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English 1 - Writing and Literature


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Beginning IEW & Enjoying Literature


Full Year (2 Semesters)

Grades:    9-12

Credit:      1.0



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English 1 - Writing & Literature:

Writing 1 & Enjoying Literature



Live, Highly Interactive Online Classes with a Biblical Worldview

This course provides a solid foundation in both writing and literature with two 1 1/2-hour classes each week over thirty-two weeks covering the entire Units 1-9 of the Institute for Excellence in Writing syllabus and a thorough introduction to literature. 

Literature classes foster a love of reading while teaching the foundational skills and concepts necessary to literary analysis.  By focusing on shorter works, students can apply their developing skills many times and solidify them.

Classes also review grammar as needed.  College Prep Vocabulary, a student favorite, is a fast-paced, fun class employing the latest research in acquiring vocabulary.  Students earn points they use to bid on prizes at the end-of-year auction.  


Taught by an IEW-accredited Certified Instructor, the writing portion of this course is designed to meet the needs of students with less than a year of instruction in the Institute for Excellence in Writing’s (IEW) transformative methods.  It equips them with the tools to write compelling and engaging pieces. 


Why are IEW writing methods so effective?             

IEW uses small, incremental steps that anyone can master and starts by focusing on a single paragraph.  It then provides a simple method to overcome writer’s block. Having resolved the challenge of what to say, your teen can then focus on how to say it. Adding one writing technique or sentence variation at a time allows students to practice each one until it is easy before adding another one.  Thus, the reluctant or beginning-level writer learns not only that he CAN write but also that he can write WELL, fueling enthusiasm. On the other hand, the more advanced writer learns to produce the flowing and varied sentence structures and word choices characteristic of the more mature writer. 


What will students learn?

Beginning with writing a basic paragraph, instruction covers Units 1-9 of the Institute for Excellence in Writing Structure and Style syllabus, which teaches students to

      • summarize and create short articles and short stories

      • write reports and simple research papers

      • plan & structure longer reports and research papers

      • write essays, formal essays, and critiques

      • use IEW dress-ups (techniques to improve writing style)

      • use IEW sentence openers (techniques that add variety to sentence structure and enable writers to produce flowing sentences instead of choppy ones)

      • use IEW decorations (techniques that add maturity, power, and interest to writing)

      • use MLA style sheets (necessary for college)

Strengthen grammar and punctuation skills as needed.

Improve each part of their writing process as they learn to

1.  gather, read, evaluate, analyze, and prepare sources  

2.  brainstorm 

3.  plan and organize thoughts

4.  create a rough draft

5.  edit to improve organization, flow, clarity, artistry, and impact

6.  proof their work to produce a final draft



This course incorporates research-proven features that fuel students’ desire to read, including the ability to


      • choose much of their reading material (with parental oversight)


      • partake in a wide variety of interactive activities that build a reading community of engaged, excited readers


      • experience minimal disruption to the reading process from tedious worksheets and note-taking, which a growing body of research demonstrates kills love for reading

      • read a consistent amount of time, rather than a specific number of pages  

        Students are accountable for this time through group activities and discussions with their teacher and classmates.  Evaluations include a series of Book Talks with the instructor in which students share and answer questions about the books they are reading.


What will students learn? 

Students will learn and apply beginning-to-intermediate literary concepts using classic short stories, video shorts, the Bible, poetry, self-chosen books, and two books we will read together as a class:  To Kill a Mockingbird and Animal Farm.  

Students learn

      • six clues that the author has a literary purpose and has embedded meaning in chosen details, plot elements, and words.  Students use these clues to improve their close reading skills and discover character attributes and themes.

      • to identify plot elements and employ plot analysis to uncover themes

      • to understand and recognize the many methods an author uses to reveal the personality and values of a character

      • to employ character arc analysis to recognize themes

      • to understand, analyze, and appreciate a variety of literary devices that add to the meaning and tone of a literary work
    • They learn to
      • distinguish the different points of view

      • understand how authors select points of view to accomplish specific purposes within their narratives

      • recognize the impact of shifts in tone and points of view

      • recognize symbolism and use it to uncover meaning in a literary work

      • learn basic concepts about how to read and understand a poem, something that is a mystery to many students

In every course, students learn to

      • understand the author's intent by deriving meaning from the text rather than from outside the text

      • evaluate an author's intent and worldview from a biblical perspective

      • recognize influence from a variety of worldviews

      • think critically, recognize faulty logic, and evaluate media and other resources

      • learn to appreciate the interplay between literature and the culture at the time it was written  

        Classic literature is timeless and becomes a classic because it addresses universal themes and truths common to man throughout the centuries.  Additionally, a classic responds to the times, place, and culture in which the author writes.  It often also becomes a transformative agent for change. Students begin to build awareness of this interplay.

