Examining Worldviews in World Literature is an independent learner/homeschool high-school curriculum, spanning the literature of the Greeks and Romans, through the medieval and modern periods, with emphasis on comparing and contrasting the body of several well-known authors. This curriculum places special emphasis on analyzing and dissecting the characters and plots in literature from a Christian perspective, but that is not to say that all selections chosen are written from a Christian perspective. In fact, most are not. However, with this curriculum packet as guide, students will be better equipped to think critically and Biblically about situations and motivations in these books typically considered classics. It is an especially good fit for advanced readers and/or the latter half of high school.
Examining Worldviews in World Literature covers an entire year of high school literature (especially for junior or seniors) and consists of a 225-page PDF. You may also be interested in the course Examining Worldviews in American Literature.
Rights are given for one family unit (not extended family) to use this PDF without limitation, or one classroom teacher to use ideas from this unit. Please inquire at Into Your Hands LLC for multi-use licenses for co-ops or schools.
The units are:
- Unit One: Greek Literature (Odyssey/Homer, Antigone/Sophocles
- Unit Two: Roman Literature (Aeneid/Virgil, Julius Caesar/Shakespeare)
- Unit Three: Medieval Literature (Don Quixote/Cervantes, The Divine Comedy/Dante)
- Unit Four: Eastern Literature (Good Earth/Buck, Art of War/Sun Tzu
- Unit Five: Russian Literature (Anna Karenina/Tolstoy, Crime and Punishment/Dostoevsky)
- Unit Six: French Literature (Les Miserables/Hugo, Madame Bovary/Flaubert)
- Unit Seven: Modern European Literature (Faust/Goethe, Doll’s House/Ibsen)
This curriculum features many objectives, including those that follow. The student will…
- focus on whole books, reading novels commonly assigned as World Literature at the high school level,
- analyze themes, characters, motivations, and plots from a Christian worldview, reviewing and growing in faith.
- compare and contrast various novels, genres, and authors, and
- practice the skill of writing organized and coherent papers.
How is this curriculum different from other World Lit curricula already available? This curriculum features a number of items that set it apart.
- The Christian worldview focus of this curriculum allows students to navigate the often muddy-waters of World Literature without being led astray.
- This curriculum features a “whole books” approach, encouraging students to read entire novels as the foundation for their study, allowing students to have better context for understanding plot and character, rather than the bits and pieces of books found in an anthology.
- The books chosen for this curriculum are titles traditionally used for secular World Literature classes, allowing students to be competitive for college, as well as partially preparing them for CLEP and AP exams.
- A complete assessment system is featured in this curriculum, featuring assignments, exams, writing rubrics, and answer keys.
- Resources for further reading encourage in-depth exploration of various topics and authors.
- This curriculum offers a strong core plan for teachers/parents and students who want to know exactly what to do, but yet also flexibility for those who would like more or fewer novels, or more or fewer assignments and activities, based on ability, interest, and learning style.
- This curriculum is meant for individual student use without the need for instructor support (except for assessment), allowing students to grow in responsibility and freeing up parent time. Teachers/parents and students are encouraged to discuss the literature selections regularly with their students.
This curriculum is organized into seven units, each four weeks long. Some units may take the student an additional week or two; therefore this curriculum would work well spread out over a 30- to 34-week school year. It is expected that the student spend one hour a day, five days a week on this course. If your daily, weekly, or yearly schedule does not allow for this, plan to allot 150 total hours for this course.
Each unit features two whole books and a selection from another work. During the course of each unit, the student will also compete an essay on a chosen topic, take a short unit examination, and optionally, complete an activity. While not all selections are featured in exact chronological order, the curriculum as a whole is approximately in chronological order.
Time Commitment and Pacing
The student is expected to read through this study guide and complete the readings and essays as assigned over the course of the unit, about one month each. The instructor should discuss the readings as desired, but be sure that at the end of each unit, the readings have been completed, the exam taken and graded (with the answer keys provided), and the essay turned in and graded (with the rubric provided).
For pacing, the student should plan to spend about one week on the first novel, one week on the second novel, one week on the additional readings, review, and exam, and one week crafting, writing, and editing the essay. Occasionally, two longer novels are assigned in a single unit (for instance, the Russian Literature unit), making it difficult to complete in four weeks. The student should feel free to
take an extra week or two, as allowed by the instructor and the school calendar. However, in general, if the student cannot complete the tasks above during the one hour of daily class time, the student should plan to have “homework” which can be completed in the evenings.
Will This Curriculum Be A Good Fit?
Likely, this curriculum will be a wonderful fit for your student, especially if you like what you have read so far. However, this curriculum might not work well for you, if any of the following is true:
- You do not care for a Christian worldview, particularly from a conservative Lutheran perspective.
- You want an all-in-one package, without the need to purchase additional literature. (This curriculum requires the purchase or borrowing of books, in addition to this study guide. However, many of them are available online for free.)
- The student is not a strong reader, or not interested in literature.
- The instructor does not want to be involved in discussion or assessment for the student.
- You want a curriculum which features only Christian books. (This curriculum uses traditional literature, many of which feature non-Christian authors; however, these books are discussed and analyzed from a Christian worldview.)
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