Liberal Arts Level 5: American Classics

Term: Yearlong 2020–21, September 8–May 28
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 Pres. Maria Koulianos
Section 2: M/T/W/Th 11:10 a.m. ET with Pres. Maria Koulianos

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 2-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 under the Course Materials tab. For the 2020–2021 school year, you only need to purchase the books for Rotation A.

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

The Liberal Arts Level 5: American Classics course is designed to increase student communication skills through reading, writing, speaking and listening, and the study of the English language. Students will read a selection of American classics alongside a time line of history, as history plays a fundamental role in shaping literature. Additionally, this course 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 in order to develop 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. Students will use the multistep writing process to develop, revise, evaluate, and improve each written piece of work. Vocabulary, spelling, and grammar will be an important part of this course 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, the following:

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

Syllabus: View the 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*

2020–2021: Rotation A (American Classics)

  • Fall 2020
    • Rip Van Winkle & Other Stories by Washington Irving (ISBN: 9780141330921)
    • A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (ISBN: 9780345345059)
    • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (ISBN: 9781973844730)
    • The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (ISBN: 9780486284996)
    • Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (ISBN: 9780425182789)
    • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (ISBN: 9780486277851)
  • Spring 2021
    • Our Town by Thornton Wilder (ISBN: 9780060512637)
    • The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (ISBN: 9780684801223)
    • The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (ISBN: 9780486295060)
    • Hiroshima by John Hersey (ISBN: 9780679721031)
    • Saint Innocent: Apostle to America by Paul D. Garrett (ISBN: 9780913836606)
  • Resource Books (to be used throughout the year)
    • The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and E.B. White (ISBN: 9780205309023)
    • A Little History of the United States by James West Davidson (ISBN: 9780300181418)
    • Brave Companions: Portraits in History by David McCullough (ISBN: 9780671792763)
  • Composition Books or Notebooks
    • Each student will need 2 composition books or notebooks to use for the year. One will be used as an Interactive Literature Student Notebook and the other will serve as a Reading Journal. See the syllabus for more information.

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

NOTE: The books listed above are for the upcoming 2020–2021 school year and are required texts. The books listed below are for the next rotation of this class, which will run in the 2021–2022 school year. The Rotation B texts below are listed for reference only and will not be used in the upcoming 2020–2021 school year.

2021–2022: Rotation B (British Classics)

  • Fall 2021
    • Watership Down by Richard 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 by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
    • Our Island Saints by Amy Steedman and M. Dibbin Spooner
  • Spring 2020
    • “The Sword and the Stone” in The Once and Future King by T.H. White
    • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
    • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
    • An Island Story: A History of England for Boys and Girls by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
    • Our Island Saints by Amy Steedman and M. Dibbin Spooner

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.

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 a much better solution, as such devices 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.

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.

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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