5th-8th: Middle School Writing & Rhetoric

Teacher Info:

Teacher Name: Ann Rodman
Teacher Email: annrodman@gmail.com

Monthly Cost, Fees and Deposit

Tuition: $200 per year, payable in monthly installments of $25
Supply/Materials Fee: $15 (due at registration)
Deposit: $25 (due at registration)
Venmo Address: @Ann-Rodman-1

Class Details

Class Time: 3rd hour
Grades: 5th-8th
Minimum Class Size: 8
Maximum Class Size: 20
Midterm Enrollment: Yes
Prerequisite: Students should be able to write complete sentences and short paragraphs.
Estimated Homework Hours: 1.5-2.5 hours
Required Materials or Books: 
1st Semester Book (needed in hand one first day of class):

Writing & Rhetoric Book 5: Refutation & Confirmation (Student Edition) by Classical Academic Press. ISBN: 1600512755 (~$17.49-$19.95)


2nd Semester Book (needed in hand after Christmas Break):

Writing & Rhetoric Book 6: Commonplace (Student Edition) by Classical Academic Press. ISBN: 1600512771 (~$17.49-$19.95)

(The purchase of student editions above are required. The purchase of the combined program, which includes the student edition, teacher’s edition, and audio files of readings is optional, but available if you would like answers and additional guidance at home)

A folder, notebook, and a few index cards will be needed as well.

Class Description

In this course, students will learn writing in conjunction with critical thinking and speaking.

During the first semester, students will be exposed to “refutation,” which is a short essay that attacks certain parts of a narrative. Students will learn to identify and refute parts of a narrative that are unbelievable, improbable, unclear, or improper. Students will also learn to write a “confirmation”-a short essay defending certain parts of a narrative that are believable, probable, clear or proper.

Second semester, students will continue to develop the art of persuasive writing and oration. They will learn to create six-paragraph essays that argue against the common vices of people and argue in favor of common virtues. For example, cowardice and boasting are criticized while courage and humility are commended. Students will also learn to support a thesis statement, use comparison and contrast, use a rhetorical device known as “the contrary,” and more.

In their essays, students will be making use of a range of writing skills, including the ability to inform, to describe, to narrate, and to analyze.

Using books 5 & 6 of Classical Academic Press’s “Writing and Rhetoric” curriculum, students will:
• Write four (and then 6) paragraph essays
• Outline
• Refute or confirm parts of stories
• Understand comparison and contrast
• Introduce and conclude an essay
• Use narrative to further the purpose of exposition
• Use direct quotes to support an argument
• Support a thesis statement
• Argue against certain vices & virtues
• Use comparison and contrast
• Use a rhetorical device known as “the contrary”
• Invent soliloquies to support an argument
• Deliver writing orally
• Revise writing