Intermediate / Advanced MS Language Arts

Rick Riordan’s character “Junior” in Magnus Chase cited an interesting grammar lesson among a list of things that do not exist.  I beg to differ!  Learning grammar doesn’t have to be painful.  We will keep it light, relevant, informative, and, gasp!, fun.  Class discussion will be lively and possibly even enjoyable.  

For the budding linguist or the kid who has steadily avoided acknowledging the very existence of grammar, this 30 week class has something for everyone.  

Please note: This class may be repeated consecutive years without fear of excessive repetition. 

Class will consist of literature, writing, grammar, and vocabulary.  Spelling will be taught in context but not as an individual subject or tested.  (I am happy to discuss the reasoning behind this with you.)

Texts (Included in Supply Fee)

  • -Wordly Wise (the original) – Worldy Wise provides a comprehensive vocabulary program that complements the study of grammar and sentence building, and paragraph perfectly.  
  • -Easy Grammar – Daily lessons will cement individual concepts of grammar
  • -WriteShop – WriteShop lessons give students a chance to practice descriptive, informative, and narrative writing through focusing on brainstorming, drafting, editing, and revision skills. Assignments teach descriptive and informative paragraphs as well as first-and third-person narratives, important techniques of style, and self-editing. Students learn to choose vivid, descriptive words and vary their sentences in order to build strong paragraphs. With each lesson, they learn and practice new skills, apply them to their current writing project, and edit and revise the composition several times. By the end of the lesson they’ll have a polished paper to be proud of!

Class Objectives Include:

  • -A true working knowledge of grammar that transcend the bounds of one individual program taught in isolation.  
  • -Ability to write strong paragraphs
  • -Increased vocabulary 
  • -Increased reading comprehension

Special focus will be paid to concepts that are foundational for high school Language Arts courses.  

Prerequisite Skills:

  • -Completion of Basics of Grammar or equivalent 
  • -Students should be prepared to ask questions in class, follow along with discussion, and copy from the board.  
  • -Students will reference their in-class handouts to complete homework on their own so organizational sills are necessary. (If students have difficulty copying from the board, accommodations may be made for them to photograph the board for later reference.)

Students will need:

  • A 1.5” 3 ring binder, notebook paper, pencils
  • Access to Schoology
  • Dictionary (at home)

Class homework requirements: 

  • Easy Grammar, Daily
  • -Completion of class handouts / homework packet
  • -Weekly lessons of Wordly Wise 
  • -WriteShop writing assignments
  • -Reading assignments

Students can expect to spend about 45-60 minutes a day on homework (~3 days a week).  Students will have all the necessary resources to complete homework on their own after class

Tutor will purchase / provide classic novels for students which may including (among others, depending on student’s previous reading experience):

  • To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  • Animal Farm, George Orwell
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  • Johnny Tremain, Ester Hoskins Forbes 
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carol
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Elizabeth George Speare
  • A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle
  • The Island of Blue Dolphins, Scott O’Dell
  • Jacob Have I loved, Catherine Paterson 
  • The War of the Worlds, HG Wells


Time: 9:00-10:30 
Grade: 6-8
Class Fees: $365
Supply fee:
$115 ( includes all books/texts)
Candace Fortino

This class may be taken multiple years (with new and advanced material) to master intermediate / advanced grammar, writing and language art skills.  

After completion, advanced students will be prepared for:
Basics of High School English 9/10
Lost Tools of Writing with American Literature

COVID-19 Contingency Plan:

In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to meet in person in a classroom for the 2021-22 school year, I will make the following adjustments to this class. Tutor and students will meet at the scheduled class time via a video chat service. Assignments can be submitted electronically, and feedback will be provided electronically.  Group projects and group collaboration will be encouraged via online methods, but adjustments will be made as needed.  Our goal is to meet in person as soon as it is feasible. We may begin classroom meetings at any point during the school year as the COVID-19 situation resolves.