This year, Northgate Academy’s faith-based curriculum includes two original English courses for ninth and tenth grade students. With a focus on practical Biblical wisdom for today’s teens and Christian readings from both the Bible and modern Christian leaders and authors, the content includes many new passages and thought provoking lessons to guide teens as they read. Change is scary sometimes, so we want you to rest assured that our new English courses are still going to guide your student in their Christian lives as they learn about reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and thinking. So what new, updated content is included in this faith-based curriculum?
One of the most important parts of this curriculum is the Christian guidance given throughout the lessons. In one 9th grade lesson about persuasive techniques, students are reminded that, “When we’re talking to others about their need to have a relationship with God, we use persuasion, too, but it can be pretty intimidating to do that, especially if you haven’t practiced what you’re going to say. It’s always a good idea to have a plan for what word choice you’re going to use before you witness to someone about God’s love and what He offers to us through His son, Jesus Christ. Writing out a plan for the message of Christ is a great way to take the edge off when you’re faced with an opening to talk about the message of salvation to your friends, loved ones, or people you happen to meet.”
In one lesson from 10th grade, students are taught the Roman’s Road to Salvation while learning about how-to passages. They learn the four steps of the Romans Road:
- The Human Problem,
- Humanity’s Hope in Christ,
- The Sinner’s Response, and
- The Result of Salvation.
The goal of Northgate’s English 9 and 10 is certainly to teach the important content of a traditional English/Language Arts class, but in addition to that, we want our students to be edified through the gospel of Christ as well.
The next important change to the courses is that there is an emphasis on analyzing the Bible through the lens of an English/Language Arts classroom. Using the King James, the New King James, and New International versions of the Word of God, these courses use specifically selected passages to teach about allegories, figurative language, and symbolism. These are important skills for students to learn if they are going to appreciate the beauty of the language in the Bible. Instead of complaining that the language is too hard to understand, your student will be able to appreciate the lessons God’s Living Word contains through guided analysis.
In just a single lesson from English 9, students are challenged to think about their character by studying passages from Proverbs to help them better understand both literary characterization and the type of character a Christian should aim for. The lesson asks students to use Proverbs 27 to answer the questions, “What does a righteous leader look like? What behavior does God expect from His followers? What type of wisdom should we all aim for?” And that is only a single literature lesson contained in this course!
English 10 uses Psalm 23 to help students understand setting, theme, and figurative language. They’re exposed to the background of King David and what his life would have been like as he wrote these psalms. They learn to identify metaphor, symbolism, and personification while reflecting about the theme through the metaphor of God as our Shepherd. Students are then asked to think about modern age symbols that could represent their relationship with God. This type of introspection is a healthy exercise for a young person developing their relationship with their Savior. The goal is to help our students think deeply about whether they rely on God as their Shepherd or if their symbol would be something more distant and less involved in their lives.
Practical Christian Skills
Not only does the 10th grade course teach students the Roman’s Road, but in 9th grade, students have the opportunity to learn about how to use an online concordance during a lesson about informative reading and writing. Students get to find out exactly what a concordance is, how to use it, what types of concordances there are and when to use each type, and then are instructed about the most popular ones used, especially online. This is a practical skill for any Christian, so helping your freshman learn how to use this handy tool either online or in their own Bible is a great stepping stone to a deeper understanding of how to get the most out of God’s Word.
In English 10, students study the traditional hymn, “How Great Thou Art” in relationship to poetic devices. This lesson will help your student recognize poetic sound and style devices, but it will also open the doors to a better appreciation of older hymns. They learn about the history of the song and how the authors were inspired to write it, about the song’s powerful theme, and about how it spread across the globe as a favorite traditional hymn praising God’s greatness all while learning about repetition, enjambment, poetic apostrophe, end rhyme, assonance, and consonance.
During a unit about bias in media and advertising in English 10, students are given practical lessons about how to avoid being swept away by what they see on television, in movies, and online. One lesson gives this practical advice:
You might have found this to be the case if you’ve ever met someone who has had a bad experience in a church. If you tell them that you attend church or that you believe that Jesus is the son of God, they might skirt away from you because of the bad experience they’ve had. The hard or negative experience that person has had will make it more difficult for them to accept Jesus as their Savior, and that’s exactly why the Bible says that we should be noticeably different – in a good way – than other people in the world around us. John 17: 13-16 says, “13I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” This reminder to show people the positive ways that God has made you different is important when we’re talking about bias. People you encounter today might have an automatic bias against you because you are a Christian. That means that you will have to work even harder to demonstrate God’s love to others to break down the bias that someone else has created in them.
Throughout these lessons, students are reminded to “guard their hearts” from ungodly influences. One of the keys to viewing advertisements or other forms of media that they are taught is to ask, “Is the lifestyle this ad is promoting one that serves to glorify God?” along with “Who is the target audience?” and “What is the message they’re trying to send?” These practical lessons for modern teens, among many other lessons throughout the courses, are often overlooked in older curriculum, so Northgate made it a priority to help your student navigate the world we are living in today with important modern skills through a Christian lens.
Up-to-Date Christian Speakers and Authors
Finally, we took a look at some of the reading students have traditionally been exposed to in a faith-based English course, and we decided that many new Christian authors and speakers have contributed positively to today’s Christian reading. Although your student will still be exposed to the traditional literature from the past, we also made it a priority to use up-to-date passages throughout our courses.
This means that in addition to traditional literature selections for their grade level, passages from scripture, and lessons about reading, writing, and thinking, your student will be exposed to newer authors they might want to explore further. Your ninth grade student will be reading the words of Christian authors and speakers like Robert Kapen who teaches about being respectful to others and modeling our behavior after Christ’s in addition to current periodicals from Christian websites and magazines. Students in 10th grade are given the opportunity to read one of Max Lucado’s favorite stories that he’s written, and they’re challenged to analyze one of Billy Graham’s most well-known sermons. Additionally, 10th grade students read the novel The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom to learn about literature as well as how to rely on God and find hope in Him even in the darkest times.
We want our students to be fully engaged in what they are reading. These more current pieces of literature will not only engage your student in the story and content but encourage them to think about their relationship with Christ as well.
About Northgate Academy
If you’re not already a student at Northgate Academy but are interested in using our faith-based online high school program as an accredited choice for your Christian student, you can check out our programs online. Still have questions? Feel free to send us a text at 763-412-4701 or call us at 800-339-7132. Our academic support team will be happy to answer your questions or help guide you to the best program for you or your child.