We’ll read around 20 short stories over the course of 13 weeks. Along the way, we’ll practice literary analysis, do student-led presentations, and write three papers.
|Start / End Dates||February 7-May 8, 2022|
|Live Meetings||Mondays at 11am Eastern|
|Class Size||3-10 Learners|
|Single Session||$200 Per Student|
The short story holds a special place in American literary history. It has been the site of some of the most famous pieces of writing.
In this class, we’ll dive into short stories deemed “classics” and question how they got that status.
As we do a chronological exploration (reading 3-4 stories most weeks), we’ll examine how stories do (and do not) situate themselves in the context of their own place and time.
Along the way, learners will gain practice in literary analysis skills and bring them forward in presentations and essays.
Read Short Stories Across Time
As this is a survey class, we’ll be reading stories that span a large piece of American history. Beginning with stories written in the mid-1800s, we’ll work up to contemporary short stories.
Dig Deep and Gain Analysis Skills
During class discussion, we will not only examine the stories told in these works but also talk about how the idea of the canon has been disrupted and challenged in recent years.
In this way, students will both get familiarity with canonical works while questioning the assumptions used to create a canon in the first place. In addition, they’ll learn key literary analysis skills that will be translatable to a wide range of reading situations. This includes selected scholarly journal articles related to some of the stories in question.
Most learners can expect to spend 4-7 hours per week (including the live meeting) working on class materials.
Assignments Open Each Week
In order to allow for learners and their families to have the flexibility they need, assignments open by Monday of each week and are due by the following Sunday. Learners can complete work at whatever time works best for them throughout the week.
Live Sessions Meet on Mondays
Class meets from February 7-May 8, 2022.
We’ll meet via Zoom for a live discussion session each Monday at 11-11:45am Eastern/10-10:45am Central/9-9:45am Mountain/8-8:45am Pacific
If a learner cannot attend a session due to illness or a schedule conflict, they will still have access to all class materials and can check in with the instructor with any questions.
Learners will be most successful in this class if they have the following skills/experiences:
- The ability to read around 100-120 pages a week at a high school level. (It’s okay to struggle with maintaining focus and note-taking. We’ll be working on those skills!)
- The ability to participate maturely in online discussions and disagree respectfully.
This class is designed with three main goals in mind:
- Introduce students to “canonical” literature that has a lasting, ongoing impact on contemporary culture
- Provide students with opportunities to question, analyze, and draw connections between classic and contemporary messaging in literature
- Encourage students to develop meaningful, personalized writing processes to express ideas about literature
Common Core Standards Alignment
For those who are using Common Core standards, this course meets the following:
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1- Use textual evidence to support analysis
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2- Analyze development of two or more themes over the course of a text; provide objective summary
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3- Analyze impact of author’s development choices
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4-Determine meaning of words and phrases in use
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5-Analyze author’s structural choices
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6-Analyze point of view through indirect statement
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7-Analyze multiple interpretations of a text
- ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.10-Read and comprehend complex literature
Upon successful completion of class, instructor provides detailed exit letter suitable for inclusion in portfolio. Families may request numerical grade at beginning of class for a detailed course grade summary, but it is optional.
All students will receive individualized feedback on all paper submissions.
My teaching philosophy very much focuses on starting with students’ strengths to build confidence and using them to work on improvements over time.
Feedback is tailored to each student’s individual needs and goals. I also encourage a lot of self-reflection and provide opportunities for students to directly communicate their challenges so that facing them with strategies becomes a normal part of the reading and writing process.
To participate successfully in class, learners will need the following:
- Copies of the following books:
- Great American Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) (ISBN: 978-0-486-42119-3)
- Great Short Stories by African-American Writers (Dover Thrift Editions) (ISBN: 978-0-486-47139-6)
- Short Story Masterpieces by American Women Writers (Dover Thrift Editions) (ISBN: 978-0-486-49994-9)
- Microphone and camera for in-class participation
- PDF Reader
- Zoom (free account)
- We will use a Discord server for message boards (learners who prefer to not use Discord can still participate in our classroom but with less interaction; Discord can be installed on a phone, tablet, or computer for free)
- Learners will submit work through Google Drive (a Google (Gmail) account can be acquired for free)
Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason
Dr. Michelle Parrinello-Cason has a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis on rhetoric and composition. She has more than a decade of teaching experience including six years of full-time college experience
My Zoom-averse daughter looked forward to the weekly online meetings. Michelle does such a wonderful job at speaking with young people and guiding discussions. My daughter was motivated to work hard on her assignments and has asked to take another class from Michelle.
E.F.P.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I really appreciated your enthusiasm, support, and kind words in your video feedback messages to him. That goes a long way! [Learner] is going to a brick and mortar school next year for the first time since fourth grade. We submitted the two papers he wrote in your class to the high school he applied to go to next year, and they recommended he start in Advanced English! Woohoo!
Jill G.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
The video lectures were clear and packed full of helpful and important writing lessons. The video and written feedback was clearly personalized, very detailed, and extremely beneficial for my learner. Michelle truly demonstrates compassion and expertise in her classes!
Kristi R.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I only wish we had found Michelle sooner! I’ve been homeschooling my son off and on for years. Writing is very challenging for him and it is so difficult to take feedback from a parent. I have begged so many of his teachers to please offer direct, concise, written feedback and give him the opportunity to revise. I knew this would be the only way he could improve. This class was everything I’ve been asking for for years…..except I didn’t have to ask! It is designed this way and it worked brilliantly! My son gets to attend an adventure school in the fall, but if we homeschool the following year, the first thing I will do is sign him up for whatever Michelle is teaching.
E.F.P.Teacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I really appreciate how organized the class was, how clear the expectations and guidelines were and how professional and encouraging the feedback delivery was.
DarceyTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I just want to take a few minutes to send a huge thank you for the way you deliver (have delivered) feedback to [Learner]. He tends to put a lot of pressure on himself and doesn’t often take feedback or constructive criticism well. You have managed to give him a boost of confidence and an opportunity to look inward to appreciate feedback from others. I’m so glad we found you! This experience is exactly what I hoped for in our homeschooling journey!
KarenTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
He was so invigorated and excited after today’s meeting. It awakens something in him he craves and can only get from discussions like the one today.
Bevin EarlyTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
I especially enjoyed the final project for this class, which was something I had never tried before, using creative writing as a way to debate philosophy and contrasting view points. It was quite a bit challenging, ultimately leaving me satisfied with the ending result.
AnonymousTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
For us, this is “authentic learning.” We discussed how community college classes and other virtual online high school classes might be accredited and “weigh” a lot in terms of grades and credits, but SEA is where her mind and creativity are challenged and inspired. I’d like to emphasize the part about creativity. She felt invited to engage creatively. SEA classes are where the love of learning happens.
AnonymousTeacher: Michelle Parrinello-Cason
It’s great to see thought-provoking books chosen and to have my son experience such an inclusive environment.