Language Arts and English
The goal of Middle School language arts and English is to produce competent lifelong readers, writers, and thinkers. Within a curriculum that encourages openness to new ideas and cultural perspectives, students begin to generate their own opinions based on their readings, discussions and written responses.
Sixth graders learn to experiment with voice and take risks throughout the writing process, which includes prewriting, drafting, editing, and revision. Language enrichment occurs through contextual vocabulary study and practice in various grammatical and mechanical skills. As they investigate diverse backgrounds and perspectives of literary characters, students gain greater understanding of themselves. They also gain an appreciation of different genres of writing, including historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction. They end the year by performing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Seventh graders practice creative, formal, poetic, and personal prose –– enriched through intensive vocabulary study –– and expand their knowledge of literary terms and devices, skills in analytical reading, and ability to discuss and apply themes. Their study of cities leads them to a culturally diverse reading list and enriches their study of geography for the year.
Eighth graders take their interactive reading abilities and the scope, depth, and variety of their writing to a new level, dramatically increasing their skills in formal and informal writing by the time they transition into Upper School. They create movie trailers based on their outside reading choices, produce their first term paper in conjunction with the social studies department, and end the year by writing and sharing their own personal memoirs.