Log In

Individualized, Interactive 7th Grade English Language Arts (Semester 2) (3 Day)

In this semester-long class, students read fiction and nonfiction, analyze texts, learn grammar concepts, and write technically and creatively.
Miss Mara
184 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 14 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
year old learners
learners per class


Charged upfront
$10 per class
Meets 3x per week
Over 16 weeks
50 minutes per class
Calendar icon

There are no open spots for this class.

You can request another time or scroll down to find more classes like this.


Class Experience

By the end of the class, students will possess:
--An understanding of the texts they read
--Increased vocabulary and reading comprehension skills
--A greater understanding of creative writing
--Improved technical and creative writing skills
--A grade-level understanding of grammar and mechanics
--Greater abilities to make text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections
--A basic understanding of themes in genre fiction
I was a Title I tutor in a classroom setting for several years. I primarily worked with students with learning differences and those who were academically behind. One of my proudest achievements was working one-on-one with a student for three years, beginning in 6th grade. They were several grade levels below the norm for their age. Usually, I worked with them four days each week, primarily through reading and ELA assignments. By high school, they were nearly at grade level in both reading and writing. 

One of my college minors was early childhood education. Relevant college courses include: child development, childhood socialization, children's programming/curriculum development, programming for children and families, and child exceptionality and psychopathology. I also completed multiple classes on technical writing.

I have a graduate diploma in Applied Neuroscience. Through independent research, I have also studied Black American history, marine life, the Space Race, and the use of Navajo during World War II.

Additionally, I taught "Hidden Figures" before initially teaching this class. I have a history of helping teach and communicate sensitive subjects, especially when I was a Title I tutor. (The classroom curriculum included "Teaching Tolerance" materials by the Southern Poverty Law Center.) All books and discussions will be age-appropriate, and students are taught to respect others' opinions. However, if any sensitive subjects arise, they will be handled delicately through guided discussions.

I was a freelance grant writer from 2012 to 2021. Please see my profile for more information about my experience and education.
Reading Homework: Students are expected to read 80-90 pages per week, but this will vary by unit. Most of the books average 220 pages. "Vincent & Theo" is over 400 pages, although some pages are illustrated. Depending on the student's reading comprehension, students should allow 1.5-3 hours per week for reading.

Other Homework: Students are expected to submit one creative writing assignment each unit. Students must also submit at least three unit projects. (The Unit Project for Unit 5 is required.) Unit projects will help reinforce technical writing skills learned in the previous semester and prepare students for more advanced writing in 8th grade. Students are encouraged to complete the main topic for the unit project, but an alternative is provided for each unit. If students choose to complete more than 3 unit projects, they will receive credit for their highest grades.

Creative Writing Assignments:
--Unit 1: A creative story of at least 2 typed pages should be written. The story must use at least 5 literary devices and 3 "advanced" creative writing techniques discussed in the lectures. As an example, students might use personification, hyperbole, metaphors, onomatopoeia, and idioms, as well as foreshadowing, a red herring, and a cliffhanger. 
--Unit 2: Students must submit 5 poems: 1 free verse, 1 haiku, 1 acrostic, and 2 narrative.
--Unit 3: A creative story between 2 and 5 typed pages should be written. Students can choose to focus on historical fiction, science fiction, or fantasy. Students must use at least 5 literary devices or advanced concepts.
--Unit 4: A creative story between 2 and 6 typed pages should be written. Students can choose to focus on mystery, thriller, science fiction, or fantasy. Students must use at least 8 literary devices or advanced concepts.
--Unit 5: A creative story between 3 and 8 typed pages should be written. The story must be literary or realistic fiction. Students must use at least 10 literary devices or advanced concepts.
(Note: It is fine if students need to write their stories by hand, but they should contain the same level of information as if they were within the page range when typed.)

