Language Arts

Please note: not all classes are offered every session. WLR varies/rotates the schedule based on teacher availability and interests indicated by participating families.

Some classes may be categorized more than one way. For instance Renaissance Arts may be listed under both “Arts & Crafts” as well as “History / Humanities.”

Every effort is made to keep the Class Description pages up-to-date; if you don’t see something, please ask.

All the World’s a Stage: Scriptwriting and Drama
The gods and goddesses of Greek mythology, kings and warriors of the Roman Empire, artists and scientists of the Renaissance, and the movers and shakers of the Industrial Revolution will serve to inspire the students to be playwrights and actors in this class. History comes to life on the stage as the students learn how to format and write a stage script, and in various ensembles, perform their plays as a finale to the 12-week course.  The class play offers a fantastic conduit for the students to learn valuable artistic, dramatic, musical and language arts skills. “With an opportunity to write their own dialogue and scripts, and then to act in them – well, what a great way to learn history, to be creative, and to have fun!” – Dr. Tan

American Sign Language
Through this active class, students will use movement to learn American Sign Language (ASL) through songs, activities and games. Each class will focus on a vocabulary topic and include review, finger spelling and sentence building. Topics will be based on the children’s interests (animals, nature, food, family, colors, emotions, and more.) Students may practice sign language after class by using an ASL notebook that they will create in class. Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend with their children.

Art of Speaking, Grades 4-8
For the older students, the focus will be on desirable speaking skills, including the elements of tone, facial expression, eye contact, and voice projection. Students will develop these skills by working with spoken language in the form of poems, verses, Readers’ Theatre, and more in order to increase their skill and confidence with oral communication.

Basic Grammar Through Story & Art
This class is designed to teach the basics of grammar through imagination and art, teaching the parts of speech in a concrete rather than an abstract manner. The act of drawing gives the child an opportunity to absorb what is being taught, thus gaining an understanding of the material that goes far beyond memorizing a definition. NounMaterials will be provided. The finished drawings can form the basis of a Lesson Book which can be added to with further written work at home if desired.

Level 1 will cover the four sentence types and introduce the basic parts of speech, using story, simple games and copy work.

Level 2 will review material from Level 1, complete the basic parts of speech and continue practice with Grammar using story, art and movement. According to the students’ needs, form drawing, fine motor skill activity and further work in language arts will be incorporated.

Classical Writing, Grades 6 – 8 (minimum age 12)Classical_writing_image-188x219
While the emphasis of this course will be on persuasive composition, the concepts are applicable to all forms of writing. Students will learn key skills (rather than formulas) and thinking tools. This structured program starts slowly to ensure comprehension of foundational concepts before moving to more advanced applications. The class is about 2 hours long, providing time for lively discussions and exploration of the emerging intellect of this developmental stage. Classical Writing is a full-year course. Semester 1 will run for 12 weeks. Semester 2 will run for 12-15 weeks. Weekly homework will be assigned.

Prerequisite: Knowledge of basic English grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Esperanto, the International Language
Crafted by a polylinguist in 1887, fluency in Esperanto is more quickly attainable, giving the confidence and skills needed to learn more difficult languages. The vocabulary is an  excellent stepping stone to learning Latin, German, French and other Indo-European  languages, without immediately being confronted by such grammatical complexities as irregular verbs, gendered nouns, cases and other linguistic hurdles. We will play, sing, color and dance in this introductory, sample class. Parents are welcome to attend with their children.

Joy of Speaking, Grades 1-3
This class will facilitate literacy / oral language development through the use of poems, verses, tongue twisters & more. Memorization skills will be developed / enhanced, and students will increase phonemic awareness as an aide to literacy development. Emphasizing the joy of language, students will gain confidence in their speaking abilities.

Joyful Rhythm, Movement & Speech • Grades 1-4
Learning through movement and spatial awareness helps build strength, balance and coordination while encouraging sensory integration. Using joyful language (verses, rhymes, tongue twisters) and activities such as hand clapping and rhythm stick games, students will increase speaking confidence and memorization skills while engaging in brain enhancing movement. In addition, the class helps build social skills by enhancing the development of communication, cooperation, respect, and sharing.

Our Spanish program is immersion-based, positive and fun! Students will interact with one another and the instructor while building confidence to communicate and understand Spanish, as well as appreciating Hispanic culture. Taught by native speaking instructor.

Writing Basics, Grades 4-8
This class will cover the building blocks of writing including:

  • Grammar basics / parts of speech
  • Punctuation basics
  • Sentence basics (parts of a complete sentence; avoiding fragments and run-ons)
  • Basic paragraph writing (topic sentence, closing sentence, starting a new paragraph)
  • Writing complex sentences
  • Using descriptive language