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July 2014: “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Course note: Janice Campbell will take a one-month summer break in August and return with new lessons the week of September 2. More than a year’s worth of her writing lessons can be accessed below. — Eds.
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As we celebrate Independence Day this week, I always think of a few favorite patriotic poems from my childhood. I read this poem and “Barbara Frietchie” (by John Greenleaf Whittier) so many times I almost memorized them, and really wish that I had.
This poem is known in folklore as “Paul Revere’s Ride,” but after first being published in 1861 was later retitled, in the collection Tales of a Wayside Inn, as “The Landlord’s Tale.” Most people today, however, probably remember it with the first title, not the second.
When my boys were little, they always enjoyed it when I shared bits of memorized poetry with them. I think of narrative poems like this as stories with a bounce.
Once you’ve finished this unit, you will be familiar with the conventions of narrative poetry, and may be able to use some of Longfellow’s techniques in your own writing.
I hope you enjoy this unit.
Enjoy the summer!
Janice Campbell is a writer, conference speaker, and lifelong learner with an abiding love for classic literature. She graduated with honors from Mary Baldwin College (an English major, of course!) and is author of the Excellence in Literature curriculum for grades 8-12, Transcripts Made Easy, Get a Jump Start on College, and other resources. She is also Director of the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors (www.NAIWE.com). In every facet of her business life—writing, speaking, and NAIWE—Janice’s goal is to share knowledge and resources that can help ordinary people do extraordinary things. You can find her online at www.Everyday-Education.com and www.Janice-Campbell.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
This course is designed to provide a strong literature-based writing component to your student’s studies. It is worth 1/2 a unit (0.5 academic credit) if done alone.
If you plan to use it as part of a full English unit, you will need to add these items:
• Four or more full-length works of classic literature
• A solid roots-based vocabulary program such as Dynamic Literacy’s Word Build
• An 8-15 page research paper on the topic of your choice (this can be on a history topic, or a study of an author’s life and work, for example)
- Janice Campbell
* Please be informed of your own state’s academic requirements. http://schoolhouseconnect.com/state-homeschool-laws/
For transcript help, go to http://schoolhouseteachers.com/2013/05/creating-a-transcript/