Lightning Literature, Junior High

From Lightning Literature’s website:

Hewitt’s Lightning Literature and Composition guides use full-length novels, autobiographies, plays, essays, short stories, and poems to teach deep reading and composition skills. Unlike some literature programs that take a scatter-shot approach (where none of the literature seems connected) or that try to dump too much into one book, Lightning Literature guides focus on a few classics in depth, in a systematic manner.

The 7th-grade course is a year-long course of 8 chapters (2 on novels, 2 on nonfiction books, 2 on short stories, and 2 on poetry). The 8th-grade course is a year-long course of 12 chapters (4 on novels, 2 on nonfiction books, 3 on short stories, and 3 on poetry). The Student Guide includes biographies of the authors, vocabulary, comprehension questions, lessons on the readings, additional lessons on composition (focusing on research reports in 8th grade), writing exercises, and workbook pages. The Teacher Guide includes a teaching schedule, answers to comprehension questions, answers to the workbook pages, extra teaching help for the lessons, help in choosing appropriate writing exercises, and discussion questions.

Have you ever used Lightning Literature? How did it work for your family? Share your review below.

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4 Responses to Lightning Literature, Junior High

  1. Kirsten Merryman says:

    We used LL for seventh grade with my son and I plan to use it with my sixth grade daughter this year. I was looking for a program that introduced a way to talk about literature that went beyond mere comprehension questions (as some other guides do). LL is gentle, not very heavy, but worked great for that reason. We weren’t looking for a comprehensive program (we address writing and grammar separately), and LL was a good vehicle for giving us discussion guidelines for lit. I also enjoyed the literature choices.

  2. Anna M. says:

    LL7 is an easy introduction to literary analysis. We used the 8 units for the entire language arts year but had to supplement with grammar and spelling. You get a vocabulary list with each unit but not much else. The writing assignments were good for my son who doesn’t like to write, but I can see why some people think it’s too easy. They’re really more just writing prompts and not lessons on analyzing literature.

  3. Davonna Cufley says:

    My gifted 5th grader did Lightning Lit 8 over a semester, and I was impressed with the content. The book selections were meaty but appropriate for a younger reader. I’m a scientist, so I need some spoon-feeding to teach literary analysis – I will definitely use this series with my younger kids in future.

  4. I’ve used the seventh grade curriculum with my gifted 5th grader. While the curriculum is designed to take a year, I found the pace too slow, especially when reading the longer novels, which are spread over many weeks. My son found it easier to read them over a shorter time for the sake of comprehension and to hold his interest. He’s NOT a big fan of fiction, and he’d rather not study literature at all, but he enjoyed this program. The selections were appropriate in content for even a child at bit younger than 7th grade (There’s nothing objectionable.), yet they’d hold the interest of an older reader needing a good base for literature study.

    The program is sound and easily adapted to writers of various ability, with assignments ranging from quite concrete and simple to more challenging assignments. I’m looking forward to using the program again (in a semester rather than a year) with my younger next fall.

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