IvyLeaf 2019 Fall, Sophomore Session 1

This session will continue to pique students' interest in literature through a series of activities and discussions revolving around selected works. Students will further build upon their public speaking and writing foundations gained from their Freshman year, and be taught to provide their own critical opinions and analyses of the works. Students will be taught critical writing skills and be expected to speak frequently and present their ideas in front of their class.

"The Cask of Amontillado," Edgar Allan Poe
Poe conveys this classic and unique tale from the murderer's perspective. The story, set in an unnamed Italian city at carnival time in an unspecified year, is about a man taking fatal revenge on a friend who, he believes, has insulted him. Students will examine Poe's careful plot development leading up to the climax and learn the elements of a suspenseful story. Students will learn the difference between a gourmet and a gourmand. 

"Lamb to the Slaughter" by Roald Dahl
Dahl's landmark work was unique in that it provided creative plot elements that innovative and unlike traditional sequences. "Lamb to the Slaughter" demonstrates Dahl's fascination with horror while allowing the main investigator of the story (the policeman) eat the evidence. This famous and unique plot twist originating with this work has been adapted throughout literature and cinema ever since. Students will learn the difference between an original trendsetting device and cliche.

"All Summer in a Day" by Ray Bradbury
"All Summer in a Day" is a science fiction short story by American writer Ray Bradbury, first published in the March 1954. The story is about a class of students on Venus, which, in this story, is a world of constant rainstorms, where the Sun is visible for only one hour every seven years. Students will learn to create their own ending to the story and learn about the dangers of bullying.

"The Tell-Tale Heart," Edgar Allan Poe
Poe was likely paid $10 for his captivating and original story, first published in 1843. The story involves the murder of an old man with a "vulture-eye," which is often interpreted as a magical power. Poe masterfully crafts a tale depicting the narrator committing the perfect crime while convincing to the reader his sanity. Students will learn how seemingly conflicting elements of a story can create a narrative with deeper intrigue.

"An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge," by Ambrose Bierce
Ambrose Bierce's famous story, set during the American Civil War, is widely regarded as a masterpiece. The story of Peyton Farquhar is about a man about to be hanged, whose love for his wife and children enable him to envision his escape. A person must be willing to defend his way of life, culture, and family when threatened by an enemy-- the question is: at what cost? Students will explore the theme of patriotism vs family, and how our lives are shaped by our choices.

"The Story of an Hour," by Kate Chopin
Kate Chopin's short story takes the reader on an emotional journey and was quite controversial when it was published in 1894. It is considered one of the finest pieces of Feminist Literature. In the story, the main characters desire their own happiness as opposed to relying solely on their husbands and obeying social norms. Students will explore the theme of reliance vs independence.