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The literature component of the MCT curriculum is an excellent way to enhance students’ experiences with great classic works. Each part of the program consists of three works of literature (complete and unabridged), together with a teacher or parent manual. In each of the classics chosen, Michael provides close-ups of poetic techniques, four-level analyses of interesting grammar, and comments about writing strategies. These “language illustrations” all focus on the author’s writing technique while keeping students’ minds on the book itself.
“What criteria have I used to choose the books for the collection? I know them. They are my friends. They have been loyal to me during the decades of my life. They are read everywhere, whether schools and colleges assign them or not. They have exciting vocabularies, narration in standard English, characters that blink and look back, and sentences that make my hair stand on end.
“I am sometimes asked, would it not be better to use modernized versions of the classics, versions with current English? No, it is precisely these articulate, complex sentences and powerful words that we seek; it is the very thing that we want not to miss.
“Education is about what one has read.“
– Michael Clay Thompson
This is a program that encourages reflection, discussion, growth, and understanding. It not only gives students an acquaintance with great authors and an in-depth comprehension of many of the classics; it reinforces the importance of all aspects of the MCT language arts curriculum because students see all of the things they are learning being used by the greatest authors. After all, as Michael points out, “It is by loving to read that children become literate.”
Level 1: The Island Level
Level 2: The Town Level
Level 3: The Voyage Level
Level 4: The Classic Literature Level
Level 5: The Lens I Level
Level 6: The Lens II Level
Level 7: The Lens III Level
Special Author Trilogies
Michael has combined three of an author’s most celebrated works into special author trilogies.
The H.G. Wells and Stevenson Trilogies contain books that draw from other trilogies, bringing together collections for children who love, as Michael does, to find a favorite author and then delve deeply into that writer’s works. The Dickens Trilogy contains one book from the Time Trilogy but two others found in no other set. These three books are among Dickens’s most cherished “Christmas Stories,” providing children with a warm, inviting way of experiencing a novelist more widely known as a writer of long works.