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Middle School Writing and Public Speaking Class Intermediate Level (Grades 5-8)
Class Size: 34
Age Requirement: 11 - 14
Teacher: Michael Smith
Class Time: 11-11:50am
Class Room: C205
Tuition Fee: 750.00
Textbook Fee: 0.00
Material Fee: 0.00

Class Description

 Returning Students Eligible

New Students Welcome

This course will reflect its title for the way students will learn a combination of skills designed to make them more effective writers and speakers in and out of the classroom in order to prepare them for high school, college, and their careers. Though we will teach concepts that will also be taught at the Advanced Level of this course, students here will spend more time on the basics in order to introduce them to what we do, how we do it, and why we do things in a way to prepare them for high school and beyond.

Having introduced during the 2016-17 school year a public speaking course at the middle school level, this course will now expand its curriculum to also cover all aspects of how to read, analyze, and write about literature so that students will become more effective writers as well as more effective speakers in their school work. They will learn tips and techniques for all phases of their course work that are on the high school Advanced Placement level. They will also learn how to effectively engage in “Fishbowl” type discussions that are becoming more popular with teachers on the high school level.

Long term goal: To prepare students to be effective communicators throughout middle school and high school, during all phases of the college application process, and into their chosen careers for life.

Students will learn writing fundamentals such as: How to easily and quickly identify themes to literature. How to write an AP-level thesis statement. How to analyze quotations. How to construct each part of a classic five-paragraph literary analysis essay for high school English and History courses. How to incorporate current events into the writing. How to make connections within connections to enhance their essays and arguments.

The following high school level essay writing modes will be taught: narrative, descriptive, definition, argumentative, persuasive, explanatory, classification, compare and contrast, cause and effect.

Students will also enhance their writing and speaking skills by learning how to construct and evaluate arguments based on the classic Greek structure of combining Ethos, Logos, and Pathos, into each written or spoken argument, etc. The following public speaking formats will be taught: Impromptu, Oratory, Advocacy, Autobiographical, Expository, Extemporaneous, Oral Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, and Humorous Interpretation.


Eligibility for Course: Rising 5th graders through rising 8th graders are eligible to sign up for this course, especially if they have not already taken either a writing course or a public speaking course within our program. Students will learn similar tips and techniques for all facets of their reading, writing, and speaking to the ones that students will also learn at the Advanced level of this course. We will, however, place more emphasis at the Intermediate level on teaching fundamentals while working at a not so accelerated pace at the beginning of the year so that students can learn, practice, and refine their skills.

Parent/Guardian Communication: Includes weekly updates on classroom lessons and weekly head's up on homework assignments. All students will be evaluated and graded on single assignments in the categories of Content, Analysis, Writing, Presentation, and Organization.

About the teacher: Mr. Michael Smith, a former professional writer and broadcaster, is an English teacher, Speech and Debate coach, and department supervisor at a local private school. His speech and debate program has been ranked the #1 debate team among Bay Area small schools for the past two years. He had an 89 percent passing rate in his AP English classes compared to the 59 percent national passing rate. And students who have worked with him on their college application essays have been admitted to six of the eight Ivy League schools.