Language Arts Course Descriptions & Expectations 2020-21
Grade 6 English Language Arts
The sixth grade English Language Arts program is designed to expand students’ understanding and application of reading and writing skills. Throughout the year, students read a variety of fiction and nonfiction selections in both print and electronic media. They express their understanding and analysis of texts that they are reading through their writing as well as through discussions with their peers. Students learn the strategies that they need to become more sophisticated independent readers using self-selected and teacher-guided selections. They increase their vocabulary, improve comprehension skills, and refine analytic literary responses. Learning and application of knowledge will be reinforced through differentiated assignments, collaborative activities, and independent study of a variety of resources. They grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally as they consider enduring understandings and essential questions.
Grade 7 English Language Arts
The seventh grade English Language Arts program is designed to further develop students’ writing and reading abilities. Throughout the course of study, students will expand their understanding and application of reading and writing skills while also learning the tools and strategies necessary to become more sophisticated independent readers while using self-selected and teacher-guided fiction and nonfiction selections. Through differentiated assignments, learning and application of knowledge will be reinforced. Students learn to respond thoughtfully and critically to visual messages, including print and electronic media. They grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally as they consider enduring understandings and essential questions.
Grade 7 English Honors
The seventh grade English Honors course blends the instruction of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Instruction is fast-paced and assumes secured grade level skills and a level of comfort with abstract thinking and analytical approaches to literature and expository texts. Honors students are expected to be independent, self-motivated and organized learners. Their active class participation demonstrates insight and inferential skills beyond a literal reading of the subject matter. Some homework and preparation plays a critical role in student success.
Grade 8 English Language Arts
In eighth grade English Language Arts, students engage in discourse about literature and nonfiction as well as topics of current concern and interest. Students are read short fiction and novels that relate to tolerance, mythology, and Shakespeare’s works. Teachers and students select from a list of core titles and independent reading books (IRBs). Students learn the tools and strategies necessary to become more sophisticated independent readers while using self-selected and teacher-guided materials. Teachers and students use language for a variety of purposes, including various types of writing: literary analysis, explanatory, argumentative research, and narrative. Students practice the writing process with emphasis on revisions for content and editing for style to produce well-crafted writing. Writing assignments, including those related to reading selections, reinforce the learning and application of new vocabulary. Students increase their vocabulary, improve comprehension skills, enhance literary responses, and develop an appreciation for fiction and nonfiction texts. Furthermore, during collaborative classroom instruction, students learn to articulate their academic knowledge and skills using a variety of modalities including written responses, public speaking, and electronic media. Students grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally as they consider universal themes, diverse cultures and perspectives, as well as common aspects of human existence.
English 8 Honors
The eighth grade English Honors course is designed to build on secured grade level skills of students as they prepare to enter high school. The course moves at a pace that requires strong inferential reading and advanced writing skills. Emphasis is placed on student development of critical thinking skills in analyzing texts in relation to each other. The expectations for this course are high and teachers presume that students are self-motivated, independent and intellectually curious learners. Homework and preparation plays a critical role in student success.