Characters in Crisis ~ Review

Do you have a teenager who is in need of a good high school literature class? Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis from Writing with Sharon Watson just might be the course you are looking for. This two-semester course designed for students in grades 9-12, has been just what we needed for Brock’s Language Arts credit this year, the timing of this review is perfect. What a great way to wrap up this year’s run on the Homeschool Review Crew!

Like The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction in High School which we reviewed last year, Characters in Crisis is written in a conversation tone that appeals to Brock. I’m sure this is due to Sharon’s years of experience as a homeschool mom and coop teacher.

Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis

What Does the Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis Curriculum Feature?

There are four parts to Characters in Crisis. the Student Textbook ($43), the Teacher’s Guide ($18), the Quiz & Answer Manual ($9), and the free downloadable Novel Notebook. Throughout the course the student will learn nearly 100 literary terms and devices, instead of presenting these terms in boring list styles, the student learns them in the context of the reading selections. Illuminating literature is written to help the student “gain an appreciation for fine literature” and provides him with tools to become powerful fiction writers.

Teacher’s Guide: The course objections are clearly outlined in the teacher’s guide. The instructions are clearly laid out for teaching to an individual student or to a group such as a coop class. There is even a suggested teaching schedule for a Book-of-the-Month Club. Grading for this course is also easy. In fact, some of the grading is done for you when the student completes online quizzes. Users can choose between the written quizzes and tests or the online version. If you choose to use the book version there is a guide for grading included in the Teacher’s Guide making the grading easy.

Student Textbook: The textbook is written directly to the student in an engaging, easy to read and understand way. The textbook refers to specific page numbers within the required texts making it easy for the student to find their location. (as long as the recommended edition of the required book is used or the student knows how to use the search function on the Kindle).

Quiz and Answer Manual: The Quiz and Answer Manual contains three types of quizzes “Yes, I read it,” Literary terms, and opinion surveys.

Novel Notebook: The Novel Notebook has the questions, journaling questions and colorful worksheets (including character maps.)

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The selections used in this course include:

  • “A Jury of Her Peers”
  • Frankenstein
  • Silas Marner
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Short Works Assortment:
    • “A White Heron”
    • “Haircut”
    • “The Lady, or the Tiger?”
    • “The Garden of Forking Paths”
    • The Souls of Black Folk: “Of the Passing of the First-Born”
    • “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • The Hobbit
  • and the student’s choice of biography/autobiography

You can download free sample chapters, grading grids, and quizzes on the course page Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis or on this free Resource page. The Novel Notebook is also available for free download here.

Brock has found this course very interesting. I like that it is basically open and go for me. The hardest task was getting the required books which is easy since the version is clearly laid out. I appreciate easy to organize and use!

Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis is the second volume in a series. However, students may take this and the first volume Illuminating Literature: When Worlds Collide in any order.

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Illuminating Literature: Characters in Crisis {Writing with Sharon Watson Reviews}


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