Week 1–Introduction

Image result for welcome

I am so excited for our first day of class!!! This year is going to be a lot of fun, but it is also going to be a lot of work. By work, I don’t mean impossible or intimidating assignments. They will be simple, but you are going to learn a lot.

That is why the literature I want to focus on today is from the Bible and it is with a heart to encourage you. But we will get to that later . . .

First things first! We need to go over the syllabus.

This will be the first homework assignment for you, to go over the syllabus with your parents, and bring back signatures next Friday that will let me know that you understand the requirements for the class.

You can do that! EASY.

There will be more homework next week too 🙂

Next we need to talk about the Literary Terms Project.

This year I am going to give you a long list of literary terms. I need you to make a notebook of all of them, handwritten (so you don’t just copy and paste). You  can use any color ink or highlighter, and make it look cute if you like. But I need them written out in a notebook, that will grow and grow as the class goes on. I won’t give you too many each week, but by the time we are done you will have a huge list.

Now let’s talk about the Music Project.

Most of you, unless you are like me, will grow up and find jobs that have nothing to do with poetry or long Russian novels. So I need to connect what you are learning here to the art forms that you will often come in contact with. So we are going to look at a list of popular songs (which will all be clean). Each week you will get a new song to analyze. I want you to begin to use the literary terms to pick apart each song. At the end of the year you will be able to present a song of your own choice to the class and explain how the artist uses various literary devices to communicate his/her message. This is the practical aspect of what we are going to learn here. I may have you do this with a movie too.

Encouragement to Work Hard

While we will be spending most of our time focusing on short stories, poems, a play and a novel–there is also another amazing type of literature–A Proverb. Proverbs are amazing because they are super short and are packed with so much wisdom. They are like vitamins for your soul–tiny and packed with nutrients (that was a simile).

We are going to look at some Bible verses that talk about laziness this week. Why? Because laziness is a quality that we ALL get, that prevents us from working hard and going our best. It is something we will have to battle the rest of our lives, and it is super important that you realize that laziness is your enemy.

This doesn’t just apply to the work you will do in my class, these are lessons that you need to learn if you want to be successful in life, period.

Look at this Proverb–

Proverbs 26:15 “The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.”

Wow. This is the ultimate laziness; you can’t even pig out. But notice, laziness will not only lead you to deprive yourself of what is good for you, it will eventually make sure the bowl is empty!!!

Go ahead and read the article “Top 7 Bible Verses About Laziness

Then read, the GotQuestions article called, “What does the Bible say about laziness

Symbolism–The Ant

“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise” (Prov 6:6)

To teach us the danger of laziness in our lives, God points us to an unlikely teaching source. “Go to the ant”, He tells us, to learn valuable lessons. What can we learn from the ants?

Ants teach us how to be self-motivated. “Which, having no captain, overseer, or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest” (Prov 6:7-8). No one carries a whip behind the ant to ensure the work gets done. There are no time cards in the anthill. No ant mothers nag their babies to get out of bed. These creatures are self-motivated, and need no captain to ensure they get their work done. Why? Their work is for their own good! As Christians, maturity means we no longer need someone standing behind us, Bible in hand, to ensure our work gets done, our moral purity is not compromised, or that we continue to assemble with the saints.

Ants teach us to look ahead. “Provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest” (Prov 6:8). In the summer and in the harvest, food is plentiful. Yet the ant refuses to take her ease—instead working harder, storing up against the coming time of scarcity. “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer” (Prov 30:25). One of our great failings is only looking at the few feet in front of our nose—not preparing for the future or considering the consequences of our action—and inaction.

Ants teach us the value of hard work. As they provide and gather, Solomon looks at another man: “How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep?” (Prov 6:9). He shows us the end of this man: “So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (Prov 6:11). Laziness will lead to poverty, with precious few exceptions. But there are no poor ants! Their hard work sustains them! Christians need a willingness to work hard to earn their wages, and to work even harder to please their Lord. There is tremendous value in this! Many of us might prefer to just stay in bed, but working hard anyway will bless our lives physically and spiritually!

We must beware the propensity we have to be lazy—both physically and spiritually. Go to the ant! “Consider her ways and be wise”! Think on these things! (bible.ca.com)

 Aesop’s Fables– The Ant and the Cricket

A fable is a story often with animals as characters that conveys a moral. This poem about an ant and a cricket contains an idea of far-reaching significance, which is as true of a four-legged cricket as of a two-legged one. Surely, you have seen a cricket that has two legs!

A silly young cricket, accustomed to sing

Through the warm, sunny months of gay summer and spring,

Began to complain when he found that, at home,

His cupboard was empty, and winter was come.

