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February 6, 2014

Dear Fellow Writing Teacher, Homeschool Mom or Parent,

As I flew to the West Virginia homeschool book fair, I enjoyed reading a terrific program, Windows to the World, by Lesha Myers. There are so many great things to tell you about Lesha's program, but the first thing I noticed was how personal it was. I was immediately attracted to Ms. Myers and her literature guide. I felt like she was my long lost friend, sitting next to me sharing exactly what I to do.

If you are looking for your own personal teacher for you & your kids, Windows to the World is for you. I'm sure you will find Ms. Myers the perfect literature teacher for your kids.

Should YOU Use Windows To the World With Your Own Kids?

bullet If you are scared to teach high school literature...
bullet If you want your kids to study literature with a Christian perspective...
bullet If you don't have time to research literature
bullet If you homeschool high school kids?
bullet If you teach high school literature at a private school or co-op...
bullet If you want your kids to think Biblically as they read...
bullet If your kids don't know how to write a well-thought argument...

Two Guides for One

It wasn't until I had a chance to read through these manuals that I realized Lesha Myers actually gives you two guides for the price of one. She teaches your kids both reading & writing skills in one manual. As they complete this manual, they will analyze literature and use what they discover in their own writings. Pretty Cool if you ask me. This saves you time as an high school English teacher. You don't have to create separate lessons for reading & writing. It's all in one manual.

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How Will Windows To the World Help You?

  1. Save you time & hassle
    Windows to the World includes every detail you need to teach literature as a teacher. It also includes a Student Book that tells your student exactly what to do when they read their literature.

    You also receive a schedule for the entire year. You can choose to cover the lessons in one semester (18 weeks) or three quarters (26 weeks - Enhanced with Supplements).
     
  2. Takes out the Guess Work - Shows & Tells what to do
    If your student is suppose to do something, he/she is told what to do and how to do it. Then, Ms. Myers SHOWS examples so kid can see exactly what she means. No more guessing what the author means.
     
  3. Research is done for you
    Resources for Enhanced Studies are included in each lesson. You don't have to do any research, just open up your manual and use the resources provided for Enhanced studies. When your kids want to learn more or need extra help, you already know what to do.
     
  4. Answers to Student Manual
    This may seem obvious, but not all guides provide answers to the student questions. Ms. Myers has provided sample answers for the Student Manual. Use this as a guide for you to stimulate discussion and/or grade exercises.
     
  5. Complete explanations for each literary element.
    The student manual provides explanations for each literary element being taught. Not only does your student receive explanations, he/she will have lots of exercises to practice.
     
  6. Graphic Organizers
    Many of the literary elements are easier understood with charts, graphic organizers and drawings. If your kids learn better seeing something drawn out, this will help them understand better.
     
  7. Checklists
    Many lessons have checklists to help your students keep track of what they are learning. You don't have to design your own checklists! They are done for you! As a BONUS, students have all checklists rewritten at the end of their Student Manual. You can make copies as you analyze individual pieces of literature or as your kids write their literary analysis essay.

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Can you tell me the difference between Teaching the Classics and Windows to the World: An Introduction to Literary Analysis?

Teaching the Classics is a video seminar that will teach you the basics of literary analysis (character, setting, plot, conflict, theme), which you can then apply to any piece of literature you study. It is suitable for teaching any age student. The workbook includes suggested reading and provides a list of Socratic questions that you can choose from in your literature study. There are no laid-out lesson plans with this program, so it lends itself to literary study in combination with whatever books you are using.

Windows to the World is appropriate for advanced middle school and high school students (due to the stories used for analysis) and will teach annotation and all the literary terms you need to know with specific information for the teacher as well as the student. The lesson plans are clearly laid out. You can intersperse longer novels if you wish, or use the course as is, since it is self-contained.

Both products are suitable for use by teachers who are not familiar with literary analysis.



How is Excellence in Literature different from Windows to the World?

Because of the nature of the literature, Excellence in Literature is best for 10th-12th graders, whereas Windows is ideal as a freshman Intro to Literature class. EIL has very little direct teacher instruction in the book. Instead, Janice Campbell provides a wealth of internet articles for the student to read about the topic, plus writing assignments. One of the exciting things in the book is a detailed explanation (with examples) of how to write various literary analysis papers. I think she does a very fine job explaining how to go about writing these. Unlike Windows, EIL is more of a student-directed course, with very little teacher involvement required. Windows has extensive instruction for the teacher as well as extensive instruction for the student. If you've not done either, I'd start with Windows and then move to EIL.

