Awed by the Beauty: Poetry to the Theotokos
This semester-long course is for any student who has an interest in poetry- whether reading it, writing it, or both! It doesn’t matter if you are just starting to write poetry or have been sharing your words for years – this course will give you the tools you need to deepen your journey as a poet. This poetry class is designed to increase student’s communications skills through reading, writing, speaking and listening, and the study of the English language. We will specifically study poetry that has been written out of love and respect for our Lord’s mother, the Virgin Mary, the Most Holy Theotokos.
Examples of model texts will include:
● Study of various Akathists (prayer services) offered to the Theotokos
● Hymns of the major feats of the Orthodox Church
● Prayers written to the Theotokos
● Study of Marian poems from Orthodox saints/poets and other historical sources
● Study of iconography (to be used to inspire writing)
This year students can expect to read a variety of poetry and hymns, study iconography of the Theotokos, and craft their own poetry. Poetic elements such as simile, metaphor, imagery, etc. will be studied in detail. At times, Orthodox church history will be discussed, as it plays a fundamental role in shaping the poetry studied in class. Writing assignments may include timed responses, journal writing, essays, critiques, and creative pieces. Vocabulary, spelling, and grammar will be an important part of this class and will be reinforced holistically through each composition piece. Because we are a community of learners, we will work together as a class and each student will present information to their peers in groups or individually.
Composition Book or Notebook for Interactive Student Notebook
Additional Composition Book or Notebook for Poetry Journal
Books and Texts
Provided by the instructor
*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.
Sarah Fothergill has been teaching for 13 years. She holds a BA in 7-12 English and History Education and an MA in Secondary Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Throughout her career, Sarah has taught writing, literature, and speaking to both middle and high school students. Sarah offers her students a passion for studying literature, history, poetry, and nature, and looks forward to helping them learn, grow, and reflect on “the good, the true, and the beautiful” in everything. In addition to teaching, Sarah is blessed to serve as Youth Ministry Coordinator and chanter at St. George Orthodox Church in Kearney, Nebraska. She also loves spoiling her two young nieces, reading, writing, gardening, coffee and conversation with friends, and spending time with her husband and two cats. firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with processor with a speed of 1 Ghz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do NOT recommending using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with an download/upload speed of 5/1Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class.
Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.
To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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This registration will be finalized when the student's placement assessment has been returned by the course instructor with placement confirmation.