Our English Language Arts classes, in grades 6-8, provide our students with a balanced literacy curriculum (reading, writing, speaking/listening, and grammar) to best prepare them for learning at the high school level.  We aim to teach students to fully engage in novels, short-stories, poems, and articles to build comprehension while also allowing them an opportunity to connect to the literature through analysis and personal connection.  Students are guided through the process of reacting to what they read in written form as well as in the spoken word (small group and whole class discussion).  Students are encouraged  to think critically about the content of what they read while also analyzing and connecting personally to the text and the various themes present in the readings.  

 
At all three grade levels, students engage fully in the writing process (prewriting/brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing).  Students are encouraged to find their voice and style in a variety of genres (expository, persuasive, narrative, descriptive, and expressive).  In addition, poetry is part of our curriculum at all three grade levels.  Students engage in the poetry of others and the creation of their own works of poetry.  
 
In grades 6-8, we have an active independent reading program.  Students are required to have independent reading books and encouraged to read independently (outside of required readings), to develop reading as a lifelong habit of mind that brings pleasure and (hopefully) a love of reading.

 

Whole class novels:
6th grade - Freak the Mighty, Philbrick
7th grade - The Outsiders, Hinton & Devil’s Arithmetic, Yolen
8th grade - Bronx Masquerade, Grimes & Lay That Trumpet In Our Hands, McCarthy

 

Massachusetts State Frameworks and the Common Core