Unit Projects: 
--Unit 1: Students write a report on the Census of Marine Life, as discussed in the book. Alternatively, with permission from the teacher, students may submit a report on a specific aspect of marine life.
--Unit 2: Students perform research and write a biography of either Vincent or Theo, or a person of significance. Students may choose from family members or other famous artists and influential individuals. A list of potential subjects will be provided at the beginning of class, as well as a handout to assist students in organizing their thoughts. Biographies must be at least 2 typed pages. Alternatively, students may research the critiques of Van Gogh's art and write an argumentative essay regarding whether Van Gogh's work is "good". The essay must be at least 5 paragraphs.
--Unit 3: Students write a report on one of the codes discussed in the book, including its usage and practicality. Alternatively, students may submit their own code with a detailed explanation of why the code would be beneficial.
--Unit 4: Students complete research regarding a historical or scientific aspect of the book and write a report. Alternatively, students may submit a proposal of a potential experiment or design that would further astronautical engineering.
--Unit 5: Students write a 1-page analysis comparing the fiction and nonfiction events regarding the Space Race discussed in "Hidden Figures" and "I Love You, Michael Collins".

Book Reports: Students will complete two short book reports on the books they read independently and present them to the class.
Students will need a copy of all the required books taught in this class and will need access of the other two books that they choose. These nonfiction books are slightly more expensive than the fiction books in Semester 1. Paperback versions of each book costs between $6 and $19 new. "Hidden Figures" and "Vincent & Theo" can often be found in school or public libraries. Used versions of the books can be found online. New copies of "Mysterious Messages" are most often found as an e-book. To obtain a paperback or hardcover version, I recommend that families purchase the book through a used book site (e.g. Better World Books, Thriftbooks, etc.). With their parents' permission, students are welcome to read the original version of "Hidden Figures" instead of the Young Readers' Edition. Students should always bring a pencil and paper to class. Handouts will occasionally be provided and notes from the lectures are uploaded to the classroom. Students may want to print these documents, but it is not required.
Unless families opt-out of receiving a grade, grading for the class is as follows:

Creative Writing: 40%
Unit Projects: 40%
Book Reports: 20%

All writing assignments and unit projects receive feedback. Bonus opportunities are available.
2 hours 30 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 4+ hours per week outside of class.
These books can be found on lists for middle grade and junior high book recommendations. The age ratings listed below are based on various credible sites.

-Citizens of the Sea: Age/grade level is not applicable due to the type of book. 
--This is nonfiction published by National Geographic and completely fact-based. Reviews were written by the Coral Reef Alliance and SeaWeb, among others. The writing and science is appropriate for middle grade/junior high students.

-Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers: Ages 12+; Grades 7+
--Reviews are available by Common Sense Media and School Library Journal.

-Mysterious Messages: A History of Codes and Ciphers: Grades 5+; Written on a 7th grade level
--A review by School Library Journal is available.

-Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition: Ages 9+
--A review by Common Sense Media is available.

-I Love You, Michael Collins: Ages 8+; Grades 4-7
--A review by School Library Journal is available.

Parents are strongly encouraged to read the books, or at least several reviews, prior to registering for this class.
-A special note about Vincent & Theo: This book does touch on subjects such as mental illness, suicide, and (briefly) brothels. These subjects are accurate for the individuals and historical time. When discussed in class, discussions will use a historic lens and conversations will be age-appropriate. Additionally, there is a sketch of Van Gogh's "Sorrow" (F 1655 version).
I create most of the curriculum independently. Some curriculum developed by other teachers may be used (with permission from the educator). Some of the information on writing is paraphrased from articles on Masterclass.

For grammar and mechanics, I will use select pages from Glencoe Language Arts' "Grammar and Language Workbook: Grade 7". Most of this will be used to supplement in-class lectures. Some pages may be provided to students to help solidify concepts.

During Unit 3, a short video is viewed in class about Kryptos. You can preview it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwdUwevayRU


Specific to Poetry:

When introducing free verse poetry, students use an exercise by published poet Simon Mole. You may preview the video (shown in class), here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3FZyXFS6bU

When studying symbolism, we watch Rita Dove read "Heart to Heart". You may preview that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xtM1FUgS-E

When introducing haiku poetry, I use 3 poems by Matsuo Basho: "The Old Pond", "Autumn Moonlight", and "In the Twilight Rain".

Excerpts of other poems are given as examples including those by John Updike and Gerard Manley Hopkins.


Miss Mara
Lives in the United States
A Writer. A Learner. A Teacher.
184 total reviews
208 completed classes

About Me

I am a strong believer in project-based learning, especially with books. Therefore, most of my classes mix reading, discussions, and hands-on activities. I tend to avoid worksheets, vocabulary quizzes, and traditional lesson plans.

I have a B.S.... 
SafetyPrivacyCA PrivacyLearner PrivacyTerms
Outschool International
Get The App
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
© 2023 Outschool