Academics > Curriculum > Middle School English Language Arts


GRADE 6
The Language Arts curriculum is focused on literature study, reading comprehension, writing and language skills. Language skills include sentence structure, parts of speech, usage, and the mechanics of writing and are taught throughout the year. The writing process is demonstrated and practiced through journals, expository writing, narrative writing, and persuasive writing. All genres of literature are explored.

Unit Pacing Highlights

Short Story

Narrative Writing

September - October

  • Key plot elements (inciting event, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution)
  • Character development
  • Setting
  • Theme
  • Narrative writing with application of short story elements

Tuck Everlasting (novel study)

Persuasive Writing

November-December

  • Application of knowledge of literary elements to novel study
  • Persuasive writing with clear position statement and relevant convincing supporting reasons

Essay

January

  • Reading comprehension: Response to literature (text-based supported answers)
  • MCAS/PARCC review and practice

Novel Focus - Asia

February

  • Literature Circles: Cross curriculum novel study with the study of Asia

Drama

Expository Writing

March

  • Study of the characteristics of the drama genre
  • Develop an expository piece with clear focus and organization

Oral Tradition

April

  • Study of the elements and structure of oral tradition
  • Compare/contrast stories from oral tradition

Poetry

Research

May

  • Identify elements of poetry
  • Interpret poems and compare/contrast poems on similar themes/topics

Poetry

Research

June

  • Application of research skills in a cross-curricular social studies project
GRADE 7
The main strands of the curriculum include language, literature, composition and media. The writing process will focus on topic development and standard English language conventions (grammar, usage, and mechanics). Students’ writings will include narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive pieces. A variety of literary elements and genres will be explored through the use of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. Vocabulary development and effective public speaking skills will be addressed throughout the year. Student will be taught to use and evaluate media sources to obtain pertinent information.

Unit Pacing Highlights

Narrative Writing

Short Stories

September - October

  • Sensory Details, varied sentence structure, effective dialogue, engaging leads & endings, a “So What” or purpose/lesson 
  • Identification and analysis of the elements of fiction 
  • Reading strategies 
  • Habits of effective writers

Response to Literature

Drama

November - December

  • Characteristics and comparison to live performance 
  • Response to Literature with textual evidence

Persuasive Writing 

Book Club - RAISE

January-Febrary

  • Identifying argument and opinion 
  • Reading strategies 
  • Speaking & Listening

Poetry

Non-fiction

March-April

  • Analysis of literary elements through poetry 
  • Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text determine author’s purpose

Book Club

Multi-genre writing

May-June

  • Reading strategies
  • Analysis of genres to apply to writing

 

GRADE 8
The students explore a variety of literary genres, including poetry, mythology, drama, fiction (short stories and the novel), and nonfiction. The literature studied is integrated with composition skills throughout the year. Students refine and expand their writing abilities through the writing process and the use of assessment rubrics. Speaking and listening skills are fostered through classroom presentations, and drama. Many activities in writing, reading, and research are connected across the curriculum through interdisciplinary units.

Unit Pacing Highlights

Short Story

Literary Elements

Writing - focus on response to literature

September - November

  • Literary Elements - Setting, plot development (exposition, inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution), character, conflict (character, inner-self, society, nature)
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Write Traits: organization, idea development, conventions

Persuasive Writing

December

  • Write Traits:
    • organization, ideas, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, conventions

The Pearl by John Steinbeck

January-Febrary

  • Theme and Symbolism
  • Literary Elements - Review
  • Connection and understanding of theme and symbolism through novel study

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

February-April

  • Shakespearean text
  • Background to Shakespeare
  • Poetry – sonnets
  • Reading comprehension – based on
  • Shakespearean text
  • Figurative Language - simile, metaphor, idiom, personification, hyperbole, onomatopoeia

Literature Circle - Oppression

April-May

  • Theme – based on oppression
  • Connection and understanding of theme
  • based upon the novel
  • Literary Elements - Review

Narrative

June

  • Write Traits: organization, idea, word choice, voice, sentence fluency, conventions