A new section is starting soon for my course on C. S. Lewis’ classic tale, ‘The Magician’s Nephew’. This is an eight-week, once-a-week course for students aged 9-13. It is on Thursdays, starting on 20th January, at 7am London, 3pm Taiwan, 4pm South Korea, 6pm Sydney.
Over the course of ten weeks, we will enjoy and appreciate Stevenson’s classic tale of adventure together. We will examine themes such as courage, self-sacrifice, loyalty and treachery through interactive discussion. Students will have many opportunities to articulate their ideas and to express them in writing. Written activities will be carefully guided so that students consistently achieve success and gain confidence and fluency.
I provide a detailed young reader’s guide to the novel as part of the enrollment fee. This contains overviews of key information and written exercises focused in detail on particular moments in the novel. There are also lots of quiz questions at the back.
Classes will be a mixture of review, aimed at embedding key facts about the novel’s plot, themes and characters, and close study of particular passages, leading to class discussion and written exercises.
Find out more about my Outschool courses on my website:
In this weekly club, we will plan and write stories together using various different structures, combined with dramatic images that stimulate ideas. Some of the structures we will use are listed below:
Structure One: Shifting Focus Paragraph One: Description of surroundings: wide focus. Paragraph Two: Description of surroundings: narrow focus. Paragraph Three: Description of character. Paragraph Four: Flashback. Paragraph Five: Jolt back to present. Paragraph Six: Powerful ending with cyclical structure. Has anything changed?
Structure Two: A Hero’s Journey Paragraph One: Setting out Paragraph Two: Meeting danger Paragraph Three: Facing setbacks Paragraph Four: Overcoming setbacks to achieve a goal Paragraph Five: The journey home Paragraph Six: The return – how the hero has changed / what they have learned
Structure Three: Start in the Middle Paragraph One: In medias res (in the middle of things) Paragraph Two: Flashback: how we got here Paragraph Three: Jolt back to the present Paragraph Four: Struggle with danger or difficulty Paragraph Five: Resolution of danger or difficulty (either happy or tragic)
Creativity is unleashed when we learn methods which we can then adapt. I have found this to be true whenever I have taught structures to students over the years. Students who were stuck and didn’t know how to begin, how to continue, or how to end, were liberated by having a structure within which they could work. Once you have learned it well, you can adapt it any way you like. This is how all of the great authors learned to write – start with a structure that has been used before, then adapt to suit your own ideas.
Learn more here:
[Class image from Wikimedia. Author: Shalom Jacobovitz]
Over the course of eight weeks, students will receive a thorough grounding in all of the major themes and key characters of the novel. They will have many opportunities to discuss their ideas and to express them in writing. Written activities will be carefully guided so that students consistently achieve success and gain confidence and fluency.
All materials are provided as part of the enrollment fee, including a study guide with quiz questions and a textbook with writing exercises.
Classes will be a mixture of review, aimed at embedding key facts about the novel’s plot, themes, characters and context, and close study of particular passages, leading to class discussion and written exercises.
I am also running a taster lesson for this course. Find out more about this here.
View a sample of the detailed textbook included with enrollment here.
Find out more about all of my online classes at my website:
During this six-week course, students will be closely guided in order to achieve success in writing powerful, tightly-focused, precise and convincing non-fiction. Classes will begin with lively discussion of a topic to generate ideas for writing, helping students to shape their thoughts before putting pen to paper. The second part of each class will be set aside for applying these ideas by writing a piece of non-fiction. A writing framework will be provided, along with helpful vocabulary. This guidance will ensure that every student produces an effective piece of writing. My philosophy of instruction is based on the science of how we develop skills: practice makes permanent. Whatever we do repeatedly, we get good at doing. It is vital that students practise writing in an accurate, focused and convincing way, and this course will give them many opportunities to do just that.
The topics for writing are as follows:
Weeks 1-2: ‘All sport should be fun, fair and open to everyone. These days, sport seems to be more about money, corruption and winning at any cost.’ Write an article for a newspaper in which you explain your point of view on this statement.
Weeks 3-4: ‘Parents today are overprotective. They should let their children take part in adventurous, even risky, activities to prepare them for later life.’ Write an article for a broadsheet newspaper in which you argue for or against this statement.
Weeks 5-6: ‘Cars are noisy, dirty, smelly and downright dangerous. They should be banned from all town and city centres, allowing people to walk and cycle in peace.’ Write a letter to the Minister for Transport arguing your point of view on this statement.
Find out more about this, and all of my courses, on my website:
Enter the magical world of Narnia with this fantastic offer! Try the taster lesson on ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ for half price. If you enjoy that lesson, you can sign up for the course with $20 off.