Multicultural Literature & Composition

  • Combination of writing, literature, and speech
  • On-your-feet practical learning, interaction in each class
  • Practical skills course for high school students of any grade level
Multicultural Literature and Composition* (ML)

Learn about "Honors" option here: Honors Details

*Class may be renamed. Instructor can work with parents on requirements to fit transcript needs.

Grades: 9-12

Thursdays, 1:15 to 3:15 with breaks

One core credit

DOE course codes: 23.06100, 23.06200, 23.06700*

One 120-min class meets weekly and includes break times.

This is a great class for students who think they don't like English classes, and/or students who are up for learning a variety of college and life skills in addition to traditional writing and reading. ML is an active class that takes place in an encouraging environment. The skills of literary analysis, writing, and speech are taught simultaneously since much of the structure and style of oral and written communication are complementary.

Units of literature include short stories, poetry, drama, and visual media. Students investigate literary analysis skills one can build on for future college/AP classwork. Optional, extra-credit reading contributes to literature requirements if parents desire to start the course before school starts or fill in the school year with more reading during lengthy breaks in the calendar. This reading can continue throughout the year as extra credit, up to three books per semester, and could turn into "Honors" being added to the course name.

The composition aspect of the course covers organization and editing skills needed for ACT essays, college/scholarship applications, discussion/exam-style essays, speaker analyses, resumes, job application prep, and other practical writing. Targeted grammar study is included in editing workshops, useful for those who have a mind for grammar and/or those with an ear for error correction. Teacher feedback in writing and speaking focuses on encouragement and "next steps" rather than punitive or negative assessment. Having said that, there is accountability for each student to grow and work toward his or her writing being able to match up with and exceed standard written English expectations. Students often upload writing assignments during the week via the Eastside website, making this a part-online/part-classroom experience. Students practice meeting deadlines and assignment details, with penalties (and rewards!) increasing over the semesters. Graded work is promptly sent home or posted at the course website for parent perusal. Spring projects include an MLA-style research paper on a career chosen by the student and a formal, persuasive speech.

The oral communication aspect of ML starts with non-intimidating activities in an encouraging space nurtured carefully throughout the year. The goal is for students to have a supportive environment for exploring communication methods. The class progresses through gentle stages until basic solo speeches found in Speech 101 in most universities are presented, and life skills such as persuasive speaking and communicating in group settings are practiced. We also engage with job interview and nonverbal skill study culminating in time with visiting workplace professionals, as well as practicing small group roles and impromptu speaking. Students study design and use of various visual aids such as slides, posters, white board, and demonstration tools.

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

Required Text: Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense (ISBN 0155511084), available used online or from previous ML and AP Lit students

Tuition: $90 per month, Aug-Apr. Tuition includes instructor's admin fees, guest speaker/actor fees, and supplies.

For further information on discounts and to enroll, visit the Eastside Website

Would you like to meet up and talk about this class? Contact Margaret at or text at 678-772-1644. 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.

© Margaret Shuman. All rights reserved