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Homeschooling the Middle & High School Years

Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling

Reading; Language Arts
Poetry and Poetic Devices Tags: poetry poems poetic devices

Poems, because they are shorter literary works, can provide an easier way to study figurative language and other literary devices. Listed here are a variety of ideas and activities for analyzing poetry -- and for igniting the creative spark:

Analyzing Poetry

Click on the Google Doc: 

Online Poetry Units (from Georgia Virtual Learning)

6th Grade Unit

7th Grade Unit

9th Grade Unit

Writing Poetry - Ideas and Helps

(click on the images)

Summer Reading Tags: summer reading summer reading list summer reading program summer reading list high school summer reading 2012 summer reads

If you would like to encourage your teens to continue reading over the summer, and maybe get through some classics on the high school reading lists, here are some audio/visual resources that may help:

  • SYNC Young Adult Audio Books and Classics

Throughout the summer, Audiofile Magazine is offering free downloads of selected classics and YA bestsellers. They present the audiobooks in pairs, matching YA titles with classics that have similar themes, such as: 

The program begins on April 27th. Click here for 2017 schedule.

  • Video Summaries/Analyses of the Classics

60 Second Recap features video overviews of classic literature, such as Huck Finn, 1984, Shakespeare plays, and more. For each classic, there is a discussion of the plot, characters, themes, motifs and symbols, broken down into 60 second chunks. The site has a resources page that gives definitions of literary elements (allegory, satire, etc.), tips on how to write a paper, and tips on how you can communicate effectively in 60 seconds.

Short Stories for Studying Plot and Conflict Tags: short stories for kids free short stories literary elements literary devices plot elements conflict

Sentient candies who revolt against their Maker. "Whole Human" packages sent straight to your doorstep. The real reason the Titanic sank -- (did somebody say zombies)? What do all of these have in common? Why, the makings of a great story, of course. 

If you're studying literary elements and techniques with your kids, reading short stories can provide a clear view of the whole "narrative arc" in a more accessible, less lengthy format.

Supplement your study with the following classic short stories. Click on the Google doc below to read the stories, fill out plot diagrams, and answer comprehension and analysis questions for each. The document also contains links to tutorials on plot, conflict, flashbacks, and foreshadowing. 

Writing stories can also get kids thinking about what makes a good plot, an interesting conflict, and a satisfying resolution.

Writing prompts can be a good way to get the creative juices flowing. We've used some of the ones listed here. For more ideas, head over to StoryToolz. The site has ideas for conflicts, (such as rivalry, temptation, revenge, ambition, etc.), and a random title generator that suggests all kinds of tantalizing possibilities. For example: 

  • On the Far Side of the Intersection
  • Shadows of Symmetries
  • Distant Gateway
  • All Things Invisible

Nevermind if you or your kids don't know what any of the titles mean; they can work that out as they're coming up with intriguing storylines, tension-building conflicts, and awesome endings.

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