This course is designed to increase reading, writing, speaking and listening proficiency through the study of literature and formal and creative writing. Included in each class will be: reading comprehension, analysis of themes, identifying the elements of literature, and using expressive language in order to communicate. The five-paragraph essay is emphasized as a major component of the eighth and ninth grade curriculum. In the fall, the students are introduced to mythic traditions and the heroic ideal. Throughout the year, students will discover connections between the readings they do under the overarching theme of heroism. The literature studied and texts utilized include (all or some of): Greek Mythology, Of Mice and Men, The Old Man and the Sea, short stories, poetry, Macbeth, Maus I and To Kill a Mockingbird.