At every grade level, middle school English students grow as readers, writers, speakers, and listeners. Students are also developing their critical thinking and habits of mind.
The English curriculum is spiral in nature. Students learn and practice the same skills each year, refining them to higher levels of sophistication. Students read texts in various genres including short story, poetry, essay, and novel—and all are chosen with an eye on issues, such as of environmental sustainability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and cultural diversity as they exist in our contemporary world.
Students experience writing in multiple genres such as essay, fiction, and poetry, each of which consist of stages that are valued individually and as inherent to the writing process, from finding a topic to tentative drafts to revisions, and ultimately to a final product. Selections from these various writing assignments are included in their online blogs that they curate over the course of three years.
Students develop keyboarding and other technology skills, and expand their abilities in grammar, spelling, and vocabulary. They arrange individual and group presentations, becoming not only better speakers but also more attentive and engaged listeners.
By the end of eighth grade, students will have developed proficiency in the following:
- Continuing to develop critical thinking skills
- Using evidence to support ideas in class discussion
- Distinguishing between the general and specific (e.g. claim vs. evidence)
- Developing skills in essay writing, including expository, narrative, descriptive, and persuasive, as well as other forms of writing, such as creative writing and poetry
- Assuming primary responsibility in time management, materials organization, and all work
- Self-advocating for themselves and seeking out extra help from teachers when needed