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Writing & Literature 1 - Beginning IEW and Enjoying Literature


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Beginning IEW & Enjoying Literature


Full Year (2 Semesters)

Grades:    9-12

Credit:      1.0


Early Registration Only - 20% Discount and Grammar, Punctuation, & College Prep Vocabulary 1 at no additional cost!


Please see the BEFORE ENROLLING tab below before checkout.

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Writing & Literature 1 


IEW Writing & Enjoying Literature


Live, Highly Interactive Online Classes with a Biblical Worldview

This course provides a solid foundation in writing and literature with thirty two-hour classes covering the entire Units 1-9 of the Institute for Excellence in Writing syllabus and a thorough introduction to literature.  Literature classes focus on fostering a love of reading while teaching the foundational skills and concepts necessary to literary analysis.  By focusing on shorter works, students have the opportunity to apply their developing skills many times and so solidify them.


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 at the beginning 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, students practice each one until it is easy before they add 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 a basic paragraph, instruction covers Units 1-9 of the Institute for Excellence in Writing Structure and Style syllabus, which will enable 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 the 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 features that research demonstrates help to 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 that a growing body of research has shown to kill a 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, poetry, and the Bible, as well as self-chosen books, and books we will read together as a class.  These books include two student all-time favorites Animal Farm and To Kill a Mockingbird and Ernest Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea.

Students review

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

      • identifying plot elements and employing plot analysis to uncover themes

      • understanding and recognizing the many methods an author uses to reveal who a character is and employ character arc analysis to recognize themes

      • analyzing and appreciating 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 its use 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

      • 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 in part because it addresses universal themes and truths common to man throughout the centuries.  Additionally, a classic is a response to the times, place, and culture in which it is written and often also becomes a transformative agent for change. Students begin to build awareness of this interplay.

All courses include a short two-to-four-week unit in non-fiction reading and media discernment 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 in which citizens freely make informed choices rather than be manipulated by fallacious reasoning.

Students review 

      • separating fact from opinion

      • recognizing slant, spin, and bias

      • evaluating the quality of a website as a source  

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 for two hours every week over a 30-week period.  Classes break for 5 minutes out of every 30.

Time to allow for this course:  In addition to class sessions, students should expect to spend 4-7 hours per week preparing for class. 


Enrollment closes August 15 or when the class is full (15 students).


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:


    1. A variety of short stories, poetry, high-interest articles, and famous speeches, and sermons 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  (11th Edition) by Jane Strauss -
      ISBN: 978-1-118-78556-0  $17  This book is used in 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 Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway ISBN-10: 0684801221  ISBN-13: 978-0684801223

    7. Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare (Folger Shakespeare Library) Students need the Folger Shakespeare Library edition. ISBN-0: 0743477111ISBN-13: 978-0671722852  $2.99
    8. The Gospel of John

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

    10. 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 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 (Please Note: Linux operating systems won't work with our webinar service.)

    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 in which 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.


See the BEFORE ENROLLING tab above before beginning checkout.

headset connections

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 beginning to enroll 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 to which the parent DOES have access.  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.

Parent Involvement


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


Initial Parent & Student Surveys & Student Assessments

Within a week of enrolling pupils, parents new to Inspired Writing and Literature (IWL) will receive access to and complete an Initial Survey about their teen's learning needs, previous writing and literature experience, and other helpful information. They will do this for each student one time per year only. Students will complete a similar survey and also complete a skills assessment.  


Survey answers and assessment results allow me to tailor lessons to meet the needs of the class and to ensure each student receives the greatest benefit possible. Please take the time to answer the survey questions thoughtfully; they are your chance to tell me how best to help your student.

Introductory New Parent Webinar

All new parents of students enrolled with Inspired Writing and Literature (IWL) for the first time are invited to 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 the course, how to monitor their progress, and how this course contributes to meeting college admissions requirements, as well as 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 Monday, September 14, the first regular week of class.  See the Academic Calendar for these dates and times.  


School-Year Expectations

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


To maximize the use of 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. He or she 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, and even occasionally walk them through using helpful features on their computers. Parents are encouraged to join student consultations whenever possible.


Parents Group

In the Parent Group, parents will find a forum where they can ask questions of the group or me 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 beginning checkout.