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

One core credit

DOE course codes: 23.06100, 23.06200, 23.06700*

One 90-minute class, weekly

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 focus on short stories, poetry, drama, visual media, teacher handouts, and Internet resources. Major text is Perrine's Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense (ISBN 0155511084). Students are taught the rhetorical framework of fiction and nonfiction, investigating literary analysis skills one can build on for future AP classwork if desired. Optional, extra-credit summer reading can contribute to literature requirements and may cover August classwork if parents desire to start the course before Labor Day.

The composition aspect of the course covers organization and editing skills needed for ACT and SAT essays, college/scholarship applications, discussion/exam-style essays, speaker analyses, resumes, article responses, resumes, 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 standard written English. Students often turn in writing assignments during the week via email, 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 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 assignments in order for students to build basic communication skills with a group, and comfort for themselves. The class progresses through 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 practice job interview skills, non-verbal communication, small group consensus, and impromptu speaking. Students practice design and use of various visual aids such as PowerPoint, 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)

Tuition info available on the respective sites:

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.

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