British Literature & Composition

  • Literature with great action and characters
  • Variety of active learning methods planned into each class
  • High interest for students who don't usually like "old literature"
British Literature & Composition (BL)

Learn about "Honors" option here: Honors Details

Grades: 10-12, 9 with permission of instructor

DOE course number: 23.05200

One core credit

One weekly class at Eastside with two 90-min sections

This is a great class for those who normally don't enjoy literature: there is plenty of action in Anglo-Saxon, Medieval, and Renaissance works, for example. The lit survey covers historical works and authors that every student should be familiar with before graduation—from Beowulf to Canterbury Tales to Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot. Students learn to read, analyze, and write about various styles of great literature, all of which were hits in their time and are still wonderful today. The three-hour class period enables students to enjoy some works that are lengthy and might otherwise be intimidating if a student sits at home alone, such as Hamlet or a British novel. Class discussions often lead into the "great world of ideas," and on-our-feet activities keep the class time moving and interactive. Role playing, illustrating, intelligent games, videos, and group work add variety to text study. The mock trial of Victor Frankenstein is often one of spring's activities. A final research project focuses on a modern author chosen by individual students, who then get to practice creative, visual ways to teach the class themselves.

Text: England in Literature, Scott Foresman, ISBN 0673129225. Textbooks are borrowed from instructor unless students want their own copies to write in (recommended for students who enjoy literature!).

Optional reading can add extra credit and/or honors credit. See list and plan here: Reading List

Would you like to meet up and talk about this class? Contact Margaret at We can meet for a walk or for coffee/tea at a location that works for us both! You can also visit any Shuman class with or without your student, any time. See current teaching schedule at

Tuition info available on the respective sites:

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