~P. White~
IEW Accomplished Instructor

 

No More Book Reports

As your student works through the Windows manual, he will write literary analysis instead of book reports. This means you get 2 guides in 1. Your students will learn to analyze books they are reading AND discover how to form well-written arguments. This is NOT a BOOK REPORT.

Students will write arguments that answer questions about meaning and purpose.

If you don't know how to teach the process of writing argument, you have come to the right place.

Windows to the World will show your students how to....

  • Form a thesis statement
  • Structure body paragraphs that develop your argument.
  • Write good topic sentences
  • Blend quotations into their argument
  • Use correct punctuation with quotations
  • Develop commentary within your argument
  • Form thoughtful introductions and conclusions

Most of all Lesha Myers provides plenty of examples for each part of your kids' persuasive argument. I've seen teachers explain the structure of the body paragraphs but NEVER give examples of well-written paragraphs. Your students will see what a good introduction, body and conclusion paragraph look like.

Your students will have a checklist they can use to be sure their essay is written correctly.

Windows to the World goes beyond literary analysis and includes strategies to analyze the worldview of literature. As a Christian parent, this is one of my favorite parts of this book. It gives your kids a method to analyze the worldview from a Biblical perspective. Isn't that one of the main goals as we teach our kids to think for themselves? That they analyze the world around them from a Biblical perspective. This includes analyzing the books they read.

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So What's Included In Windows To the World?

Each lesson in the Teacher Manual includes

  • Unit Objectives
  • Unit Plan - Step-by-Step directions to teach the lesson
  • Duration - how long you should spend on each lesson
  • Approach - to teaching that concept
  • Answers to Student Exercises

Many lessons also have

  • Specifics on identifying the concept being taught
  • Examples of the concept
  • Biblical Examples
  • Helps with difficult passages
  • Vocabulary Suggestions
  • Extra Practice Exercises & Activities
  • Sample Essays
  • Projects
  • More Resources to Use
  • Graphic Charts to Explain Literary Element
  • More Stories to Read to better understand specific elements

How -- if at all -- would you say that Windows to the World
supports Teaching the Classics' Socratic approach?
That is, are the two products complementary?

Answer from a high school writing teacher:
I became so excited about this offering as I read it that I'm glad to spread my enthusiasm!

Personally, I would use Windows to the World over the course of a year, perhaps adding in for an older student two or three longer works, such as novels or Shakespearean plays. I believe the author said she teaches it in one semester, but it could work as a year course. It's packed with a huge amount of information. I really would hate to have to push it all into one semester! As I read through it, I also got ideas about applying the concepts to other works of literature that I already know.

As to your second question: Yes and no. Once you learn the principles being taught, you could easily extend them to other works of literature--perhaps especially in conjunction with the Socratic questions. And yes, the two complement one another very well. She also talks about plot in very similar terms to the story chart, plus suggests more complex story chart patterns. Also, she mentions other stories or works to use to teach similar concepts, so you have more to build on already suggested.

Lesha Myers's Windows is a very solid grounding in literary analysis: what to look for when we read literature, what authors commonly use as literary devices and why they work well, how authors succeed in conveying tone or theme or character or irony or point of view, and so forth. It's very detailed, too, so you, the teacher, aren't left to figure it out yourself before you present it to your children.

~Pamela in TN~

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Table of Contents for Student Book:
(unless noted by italics)

Unit 1 - Welcome
Unit 2 - Annotation
   "The Gift of the Magi"
   "The Most Dangerous Game"
   Annotation Checklist
   "Marginalia"

Unit 3 - Allusions
  
Exercise #1 - Biblical Allusions Project
   Exercise #2 - Biblical Allusions: "The Donkey"
   Exercise #3 - Biblical Allusions: "The Lamb"
   More Poems with Biblical Allusions (included in Teacher's Manual)
   "Adam's Curse" - Exercise #3a (included in Teacher's Manual)

Unit 4 - Plot & Suspense
  
Conflict
   Structure
   Creating Suspense
   Exercise #4 - Plot Analysis
   Plot & Suspense Checklist

Unit 5 - Literary Analysis Essays
  
Forming the Thesis Statement
   Body Paragraphs
   Introductions & Conclusions
   Exercise #5 - Suspense Essay
   Graphic Organizer
   Literary Analysis Checklist
   Examples, Issues and Sample Graphic Organizers (included in Teacher's Manual)

Unit 6 - The Writer's Toolbox
  
Parallelism, Euphemism, Similes

Unit 7 - Characterization
  
Kinds of Characters
   How Authors Develop Character
   The Character Arc
   "The Necklace"
   Exercise #6 - Characterization
   Fate vs. Chance vs. Providence
   Exercise #7 - "The Necklace" Essay
   Vocabulary (included in Teacher's Manual)
   Inference (included in Teacher's Manual)
   Character Projects (included in Teacher's Manual)

