C is for Cottage

C is for Cottage in the Country

Learning Objectives

Reading and Literary Studies

In addition to their independent reading, students will be assigned smaller reading passages every week with vocabulary and literary terms to study and memorize as well as spelling/vocabulary exercises and reading comprehension questions to complete. The reading selections are varied and include ballads, lyrical poetry, short stories, fable, history and other non-fiction. Selections include works such as

  1. fables, fairytales and myth

  2. Poetry and verse by Christina Rossetti, Jonathan Swift, Isaac Watts, Jane Taylor, Mary Howitt, George Cooper, William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, William Cowper, J. Colesworthy, William Blake, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Clare, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Herford

  3. Stories of ancient history and American history, including the Sword of Damocles, the Ride of Paul Revere, colonial Boston history, the Burning of Troy, the Spartans and Philip of Macedon

  4. Biographical stories, including those of Jonathan Swift, Alexander the Great, Socrates, Benjamin West, King Cyrus and Atysages, Henry David Thoreau, Antonio Canova, Cincinnatus, Julius Caesar, Benjamin Franklin

  5. Stories by Leo Tolstoy, Yei Theodora Pzaki, William Shakespeare (adapted)

  6. Moral Stories, such as “Androcles and the Lion,” “The Boy and the Robbers,” “The Blind Men and the Elephant,” “The Broken Pot”

  7. Anonymous stories and ballads

  8. Letters of the Romantic Essayist Charles Lamb and Romantic composer Ludwig Van Beethoven

  9. Old Testament Bible Stories

Students will study literary terms and apply them not only to the story read but also to other works of literature. Students will be tested on the literary terms at the end of the year. Literary terms include

  1. non-fiction

  2. setting

  3. personification

  4. types of fiction: novel, fairytale, fantasy, fable, short story, science fiction, detective and mystery, and adventure

  5. metonymy

  6. synecdoche

  7. metaphor

  8. simile

  9. allusion

  10. anecdote

  11. analogy

  12. plot

  13. theme

  14. verbal irony

  15. allegory

  16. protagonist and antagonist

  17. lyric poetry

  18. foil character

  19. epistle

  20. symbol

  21. mood

  22. imagery

  23. irony


Students will learn vocabulary presented in the phonics section of the textbook and complete the vocabulary in context exercises that follow.

Book Reports

Students will be assigned three books to read during the year, which are as follows:

E. B. White, Stuart Little.

Diane Stanley, Good Queen Bess: The Story of Elizabeth I of England

Patricia MacLachlan, Sarah, Plain and Tall.

For the three assigned book, students will present an oral report; the directions of this report will be given in class. If students have read the above books, or they prove too challenging or too easy, any of the following books may be substituted:

Diane Stanley, Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web.

Donald J. Sobol, Encyclopedia Brown (A series of 29 children’s novels)

Diane Stanley, Leonardo Da Vinci

Gretchen Woelfe. Nicola Bayley, illustrator. Katje the Windmill Cat. Walker, 2001. 

Charles Perrault. Malcolm Arthur, translator. Fred Marcellino, illustrator. Puss in Boots. 1992. Reprint. Square Fish, 2011. 

Diane Stanley, Mozart: the Wonder Child.

Beatrice de Regniers. Beni Montresor, illustrator. May I Bring a Friend? 1964. Reprint. Atheneum, 1971. 

Sally Pomme Clayton. Virginia Lee, illustrator. Persephone. Eerdmans, 2009.

Margot Zemach. It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folk Tale. 1976. Reprint. Perfection Learning, 1990. 

Alice Dalgliesh, The Courage of Sarah Noble.

Writing Assignments

Students will begin the year by learning the foundational elements of writing, such as composing sentences and paragraphs. The students will write paragraph compositions using the following essay formats:

  1. Expository essays

  2. Comparison essays

  3. Process essay

  4. Letter

In preparation for these written assignments, students will do the following:

  1. read models for imitation

  2. learn the format of the particular essay and its practical importance for readers

  3. learn how to develop a paragraph with a main idea and supporting detail

  4. learn the importance of detail, dialog and description, especially in narrative writing

  5. learn to omit needless detail and words

  6. learn the importance of neatness, carefulness, proofreading, and following grammar and usage conventions

Poetry, Poetry Memorization and Poetics

Students will memorize a stanza of poetry and recite a poem at the end of the school year in front of an audience. In addition to other poems chosen by the teacher for the particular year, students will memorize the following:

  1. Isaac Watts, “Against Idleness and Mischief”

  2. Theodosia Garrison, “The Little Joys”

  3. Christina Rossetti, “Seasons” and “If All Were Rain”

  4. George Herbert, “The Elixir”

  5. Isaac Watts, “Now Shall My Inward Joys Arise”

  6. William Cowper, “Dependence”

  7. Alfred Tennyson, “The Owl”

  8. Emily Dickinson “If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking”

As part of their instruction in poetry, students will learn the following terms and concepts. (The instructional material is found in the textbook.)

  1. the rhythm of poetry: syllables, meter (iambic and trochaic)

  2. rhyme: perfect rhyme, imperfect rhyme (assonance, consonance), rhyme scheme, alliteration

  3. mood and imagery

  4. stanza forms: quatrain and ballad stanza


A lesson in grammar will be assigned every week. The grammar lessons are found in the grammar and poetics textbook. Students will learn the following terms and concepts:

  1. punctuation: apostrophes, quotations, punctuation with titles, periods, commas, colons

  2. parts of speech: nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections

  3. subjects and predicates

  4. prepositional phrases

  5. subject-verb agreement

  6. capitals


A lesson in spelling (found on the web site) will be assigned every week. Students will be quizzed on the spelling words every week in a quiz, spelling bee or dictation. Students will review the phonics lessons of previous years, including

  1. the short and long vowels

  2. the sounds of letter combinations: er, ow (as in cow), ea (as in bead), ou, ew, oi, ai, ee, y, ar, or, aw, oa, igh, ir, ay, oo (as in book), ow (as in snow), al, oy, ind, soft c, old, ea (as in bread), ough, oo (as in root), le, mb, kn, wr, tion, wh, ies, ss, age, cious, tch, tr, dr, dge, or, ph, qu, silent t, ture, ur, soft g (as in giant), oar, ey, silent h, ous, ue

  3. homophones

  4. contractions

Organization and Neatness

Students will focus on the following in class:

  1. taking responsibility for their belongings

  2. carefulness and neatness

  3. quick and legible handwriting.

The students will be graded on each of the above areas mentioned.


Students will continue to develop their cursive italic handwriting through workbook activity as well as through dictation, note-taking, and essay writing. Students will focus on

  1. posture and handling their pencil when writing

  2. the form of the letters and the letter “families”

  3. speed, neatness and legibility

  4. spacing

  5. parallel lines

  6. size of letters