English

Middle school English is a sequential program of grammar, composition, vocabulary, reading, literary criticism, oral expression, and research skills. Therefore, each course reviews all concepts and skills from the previous year(s). Students are required to read independently in addition to the assigned literature. The social studies and English curricula are frequently integrated to form interdisciplinary units. Courses offered are as follows:

Sixth Grade English
Sixth-grade composition instruction focuses on the stages of the writing process from prewriting activities through proofing and editing. Students concentrate on sentence structure and the organization of one- to three-paragraph essays in each of the discourse methods. They also express their creativity in poetic and narrative compositions. In their literature studies students read a variety of genres and apply reader response, historical, cultural, and formalistic criticism. Sixth graders will learn and practice several methods of oral communication, such as class discussion, oral presentation, and small-group conversations. Students research using prescribed methods of note taking and bibliography creation and practice paraphrasing and summarizing. They distinguish fact from opinion and relevant from irrelevant information. They learn outlining in the production of a two- to four-page research paper.

Seventh Grade English
Composition instruction in the seventh grade continues to explore the writing process with focus on organizing techniques and leading to the creation of the three-paragraph essay. Students write in a variety of styles, including such creative forms as journaling, poetry, and letter writing. Seventh graders read many different genres of literature and use a variety of critical methods of evaluating texts. Full-class and small-group discussions and individual and dramatic presentations are among the ways students will practice oral expression. As they create a three- to five-page documented paper, students research in a variety of print and electronic sources, differentiate between logical and emotional appeals, and present outlines using more sophisticated subdivision.

Eighth Grade English
Students in the eighth grade practice all elements of the writing process to compose in many varying styles, including poetry and reader’s response. They learn to create an effective thesis and concentrate on the structure of the five-paragraph essay. As they read in a variety of genres, they analyze texts using such methods as biographical/historical and moral/philosophical criticism. Students learn to recognize faulty generalizations and stereotypes. They compose a three- to five-page documented paper with a refined focus, using a formal outline.