All courses include a short four-week unit in non-fiction reading, media discernment, and logic to strengthen critical reading and thinking abilities.  Using famous speeches, essays, articles, and popular media, students hone specific reading skills vital to the research process and their functioning as informed consumers of information.  Many of these skills are directly tested in college entrance exams.  More importantly, they are crucial to a thriving democracy where citizens must freely make informed choices rather than be manipulated by fallacious reasoning.

Students review 

      • separating fact from opinion

      • recognizing slant, spin, and bias

      • evaluating a website for slant, spin, and bias   

They gain heightened motivation to seek truth as they strengthen their ability to

      • read between the lines for both explicit and implied main ideas

      • recognize and evaluate supporting details for those ideas

      • analyze purpose and tone

      • recognize a variety of logical fallacies commonly used in modern media that can influence and manipulate readers

Instruction takes place in two one-and-a-half-hour classes each week over a thirty-two-week period. One class focuses on writing and the other on literature. Although Monday classes that fall on legal holidays assign homework, classes will not meet on these days so that families can celebrate long weekends together.  Classes break for 5 minutes out of every 30

Time to allow for this course: Students should expect to spend 4-6 hours per week preparing for class in addition to class sessions. 


Enrollment closes on September 3 or when the class is full.


Instructor:    Sandra Selling

                      IEW-Certified Instructor



                      800.578.2527 | 941.676.3140

                      Book an Appointment


See the BEFORE ENROLLING tab above before beginning checkout.




Books & Supplies for Writing and Literature 1

Important Note:  We offer the links below for your convenience and resource information.  Specific editions are not required.

Kindle or ebooks are excellent so long as students can highlight using different colors. 

Kindle offers a free app to use on phones and PC that provides the ability to highlight in colors, AND many of the classics are then free!

Please have the following books and supplies on the first day of class:

In addition to the books below, students will choose and read various books in different genres.

    1. A variety of short stories, poetry, high-interest articles, and famous speeches are provided in class and online for free. The Bible is also used and is available online for free.

    2. Student Resource Notebook by Lori Verstegan
      ISBN: Spiral: 978-1-62341-041-4 $19, or PDF: 978-1-62341-042-1 $15

    3. The Blue Book of Grammar  (12th Edition) by Jane Strauss -
      ISBN: 978-1-118-78556-0  $17  This book is used for multiple years. Don't purchase this book twice!

    4. Animal Farm by George Orwell  ISBN-10: 9780451526342 ASIN: 0451526341  $7.46

    5. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee ISBN-10: 0060935464 ISBN-13: 978-0060935467  $7.19

    6. The Gospel of John-available online for free.  

    7. Notice and Note Literature Log by Kylene Beers, Robert Probst ISBN-13: 978-0325056661  ISBN-10: 0325056668 $9.94

    8. Pangda 700 Pieces Flags Index Tabs 3 Sizes Sticky Notes Writable Labels Page Marker Bookmarks Text Highlighter Strips, 7 Colors, 5 Set $6.97

Required for All Courses

    1. Microsoft Office Word. If you do not currently own Word, the full Office Suite with PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote is available for both MAC and PC users through Office 365. The cost for PC users is $6.99/month for an individual and $9.99/month for a family of up to five. To purchase or see more options, click HERE

      Word is a powerful and intuitive tool that students will utilize throughout college. MAC users, please use Word. We cannot guarantee the functionality of all assignments in Pages and other Word substitutes. Students are strongly encouraged to use Word for a more seamless class experience. I edit and grade in Word using its comment feature.

    2. Headset with microphone and USB connection to your computer, NOT a pin-style connection, NOT Blue Tooth, and NOT your PC speakers and microphone. Their use will create audio problems for not just yourself but the entire group. A noise-canceling microphone is ideal. See the pictures at the bottom of this page for a visual of the correct connection.

