Course Details:

The teacher will provide all materials. Students will need to use Google Docs.

So the Story Goes: English With Film & Literature

$19.00 / week

It’s great literature and great fun! Students read various genres of classic literature, discuss it with peers, then write a short analytical piece, learning to communicate their analysis in writing.

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🍿 Grab the popcorn because we use film in the first 12 lessons in this class to teach elements of literature and how to analyze, evaluate, and think critically about narratives. Hang on to that popcorn because we launch into great literature, classic pieces with rich storylines. Students apply their newly acquired analytical skills to short literature in the second half of the school year. Short stories are special. They quickly introduce us to characters, settings, conflicts, and themes that relate to our lives. Short story authors are a special breed as well, able to craft a satisfying, thought-provoking story that we can read in one sitting. Stories reflect the human experience and help us see ourselves and the world in which we live. How do authors do this? In this course, we will use classic short stories to study the author’s craft, to learn to analyze literature, and to see its beauty, complexity, and most importantly, the illustration of a human experience in a theme. We will read from a variety of authors from a variety of countries and literary periods. Students will have optional homework to write about the story’s theme each week. They will look at the structure, figurative language, symbolism, syntax of sentences, setting, character development, conflict, motifs, etc. to analyze how the author developed the theme. Students who submit their writing each week will get feedback from the teacher.

🌳 A Snapshot of Each Class – Fall
❢ After students report on their leisure reading, the instructor explicitly teaches an aspect of literary analysis or element of literature (such as exposition or dramatic irony).
❷ Students watch how the literary element is used in a short film; for example, we will look at the dramatic irony in a Pixar short.
❸ We discuss the use of the element in the film.
❹ The teacher offers a writing template and gives directions on how to write the short literary analysis piece, analyzing how the screenwriter and director crafted the narrative. This is an optional homework assignment, and when students turn in their writing, the teacher will offer feedback.

⛄️ A Snapshot of Each Class – Winter & Spring
❢ After students report on their leisure reading, the instructor introduces an essential question.
❷ We have a short teacher-led discussion about the essential question, the author, and the historical context of our story.
❸ We read a short story together in class.
❹ Students answer questions to test their comprehension, and they have a short teacher-led discussion on the essential question and the theme.
❺ Students write high-level discussion questions from “question starters” that will lead to thought-provoking discussions.
❻ Students participate in a student-led, teacher-supported Socratic Seminar on the story.
❼ The teacher offers a writing template and gives directions on how to write the short literary analysis piece, analyzing how the author developed the theme. This is an optional homework assignment, and when students turn in their writing, the teacher will offer feedback.

πŸŽ₯ To see teacher introduction videos, go to the Lemons-Aid profile page where you can view the video and also read bios.

πŸ“† 2024 – 20254 School Year Schedule (Meets once per week. Content subject to change):

The Month of September: Summarizing & Analyzing Plot with Animated Shorts
The Month of October: Motif & Theme with Animated Shorts
The Month of November: Effect of Exposition on an Audience, Resolutions with Animated Shorts
The Month of December: Methods of Suspense with Animated Shorts & The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Christmas Break is two weeks

The Week Starting Jan 5–The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant
The Week Starting Jan 12–Thank you, Ma’am by Langston Hughes
The Week Starting Jan 19–The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
The Week Starting Jan 26–The Way Up to Heaven by Roald Dahl
The Week Starting Feb 2–The Lumber Room by H.H. Munro
The Week Starting Feb 9–A Ghost by Guy de Maupassant
The Week Starting Feb 16–The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The Week Starting Feb 23–The Cat That Walked by Himself by Rudyard Kipling
The Week Starting Mar 2–The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs
The Week Starting Mar 9–The Skylight Room by O. Henry
The Week Starting Mar 16–The Fisherman and His Wife by The Brothers Grimm
The Week Starting Mar 23–Dragon, Dragon by John Gardner
The Week Starting Mar 30–The Veldt by Ray Bradbury
The Week Starting Apr 6–The Star by H.G. Wells
The Week Starting Apr 13–Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling
The Week Starting Apr 20–The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
The Week Starting Apr 27–Examination Day by Henry Slesar
The Week Starting May 4–Seventh Grade–Gary Soto
The Week Starting May 11–The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
The Week Starting May 18–All Summer in a Day–Ray Bradbury
The Week Starting May 25–William Wilson by Edgar Allan Poe
The Week Starting Jun 1–The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson
The Week Starting Jun 8–One Summer Night by Ambrose Bierce AND The Aged Mother by Matsuo Basho
The Week Starting Jun 15–The Ransom of Red Chief by O. Henry
The Week Starting Jun 22–The Elephant’s Child–Rudyard Kipling
The Week Starting Jun 29–Home by Gwendolyn Brooks
The Week Starting Jul 6–The Night the Ghost Got In by James Thurber
The Week Starting Jul 13–Monkeyman by Walter Dean Myers
The Week Starting Jul 20–Mother & Daughter by Gary Soto
The Week Starting Jul 27–The Moustache by Robert Cormier
The Week Starting Aug 3–The Hanging Stranger by Philip K. Dick
The Week Starting Aug 10–After Twenty Years by O. Henry
The Week Starting Aug 17–Hearts and Hands by O. Henry
The Week Starting Aug 24–The Jacket by

