English Language Arts

  • 6th Grade English Language Arts

Students in sixth grade English work on reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills. During the year they will write an informational paper, a narrative, and a literary analysis argument.  The reading units focus on character analysis. Students are pushed to think more deeply about what they read and write through individual goal-setting and mini-lessons that teach specific skills while conferring and connecting with the outside world in the bigger picture. In reading, instruction will include skills such as: locating and citing text evidence, determining theme, finding the central idea, using context clues to denote vocabulary and learning to research. Units include: Misunderstandings/Misperceptions, Struggles & Acceptance, Overcoming Adversity, Learning from the Past, History Repeats Itself, and Our Place in a Changing World. In addition, students are required to read independently in choice books.

  • 7th Grade English Language Arts

Students in 7th grade English class will continue to develop their reading, writing, and communication skills. Units include academic conversations, exploring cultural perspectives, inquiry on what shapes us as individuals, informational writing about reading, poetry, and realistic fiction.  While whole-class novels are used for modeling, students will also have free choice novels that support the reading units. Instruction will include skills such as: noticing signposts, questioning the author, analyzing literature, tracking themes across texts, and using multiple sources for research. The students demonstrate increasing independence in the novels that they choose to read to promote student engagement, and the students are expected to run their own book group meetings. 

  • 8th Grade English Language Arts

This course covers the Common Core Standards (grades 6-8) of reading, writing, language, and speaking/listening skills through the use of integrated units. Thematic writing units include memoir, journalism, literary argument, and informational/research writing. Thematic reading units include character study, literary nonfiction, and a dystopian fiction unit. A clear focus is on citing text evidence and the analysis and synthesis of that evidence to support student thinking and writing. Students continue to work on characterization and extend their characterization to analyze elements such as speech, actions, and thoughts. Students pay attention to the authors' perspective and notice the moves that authors make to create interesting stories. Integrated into all units are vocabulary study, basic grammar mechanics and conventions review, and multi-dimensional speaking/presentation instruction. The reading/writing workshop model builds on the skills of 6th and 7th grade while giving students greater independence to choose how they respond to the texts they read.