    3. A webcam is required.


Other Requirements


    1. High-Speed Internet Access 

    2. Parents need a separate email or Gmail address to which the student does NOT have access. Use this email when setting up your parent account. If you have one, please use a Gmail rather than an email address. Gmail will allow more seamless access to some course features.

    3. Each student needs a separate Gmail address to which the parent DOES have access. Collaborative activities use Google Docs with settings that require a Gmail to access. Use a different Gmail for each enrolled student. The unique email address for each student is how the system identifies them, their work, and their grades. (Please note: Parental access to the account is NOT optional.)

    4. Quiet room: Online students MUST have a quiet space to attend class to avoid a noisy environment for the entire group. Since we often have oral discussions, muting student microphones until they are ready to speak does not work because it significantly slows down group interaction. Students need a quiet place from which to attend class.

    5. Siblings attending the same class at the same time must each have their own computer. They CANNOT share one. Siblings attending different classes or the same class at different times CAN share a computer.

    6. Siblings attending an online class at the same time must attend from separate rooms. Otherwise, they will create echoes for the group.

Parent Involvement


Parents are always welcome to attend student classes or watch class recordings at their convenience.


Introductory New Parent Webinar

All new parents of students enrolled with Inspired Writing and Literature (IWL) for the first time attend a required introductory webinar to learn ways they can support their students at home and help to ensure their success.  Here they also will learn what student progress to expect from their courses, how to monitor their progress, how this course contributes to meeting college admissions requirements, and the best ways to communicate with the instructor. 


Returning parents are encouraged to attend if they feel the need for review.


A time for questions will follow the session. This webinar is offered once in the morning and once in the evening Tuesday, September 7, the first regular week of class.  See the Academic Calendar for these dates and times.  


School-Year Involvement

Parents monitor their students' progress during the school year to ensure they remain current with lessons and assignments.   Grades and completed and edited assignments are always accessible online to both students and parents 24/7. 


To maximize class time for learning, parents administer and proctor longer tests at home during a time convenient to them.  Parents will receive both guidance and support in this if they desire.


Help for Parents and Students

I am readily available to both parent and student for consultation and help with current lessons during the week in my online office hours and at other times by appointment.   I am also available throughout the school day via chat and video webinar through Zoom services.  If you are unfamiliar with these services, they are provided to you free of charge, along with any help you need to use them. You will love the degree of teacher accessibility this service offers you and your students! 


In my online office, I can see and type on your student's paper or share a book as we talk. They can do the same and can also write and draw on the whiteboard or document on my screen. We can find resources together on the internet or pull up any needed materials or papers from our computers. I can help with drafts, the organization of files in file folders.  Occasionally, I even walk students through using helpful features on their computers. Parents are encouraged to join student consultations whenever possible.


Parent Group

In the Parent Group, parents will find a forum where they can ask the group or me questions and share information, ideas, and advice. I love it when moms, dads, or students from last year can answer questions or reassure newcomers from the perspective of one who has been there. Please feel free to jump in if you have something to add.  Of course, if you have a highly personal question that would not be of interest to others, you may Zoom, call, book an appointment, or email me privately.  Be sure to put the word PARENT or STUDENT in all caps on the subject line of any emails. Doing this will highlight your email so that it stands out.


See the BEFORE ENROLLING tab before checkout.

Before Enrolling


Please ask yourself three questions before you begin checkout:

A. Are you a returning student or parent?  

  • If yes, please be sure to use your existing password and email address used in prior years. Otherwise, all previous coursework and grades will become unavailable to you.

B. Are you enrolling more than one student?

  • If yes, please register only one student at a time! Please complete BOTH the enrollment and payment processes for your first student before enrolling your second student. 

C. Do you have the following ready?

  1. A separate PARENT email (preferably Gmail) address to which the student does NOT have access.  Use this email when setting up your parent account and for all correspondence with Inspired Writing and Literature.  If you have a Gmail account, please use this one. Again, if you are a returning parent, please use the same unique email you have used in prior years.

  2. For EACH student, a separate and unique email (preferably Gmail) address the parent DOES have access to.  If your student has a Gmail account, please use this one. Use this Gmail or email for enrolling your student. Again, if yours is a returning student, be sure to use the same email used in prior years.



Please feel free to call your instructor Sandra Selling at (800) 578-2527 for guidance on courses or any other questions or concerns.  You may also email me at Sandra@InspiredWritingandLit.com or make an appointment at Book Now.