To learn more about the advantages of including classic literature in middle school, feel free to explore more by reading here.

Get to know Mrs. Lemons and our teachers a little more.


Course Syllabus

coming soon…

Class Introduction Video

Coming soon…

Taught From a Christian Perspective

Our mission is to equip learners’ minds and shepherd their hearts. We want them to have saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and then develop a biblical worldview. This means they view their world, themselves, and God in a way that aligns with what the Bible teaches. This brings great peace and understanding to the believer because we serve a good, sovereign God. This course is taught with these goals in mind. In class, we may pray, read scripture, and discuss how to view the content from a Christian perspective.

We have adoptedΒ The Master’s Seminary Doctrinal Statement.

Learners Need Explicit Instruction!

Explicit teaching is a method of instruction students desperately need! It is the opposite of a constructivist philosophy whereby students try to construct meaning themselves.


Instead of leaving students to magically figure out how to write an essay or read or do a geometry proof, we teach explicitly, which is backed by a large body of evidence, and it’s how Mrs. Lemons teaches her undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates in college to teach! We do it this way because it’s how kids learn.

Explicit instruction is “a structured, systematic, and effective methodology for teaching academic skills. It is called explicit because it is an unambiguous and direct approach to teaching that includes both instructional design and delivery procedures. Explicit instruction is characterized by a series of supports or scaffolds, whereby students are guided through the learning process with clear statements about the purpose and rationale for learning the new skill, clear explanations and demonstrations of the instructional target, and supported practice with feedback until independent mastery has been achieved.”
-Explicit Instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching by Anita L. Archer and Charles A. Hughes.

Anita Archer trained Mrs. Lemons in workshops, and it changed her teaching. Read a little more about the research behind explicit teaching here and here.

To read more about your teaching and learning methods, read Mrs. Lemons’ blog.


The Lemons-Aid Team

Lemons-Aid teachers have a few things in common.
❀️ They love their students and value each of their unique strengths and personalities that make our classes special. Our classes can be described as fun, personal, academic, challenging, and supportive.
🀩 We work to keep learners engaged, so there is always a degree of student accountability for their attention and focus, whether that be through asking them direct questions or by using the chatbox.
πŸ’­ We know all kids can learn, but sometimes things are hard! To support students, we teach them how to develop effective thinking and learning habits that will bring them success in class and in life.
🌟 Building relationships with students so they know we care about them helps us balance the high expectations we have for them regarding their effort, work quality, and behavior. Our students are encouraged, cared for, and they achieve!

π™†π˜Όπ™π™€π™‰ π™‡π™€π™ˆπ™Šπ™‰π™Ž: English Language Arts
#High-Energy #Skilled #Experienced #Relational #Fun
Karen is the Founder of Lemons-Aid. She has a bachelor’s degree in English, a minor in Education, and a master’s degree in Education Administration from Liberty University. With a teaching certificate and a principal’s license in both Washington and Colorado, she has many years of experience teaching English Language Arts and History / Social Studies at the middle school and high school levels. Additionally, she is TESOL and TEFL certified and enjoys teaching English Language Learners from all over the world. She has worked in private and public schools at every level and is currently an affiliate faculty member at Colorado Christian University, supervising teacher candidates in their undergraduate and graduate teacher education programs. She is a teacher of teachers. A homeschool mom herself, she admits that teaching other people’s kids is easier than teaching her own teenage boys! She lives in the Denver, Colorado area where she cheers on the Broncos, Avs, and the Rockies, but her favorite athletes are her own kids who play hockey and baseball!
πŸŽ₯ Karen’s Intro Video


