The Notables: A Christian Book Club for Reading Classic Literature

$12.00 / week

In this ongoing class, older high school students work their way through notable novels and seek to answer essential questions from a Christian perspective as they read and participate in discussions.


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Timezone: America/New_York

Section A

  • STARTS: Sep 11, 2023
  • MEETING FREQUENCY: One Time Every Week
  • LIVE CLASSES: Mondays 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
  • TEACHER: Jenn Riale
  • CALENDAR: View Entire Calendar


An essential part of high school English is the study of classics and other notable novels. These works of literature may be notable for the longevity of their influence, exceptional quality, contribution to culture, or typical of an era, people, or movement. In this ongoing class, we will work our way through notable novels, and learners seek to answer essential questions from a Christian perspective as they read and participate in discussions.

How Does This Work?

We come together for discussion once per week. This is a weekly subscription class. You are charged weekly. If we have to skip a week (e.g. Thanksgiving), you are not charged. Make sure to check the reading schedule here and in the classroom.

Why Classic or Notable Novels?

The idea is that teens read broadly, deeply, and regularly while developing a Christian perspective about deeper life questions that the Bible and literature bring to bear. The live meetings provide accountability for students to read as well as the opportunity to intelligently discuss literature and how what they read has modern-day applications in understanding themselves or the world in which they live. We don’t expect students to “learn a lesson” from each novel; rather, we want them to think about the issues presented by the author and determine whether or not they agree or disagree with the author’s worldview. They determine what precepts from God’s word help them understand the novel. Students will analyze literary devices, figurative language, story elements, characterization, theme, the author’s craft, etc., and attempt to answer the essential questions according to what the Bible says about the issue.

Homework / Reading Expectations:

Students will do all of the reading outside of class. They will complete comprehension quizzes and other assignments to help keep them accountable for the reading.


The teacher will provide students with an English / Literature grade based on participation in the discussion, comprehension quizzes, and other assignments.

Reading Schedule:

Sept 11 – Introduction to the course and to Fahrenheit 451. No pre-class preparation is required.

Sept 18Discussion of: Part One: ”The Hearth and the Salamander” (about 60 pages)

Sept 25Discussion of: Part Two: “The Sieve and the Sand” (about 40 pages) 

Oct 2Discussion of: Part Three:  “Burning Bright” (about 50 pages)

Oct 9Introduction to To Kill a Mockingbird (about 65 pages per week) No pre-class preparation is required.

Oct 16Discussion of: Chapters 1-6

Oct 23Discussion of:  Chapters 7-11

Oct 30Discussion of: Chapters 12-17

Nov 6Discussion of: Chapters 18-23

Nov 13Discussion of: Chapters 24-31

Nov 20No Class

Nov 27Introduction to The Screwtape Letters (about 55 pages per week) No pre-class preparation is required.

Dec 4Discussion of: Letters 1-11

Dec 11Discussion of: Letters 12-21

Dec 18Discussion of:  Letters 22-31

Jan 8Introduction to Silas Marner  (about 50 pages per week) No pre-class preparation is required.

Jan 15Discussion of: Chapters 1-7

Jan 22Discussion of: Chapters 8-13

Jan 29Discussion of: Chapters 14-21 (+conclusion)

Feb 5Introduction to A Tale of Two Cities (50 pages per week) No pre-class preparation is required.

Feb 12Discussion of: Book the First through Book the Second Chapter 3

Feb 19Discussion of: Book the Second Chapters 4-9

Feb 26Discussion of: Book the Second Chapters 10-18

Mar 4Discussion of: Book the Second Chapters 19 through Book The Third Chapter 1

Mar 11Discussion of: Book the Third Chapters 2-9

Mar 18Discussion of: Book the Third Chapters 10-15

Mar 25Introduction to Sense and Sensibility (about 50 pages a week) No pre-class preparation is required.

Apr 8Discussion of: Volume I, Chapters I-XIV

Apr 15Discussion of: Volume I, Chapters XV through Volume II, Chapter I

Apr 22Discussion of: Volume II, Chapters II-X

Apr 29Discussion of: Volume II, Chapter XI through Volume III, Chapter IV

May 6Discussion of: Volume III, Chapters V-XIV


Additional information

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Homework Requirements:

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Our mission is to equip the minds and shepherd the hearts of learners. We want them to have saving faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and then to 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 God who is sovereign.

In this course, we use literature to put the things the Bible teaches to practice in an interesting way. We can evaluate characters, the plot, the theme, the worldview of the author, and more through the lens of scripture.


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Explicit teaching is a method of instruction students desperately need! It is the opposite of a constructivist philosophy whereby students ponder and explore to construct meaning themselves. Well…

Instead of leaving students to magically figure out how to write an essay, 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.

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