Middle School Language Arts

Ms. Lurana Hogan (7th Grade Homeroom)

Curriculum Overview:

6th Grade Reading and English

Language Arts curriculum in the Sixth Grade begins the transition to critical reading and writing as well as an introduction to English grammar and syntax and formal vocabulary study. Reading units cover Greek Mythology (D’Aulaires Greek Myths), historical fiction (Crispin: The Cross of Lead), and contemporary fiction (The Thief Lord). Themes explored include family, moral judgment, and the concept of self. Grammar focuses on basic sentence patterns, roles of the parts of speech and editing and proofreading. Writing assignments are in-class prompts that are developed into polished pieces through peer editing and review. Students use MS Office-equipped laptop computers as well as web-based programs to create written work in both MLA and presentation-styles. Vocabulary is taught both in the context of novels read as well as in a formal workbook format.

7th Grade Reading and English

In the Seventh Grade, Reading instruction focuses on analysis of the elements of narrative writing with a particular emphasis on characterization. Past novel units have included Hoot, Stargirl and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Reading instruction varies from guided reading through Literature Circle format, offering students more opportunity to self-direct their critical reading. English grammar begins an in-depth exploration of each of the eight parts of speech as well as continued instruction in mechanics. Editing and proofreading is stressed. The writing component of seventh grade focuses on the development of the five-paragraph essay in various writing styles, including persuasive and expository. The five steps of writing and outlining are stressed. Writing across the curriculum intensifies in seventh grade with in-depth reports required in Science and Religion. Formal vocabulary study continues to broaden their knowledge of content-based word groups, enhancing their retention of new words.

8th Grade Reading and English

By their Eighth Grade year, students have mastered the elements of fiction, the steps of the writing process and the basic elements of grammar and syntax. Reading class begins to challenge their critical thinking skills with studies in Shakespeare (Macbeth), suspense writing (E.A. Poe, Washington Irving and Stephen King), irony and the role of the media (Nothing But the Truth) and class stereotypes (Pygmalion and Twelve Angry Men). Writing assignments include carefully structured short suspense stories, formal response-to-literature assignments, and in-class timed writing pieces. Grammar study requires students to use their knowledge of the roles of the parts of speech to begin parsing and to examine advanced grammatical structures – clauses and phrases, including verbals. Students continue to practice editing and proofreading skills and also continue formal vocabulary study.

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