𝑱𝑬𝑡𝑡 𝑹𝑰𝑨𝑳𝑬: English Language Arts
#Experienced #Knowledgeable #Empowering #Patient #Rises Above the Ordinary.
As a certified English teacher, Jenn has taught in some capacity over the course of the past twenty-five years. She has taught middle school and high school English classes in both private and public school settings, tutored international ESL students online, developed and taught literature and public speaking classes for a local homeschool co-op, and homeschooled her own two children. Jenn has a bachelor’s degree in English Education. A strong believer in lifelong learning, Jenn has also taken several graduate-level courses related to teaching. Jenn enjoys spending time with her husband, Mark, and their two teenagers. She enjoys taking day trips close to where they live in upstate New York. In her spare time, Jenn enjoys singing and performing in plays. Additionally, she enjoys curling up on the sofa to read a good book. More than likely, one of her four cats will be curled up at her feet.
πŸŽ₯ Jenn’s Intro Video

π™†π™π™„π™Žπ™π™€π™‰ π™π™π™€π™€π™ˆπ˜Όπ™‰: Elementary
#Fun #Inspiring #LoveForLearning
Kristen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with a minor in child psychology from Liberty University. For nearly a decade, she has worked in elementary school classrooms, as a private tutor, and as an online ELL teacher. While passionate about education in general, her favorite subjects to both study and teach are reading, grammar, and writing. She and her husband are actively involved in a church where she works as a Sunday School teacher and Children’s Ministry teacher to ages 4-6. No matter where she is teaching, Kristen tries to find ways to connect with her students and to create an exciting classroom that builds a passion for education. It is her desire to not only teach a subject but also to foster a love of learning which inspires students to want to learn more even once the class is completed. Kristen lives in Virginia with her husband, daughter, and their new baby boy! In her spare time, Kristen loves to create teaching content such as interactive lesson plans, worksheets, and more! She also enjoys doing family outings and crafting.
πŸŽ₯ Kristen’s Intro Video

π™ˆπ™π™Ž. π˜Όπ™‡π™„:
#Engaging #Fun #Patient #Kind #Encouraging
Ali has a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked with children over the last 11 years. She taught for 6 years in public school, 2 years in Kindergarten and 4 years in First Grade. She has worked as a reading tutor and ESL teacher online for the last 4 years; she has also tutored children in-person in reading, writing, and STEM. Ali believes that every child is a natural learner; she believes that an educator’s goal is to engage each child in the way that they learn best! She is passionate about creating a safe and FUN environment that teaches the whole child. Each time she enters a classroom, whether it is in-person or online, you can find her singing, playing games, and making learning fun. Ali lives in Missouri, near St. Louis with her husband and fur-child (an 80 lb. German Shepherd who doesn’t know how big he is). In her free time she loves reading, writing, crafts, hiking, working out, and spending time with my family.
πŸŽ₯ Ali’s Intro Video

π™†π™„π™ˆπ˜½π™€π™π™‡π™” π™‹π˜Όπ™π™„π™‰π™„π™Žπ™„: English
#Energetic #Kind #Encouraging #Authentic #Enthusiastic #Guide
Kim loves life, loves people, and loves learning! She views each student as a team member with his or her own unique talents, skills and life experience to bring to the group. She loves helping students expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills to reach their greatest potential. Kim has a Bachelor’s degree from Cairn University in secondary Education with certification in English (NY and PA) and endorsement in music. Her classroom experience has focused on English, PE and Bible education, but she has tutored in a variety of areas including ESL, special ed, math, history, science and music (piano and voice). She lives in northeast PA with her wonderful family. She has homeschooled all of her seven children. The youngest five are still in school and ensure that every day is an adventure. Kim also coaches intramural and competitive sports throughout the year. She loves music, sports, reading and taking long walks up her dirt road admiring wildflowers, listening to birds and reflecting on what she is learning in life!
πŸŽ₯ Kim’s Intro Video

Christian Teachers on Outschool

We want to serve you on Lemons-Aid! For first-time learners on Lemons-Aid, you can use the coupon code Newbie20 to get $20 off your first class.

However, if the schedule doesn’t work for you, we will happily teach you on Outschool, but we can’t talk about Jesus.

Use this referral code and get $20 off your first class on Outschool: LEMONSA2020

Christian Outschool Classes

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