Not a crumb to be found

On the snow-covered ground;

Not a flower could he see,

Not a leaf on a tree.

“Oh! what will become,” says the cricket, “of me?”

At last by starvation and famine made bold,

All dripping with wet, and all trembling with cold,

Away he set off to a miserly ant,

To see if, to keep him alive, he would grant

Him shelter from rain,

And a mouthful of grain.

He wished only to borrow;

He’d repay it tomorrow;

If not, he must die of starvation and sorrow.

Says the ant to the

cricket, “I’m your servant

and friend,

But we ants never

borrow; we ants never


But tell me, dear cricket,

did you lay nothing by

When the weather was

warm?” Quoth the cricket,

“Not I!

My heart was so light

That I sang day and night,

For all nature looked gay.”

“You sang, Sir, you say?

Go then,” says the ant, “and dance the winter away.”

Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket,

And out of the door turned the poor little cricket.

Folks call this a fable. I’ll warrant it true:

Some crickets have four legs, and some have two.

Adapted from Aesop’s Fables

The word POETRY originates from a Greek word meaning TO MAKE. A poet is thus a maker and the poem something that is made or created. No single definition of poetry is possible but some characteristic features of poetry may be mentioned. Poetry has a musical quality with rhythm, pitch, metre and it may use figures of speech such as simile and metaphor. While quite a few poems in this selection are in traditional forms, the unit also includes modern poems that are free from formal restrictions.

Here is a list of English Poems written by various authors. Whatever the question is, poetry may be the answer. Writers say poetry provides them with comfort, a way to express themselves and the discipline of finding the essence with few words. Writing the poem (and finding just the right word) is the measure of success that the authors use. Really good poetry is instinctive. It’s who you are. It’s from the heart. You need to expose yourself to all kinds of poets and you may find your motivation and muse that way. Poetry gets to the core meaning. Poetry expands ideas. (Englishforstudents.com)

The point is, the Bible tells us to be diligent!

Vocabulary Word

1.constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything:

a diligent student.
2.done or pursued with persevering attention; painstaking:

a diligent search of the files.
Wow, constant effort, attentive, persistent, persevering attention, painstaking. Those are strong words.
And diligence will BLESS YOU!!!!
  • “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
  • “Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 10:4
  • “In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty.” Proverbs 14:23
  • “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made fat.” Proverbs 13:4
  • “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9
  • “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:24

All hard work you do is a proof of your faithfulness. It is the Lord preparing you for the future. David worked faithfully and diligently as a shepherd for many years, the Lord saw his heart and knew he would make a great king. Moses, also shepherd in wilderness, God saw him and used him to lead Israel out of Egypt. Sometimes the most tedious tasks that you do, are the very thing that prepares you for your future. Saul, in Acts, was diligent in studying the Scriptures and zealous in persecuting followers of the way. God used his knowledge and zeal and renamed him Paul. Because of his deep knowledge of Scriptures he was the person who was able to clearly identify and explain the Messianic prophesies in the Old Testament.

  • God will use your studies.
  • God is going to use your work ethic.
  • God will use your zeal.
  • God will use your passions.
  • God will use you.



  • Sign the Parent and Student Agreement Sheet and put it in your folder so you can bring it back to me next Friday.
  • You have TWO journals to write this week (one page long) LINK. Sp today, go ahead and write the first one.
  • Read the article by GotQuestions– “What does the Bible say about laziness
  • Literary Terms Notebook–Begin your Literary Terms notebook (break it up–Monday and Tuesday write out all the terms under Character and Characterization, Wednesday write out Conflict, and Thursday write out Theme) LINK


  • Finish reading the article–“Top 7 Bible Verses About Laziness” and leave a comment in the comment section below telling me which verse most applies to you (we all struggle) and why.
  • Continue your Literary Terms notebook —Finish character and characterization  LINK
  • Start the Week One Grammar Worksheet–Adjectives and Adverbs


  • Review the Aesop’s Fable and the Bible symbolism of the Ant.
  • Continue your Literary Terms notebook —write out the facts about conflict  LINK
  • Journal 2–One page  LINK.
  • Finish your Week One Grammar Worksheet–Adjectives and Adverbs


  • Finish  your Literary Terms notebook —write out the information about Themes  LINK
  • Thursday, go ahead and tackle the Poetry of Music song for the week LINK. Print it out and then write a half of a page analyzing it. Talk to me about what the metaphors accomplish and identify the theme of the song.

Next Friday we will begin reading a really good short story! I can’t wait.