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Languge Arts

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL ENGLISH & LANGUAGE ARTS

Middle school English & Language Arts classes help students develop a strong academic base by building their confidence as readers, writers, and speakers. Students write both formally and informally and practice all stages of the writing process, from draft through revision to final product, producing writing in a wide variety of genres and modes. Emphasis is on sharpening students’ abilities to analyze and respond clearly and precisely to what they read. Vocabulary and grammar study are undertaken both in the context of student writing and as distinct topics. Choice in independent reading encourages students to develop their own tastes and strengths as readers, while whole-class texts, frequently chosen to augment the social studies curriculum, allow a deep dive into ideas through lively and respectful discussion that encourages students to connect the themes from literature to their communities and to the world.
Our program focus in English & Language Arts (ELA) is for students to be lifelong readers and writers. Students spend time studying novels, short stories, articles, and other writings related to content areas as well as exploring current trends in literature. Grammar and vocabulary are developed in preparation for high school and the standardized assessments for college entrance. Mastery of the five-paragraph essay format is the groundwork which is utilized, throughout the middle years, to expand and build student writing skills. This format is adapted while exploring the expository, narrative and persuasive writing modes. 
 
6th Grade ELA 
6th grade ELA continues to practice the 5-paragraph essay, building on the skills learned in 5th grade. Students write a variety of essays—personal narrative, expository, persuasive, and responses to literature. 6th grade students study grammar in the context of their writing, and continue to learn Greek and Latin roots in their vocabulary study. Literature includes mystery, fiction, poetry, and historical fiction that mirrors social studies topics as well as modern classics, and projects focus on this connection between Language Arts and Social Studies. Representative works taught in sixth grade might include: The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin; Wonder, ‎R. J. Palacio, Love That Dog, Sharon Creech; The Adventures of Ulysses, Benard Evslin; Bridge to Terabithia; Katherine Patterson; short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry (selection varies)
 
7th Grade ELA
7th grade Language Arts students write a variety of essays—narrative, expository, persuasive, biography, creative poetry and begin responding to literature. The year starts off focusing on the art of narrative writing.. Our narrative writing unit is tied into a class novel and short stories that allow students to view and explore examples of literary techniques as they continue to build their personal connection to writing. Moving forward, students begin to analyze literature through reflective writing. Students continue to learn research skills while enhancing their ability to form persuasive writing that demonstrates thoughtful opinions backed up with educated facts. 7th-grade students study grammar with a Daily Grammar Practice program and in the context of their writing. They use Sadlier Oxford Vocabulary curriculum as well as learning new vocabulary within each novel.  Literature includes historical fiction that mirrors Social Studies topics as well as Science fiction, fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Representative works taught in seventh grade might include: Bud Not Buddy, Christopher Paul Curtis; The Giver, Lois Lowery; works by Edgar Allen Poe, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, James L. Swanson; Wednesday Wars, Gary D. Schmidt along with short stories to enhance the genre or literary elements being taught. 
 
8th Grade ELA 
8th grade at BA continues to build upon concepts from 7th grade with accelerated depth and pace. The Social Studies influence is based on world history which leads the learning, both reading and writing, to a global focus. Essays are based on responses to literature, narrative, persuasive, and  autobiographies. Students build on their skill set to include poetic analysis, public speaking, and research writing.  Works cited as well as annotated bibliography, are an additional focus as students prepare for the rigors of High School. 8th-grade students study grammar with a Daily Grammar Practice program and in the context of their writing. They use Sadlier Oxford Vocabulary curriculum as well as learning new vocabulary within each novel. Literature varies from traditional texts and novels to poetry and speeches. Representative works taught in eight grade might include: Roll of Thunder Hear Me Cry, Mildred D. Taylor; Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare; Night, Elie Wiesel; Lord of the Flies, William Golding; The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton along with short stories to enhance the genre or literary elements being taught.
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