Liberal Arts Level 5: British Classics

Term: Yearlong 2019–20, September 3–May 22
Target Grade Levels: 8–9
Schedule: 4x / week, 55 min.
Price: $750.00

Course Sections
Section 1:
M/T/W/Th 9:00 a.m. ET with Presbytera Maria Koulianos and poetry teacher Kristin Edwards-Kubrina
Section 2: M/T/W/Th 11:10 a.m. ET with Presbytera Maria Koulianos and poetry teacher Kristin Edwards-Kubrina

Two-Year Rotation: Click for Details

Our liberal arts curriculum is designed to offer the heart of a classic literature based education integrated into a single course. Taught in the spirit of Orthodox Christianity through a restful (scholé) pedagogy, the courses span 6 levels on a two-year rotation, plus level 7, for a total of 13 years of unique material. Class sizes are limited so that interactions within the classroom are personal and cultivate depth of learning.

Book lists for both Rotation A and Rotation B are listed in the course materials tab. For the 2019–2020 school year, you only need to purchase the books for Rotation B.

Click here to view the scope and sequence of our Liberal Arts Curriculum.

Liberal Arts Level 5: British Classics is designed to increase student communication skills through reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and the study of the English language. Students will read the British classics alongside a time line of history, as it plays a fundamental role in shaping literature. Additionally, we will focus on nature studies and composition of personal letters, narratives, essays, and short speeches.

In this course students can expect to read a variety of novels, short stories, plays, poetry, and nonfiction, developing a strong connection with books and an enthusiasm for reading. These literary pieces will model the different writing styles we will be working on in class. Various elements of specific genres will be addressed, including, but not limited to, organization, purpose, audience, narration, conflict, tone, and theme.

Writing assignments will include timed responses, journal writing, essays, critiques, and creative pieces. The multistep writing process will also be utilized to develop, revise, evaluate, and improve each written piece of work. 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 his or her peers in groups or individually. 

Our major units of study will include, but are not limited to:

  • Poetry, short stories, and novels 
  • Narrative, expository, technical, and persuasive writing
  • Speech writing and delivery


Syllabus: View course syllabus here.


Liberal Arts Core Curriculum Features:

  • Classical Arts: Grammar, Dialectic & Rhetoric
  • Complete Subjects: History & Literature
  • Bonus Science Supplement
  • Orthodox teachers
  • 24/7 access to Schoology LMS
  • Semesters scheduled according to the Orthodox Church year (New Calendar)


Scope and Sequence: Click here to view the scope and sequence of our Liberal Arts Curriculum.


Introduction video from the teacher:

*Required Materials:

2019–2020: Rotation B (British Classics)

  • Fall 2019
    • Watership Down, Adams
    • Beowulf (ISBN: 9781491250181)
    • The Song of Roland (ISBN: 9780140440751)
    • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (ISBN: 9780140440928)
    • An Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls, Marshall
    • Our Island Saints, Steedman and Spooner
  • Spring 2020
    • “The Sword and the Stone”/The Once and Future King, White
    • Don Quixote, Cervantes
    • Hamlet, Shakespeare
    • A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens
    • An Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls, Marshall
    • Our Island Saints, Steedman and Spooner

    *Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.


    NOTE: The books listed above are for the upcoming school year and are required texts. The books listed below are for the next rotation of this class which will run in the 2020–2021 school year. These texts are listed for reference only and will not be used in the upcoming school year.

    2020–2021: Rotation A (American Classics)

    • Fall 2018
      • Irving Stories (978-0141330921)
      • Sand County Almanac (978-0345345059)
      • Tom Sawyer (978-1973844730)
      • Fredrick Douglass: Narrative of Life (978-0486284996)
      • Across Five Aprils (978-0425182789)
      • O Pioneers! (978-0486277851)
    • Spring 2019
      • Our Town (978-0060512637)
      • Old Man and the Sea (978-0684801223)
      • War of the Worlds (978-0486295060)
      • Hiroshima (978-0679721031)
      • Saint Innocent (0-913836-60-5)
    • Resource Books to be used throughout the year:
      • The Elements of Style (978-0205309023)
      • A Little History of the United States (978-0300181418)
      • Brave Companions: Portraits in History (978-0671792763)

    Presbytera Maria Koulianos has been an educator for over 20 years, loving every minute, with vast experience in both public and private schools as a classroom teacher, in developing and implementing learning programs for students, and as an area administrator. She earned her bachelor of science in education from Indiana University with certifications in elementary education, 7/8 nondepartmental, language arts 1–9, and computer education K–12. She holds a master of divinity and a master of theology from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, where she wrote her thesis, “The Annunciation of the Theotokos from a Liturgical Perspective.” Presbytera Maria and her husband, Father Dionysios, live in the greater Boston area, where he is the priest of Saint Catherine Greek Orthodox Church in Braintree, MA. She hopes to inspire her students to love literature and become lifelong learners.

    Kristin Edwards-Kubrina had her first exposure to the Russian language as a curious university student. A last-minute decision to study Russian as an elective fortuitously set the stage for Kristin’s long journey to Orthodoxy that consisted in years of traveling to Russia, supportive family and friends, meaningful encounters with the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky and Pavel Florensky, art history courses on Byzantium, the magnetism of the saints and their icons for her daughter, Eliana, and marriage to her faithful (Russian) husband, Egor. The family currently attends St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Madison, Wisconsin.


    Kristin has an M.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently writing a dissertation on the Lives of the Saints and twentieth-century Russian literature. She comes to St. Raphael School with four years of experience teaching at the university level, as well as having known twenty years of being a language-learner herself. Her immersive Russian course draws upon its cultural context, with special attention to moments of interconnectedness between language and the Orthodox Christian tradition. It is a great joy and a special privilege for Kristin to teach. She hopes that both the rigor and beauty of learning Russian will enrich the minds, hearts, and everyday lives of her students.


    Red checkmarkComputer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend 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.

    Red checkmarkHigh-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 a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.

    Red checkmarkWebcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)

    Red checkmarkHeadset: 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

    Red checkmarkZoom: 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:

    1. Visit
    2. Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
    3. Open and run the installer on your computer.
    4. In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.

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