Language Lessons from Literature: An English Course for 7th Grade Review

by B. Pender
(Minneapolis, MN)

Language Lessons from Literature 7th Grade

Language Lessons from Literature 7th Grade

Lingua Mater, Language Lessons from Literature: An English Course for 7th Grade by Margot Davidson course is now rather difficult to find, but I have found some copies of it on

This particular course is meant for 7th graders, but I have found it to work well for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. The course itself has been amazingly helpful in coaxing my reluctant readers and writers to write well-constructed pieces, as well as introducing them to a number of different literary works. The course covers the basics of grammar and then builds into more specific parts of speech and correct use of them. I have used this course as a two year course for sixth graders (doing half the text in sixth grade and half in seventh), and as a single year course for both seventh and eighth graders.

The course is laid out with four lessons per week, with the first lesson consisting of a piece of literature or picture to be examined. Students are to write their first impressions of the work in a paragraph before moving on to the lesson. I find this focuses the student's thoughts and involves them deeply in the work, even if they don't find the work terribly intriguing. By asking the student to explain what they like or don't like about a particular work, the text is encouraging higher-order thinking skills. The final lesson in most of the weeks is a writing lesson where the student is either revising a previously written piece, or composing a piece on that day.

Language Lessons
from Literature: An English Course for 7th Grade
is very cost effective as the one spiral-bound textbook has lasted for a number of years (and students). Students do need a notebook (or three-ring binder) and a folder to store work, but otherwise there are no additional requirements for this course. I do recommend the teacher's guide and key for answers to the questions unless the teacher has a very solid knowledge in English grammar (such as predicate nominatives, appositives, and adjective pronouns).

This course does contain some religious writing and refers to some Catholic Christian views in some of the lessons. For example, one of the weeks refers to "The Feast of the Nativity of St. John" as a sample writing piece.

I think I learned as much from this textbook as my students learned because the lessons are laid out and explained quite well. I came away from teaching the course with a fuller understanding of English grammar. Since I have students with learning disabilities, having a well-defined and simple to use course is important, but I didn't want something that would allow my students to get behind, and this course was wonderful at giving enough structure to grow, but not so much as to frustrate students.

Thanks for the well-written and indepth review of "Language Lessons from Literature: An English Course for 7th Grade"! I appreciate the time you took to help other parents learn about this affordable homeschool English course for 7th grade. Blessings, Heather :)

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