Unit 8 - Symbolism & Emphasis
 
 Anaphora & Epistrophe
   Exercise #8 - Symbolism: "The Convergence of the Twain"
   Symbol Analysis (included in Teacher's Manual)
   Symbolism Project (included in Teacher's Manual)
   Further Example (included in Teacher's Manual)

Unit 9 - Theme & Worldview
  
Finding the Theme
   Exercise #9 - Finding the Theme
   Exercise #10 - Questioning the Story
   "A Jury of Her Peers"
   Exercise #11 - "A Jury of Her Peers"
   Exercise #12 - Journal Writing
   Theme Checklist

Unit 10 - Setting
  
Characterization Through Setting
   Mood and Atmosphere
   Exercise #13 - Setting and Character
   More Stories for Setting (included in Teacher's Manual)

Unit 11 - Imagery
  
"Meeting at Night"
   Diction & Personification
   Similes & Metaphors
   "A Fight with a Cannon"
   Exercise #14 - Language Analysis
   Imagery Activities (included in Teacher's Manual)

Unit 12 - Point of View
  
The Narrator
   Points of View
   Unreliable Narrator
   Point of View Shifts
   Exercise #15 - Changing Point of View

Unit 13 - Tone
  
Exercise #16 - Pinpointing Tone
   Exercise #17  - Creating Tone
   Exercise #18 - Analyzing POV and Tone
   "The Open Window"
   More Tone Analysis Exercise #13a (included in Teacher's Manual)

Unit 14 - Irony
  
Effect of Irony
   Exercise #19 - Detecting Irony
   Exercise #20 - Irony in Poetry
   Irony in the Bible Project (included in Teacher's Manual)
   Sample "Ozymandias" Essay (included in Teacher's Manual)
   "Richard Cory" Exercise #14a (included in Teacher's Manual)

Unit 15 - Farewell
  
Exercise #21 - Reflective Narrative
   Final Exam (included in the Teacher's Manual)
 

What Else Is Included In the Teacher's Manual?

bullet

How To Teach Each Lesson

bullet

Objectives

bullet

Step-By-Step Schedule

bullet

Supplemental Activities

bullet

Enrichment Activities on the Internet


Click here to view a PDF sample of the Student Book.
Click here to view a PDF sample of the Teacher Book.
Click here to view a PDF sample of a Lesson Plan.
Click here to view a PDF comparison chart of "Windows to the World" versus "Teaching the Classics"


As you can see, Windows to the World is the perfect High School English course to teach your students to think for themselves as they analyze & write about literature pieces. I highly recommend it to Christian parents and teachers who want their students to think Biblically as they read & write.

If you are looking for an English course that has lots of worksheets, questions and pre-written tests, this is not the course for you. If you are looking for a course that has open-ended questions so your students actually think about the topic at hand, Windows to the World is definitely for you...Enjoy!

Get Your Copy Today!

How is Excellence in Literature different from Windows to the World?

Because of the nature of the literature, Excellence in Literature is best for 10th-12th graders, whereas Windows is ideal as a freshman Intro to Literature class. EIL has very little direct teacher instruction in the book. Instead, Janice Campbell provides a wealth of internet articles for the student to read about the topic, plus writing assignments. One of the exciting things in the book is a detailed explanation (with examples) of how to write various literary analysis papers. I think she does a very fine job explaining how to go about writing these. Unlike Windows, EIL is more of a student-directed course, with very little teacher involvement required. Windows has extensive instruction for the teacher as well as extensive instruction for the student. If you've not done either, I'd start with Windows and then move to EIL.

~P. White~
IEW Accomplished Instructor

*Windows to the World is recommended before Excellence in Literature.

 

Throughout the Manual, You Receive
Several BONUS ITEMS:

  1. Checklists:
      --Annotation Checklist
      --Plot & Suspense Checklist
      --Literary Analysis Checklist
      --Character Checklist
      --Symbol Checklist
      --Theme Checklist
      --Journal Writing Checklist
      --Setting Checklist
      --Mood & Tone Checklist
      --Point of View Checklist
     

  2. Stories - The stories and lessons are right here in the book for you. You do NOT have to spend time searching for each story and literary piece.
     

  3. Samples & Examples - Unless otherwise noted, Lesha has not used actual student samples for these lessons. Instead, she has created examples based on typical student responses.
     

  4. Assessment & Discussion Ideas
     

Windows to the World is the perfect addition to your literature and humanities curriculum.

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How To Help Your Students Analyze and Understand Literature

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