TEXTS • The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring (by JRR Tolkien) https://a.co/d/5rD4PWd • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (by Pearl Poet and translated by JRR Tolkien) https://a.co/d/5xBWSo1 HOMEWORK • Either a printer or the ability to fill out documents digitally (charts, Q&A sections, etc) • Microsoft Word or something compatible with it (for paper-writing) • Access to the internet for scholarly sources • ADVISED: A FREE account on JSTOR (for finding scholarly sources) https://www.jstor.org
The Lord of the Rings is a fantasy novel and therefore contains creatures and entities that could be deemed frightening.  It contains magic, fantasy violence, fight-scenes, and death. 

Romance is minimally involved with sexual content nearly nonexistent as a kiss is the most explicit scene.

Characters drink (sometimes to drunkenness) and smoke pipes
NOTE: I am not affiliated with any of the following sources:

https://www.education.ne.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/ELA-Standards-2021-8-25-22.pdf

FICTION TEXTS:
• Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Two Towers. HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.
• Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Silmarillion. HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. 
• Poet, Pearl. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight e-artnow. Kindle Edition.

NONFICTION TEXTS:
• “J.R.R. Tolkien - Books, Life & Quotes - Biography.” Biography.Com, Hearst Magazine Media, 11 Sept. 2019, www.biography.com/authors-writers/jrr-tolkien. 
• Lopez Sauri, Paola B. “‘Leaves Were Whispering’:  The Personification of Nature in The Fellowship of the Ring.” Dawson English Journal, Dawson College, www.dawsonenglishjournal.ca/article/leaves-were-whispering-the-personification-of-nature-in-the-fellowship-of-the-ring-by-paola-b-lopez-sauri/. Accessed 3 Jan. 2024. 
• POLK, NICHOLAS J. S. “The Holy Fellowship: Holiness in The Lord of the Rings.” Mallorn: The Journal of the Tolkien Society, no. 57, 2016, pp. 29–31. JSTOR, https://www.jstor.org/stable/48614857. Accessed 4 Jan. 2024.
Joined June, 2022
5.0
73reviews
Star Educator
Profile
Teacher expertise and credentials
Nebraska Teaching Certificate in English/Language Arts
Hello!

My name is Paul Van Moorleghem or, more simply, Mr. Van!

I realized that I loved to learn waaaaay too late in life.  It was upon this realization that I decided to go back to school and get my certification to teach.

Learning is... 
Group Class

$800

for 30 classes
2x per week, 15 weeks
55 min

Completed by 3 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 13-15
1-6 learners per class

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