Category Archives: Classics-Based Writing Resource

Poems, short stories, and excerpts that are particularly suitable for model-based writing. Many of these have been used as the basis for Classics-Based Writing Lessons taught at Schoolhouse Teachers.

To Winter by William Blake

To Winter by William Blake (1757 – 1827) O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors: The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car. He hears … Continue reading

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The Roman Sentinel by Ward M. Florence

“The Roman Sentinel” by Ward M. Florence was included in many elocution books of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this pre-television era, families and friends entertained one another with performances of dramatic or humorous poems, plays, stories, … Continue reading

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Shakespeare Resources

Shakespeare Resources Why do William Shakespeare’s plays still touch us today? This Renaissance playwright, poet, and actor had a unique way with words and a timeless grasp of human nature.  His works are considered to be some of the greatest … Continue reading

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The Seven Ages of Man

  “All the World’s a Stage:” the Seven Ages of Man monologue from As You Like It by William Shakespeare All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, … Continue reading

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The Wind and the Moon by George MacDonald

There are poems especially suitable for memorization and recitation, and George MacDonald’s “The Wind and the Moon” is an excellent example. The rhythm and cadence of the language is delightful to young readers young and old. The Wind and the … Continue reading

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The Fly by William Blake

“The Fly” as it originally appeared. The Fly by William Blake Little fly, Thy summer’s play My thoughtless hand Has brushed away. Am not I A fly like thee? Or art not thou A man like me? For I dance And drink … Continue reading

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The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde

The Happy Prince is the title story in a collection of short stories by Oscar Wilde. The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde High above the city, on a tall column, stood the statue of the Happy Prince.  He was gilded … Continue reading

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The Ruins of Rome in the Fifteenth Century by Edward Gibbon

This brief excerpt from Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is the first paragraph of the final chapter in the book. As you read it, be sure to observe how Gibbons uses a quote from Poggius to vividly contrast the current … Continue reading

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A Leak in the Dike by Phoebe Cary

A Leak in the Dike A Story of Holland by Phoebe Cary THE good dame looked from her cottage At the close of the pleasant day, And cheerily called to her little son Outside the door at play: “Come, Peter, come! … Continue reading

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The Village Blacksmith by Longfellow

THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Under a spreading chestnut-tree The village smithy stands; The smith, a mighty man is he, With large and sinewy hands; And the muscles of his brawny arms Are strong as iron bands. His … Continue reading

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