English Language Arts (ELA) classes build upon students’ current skills in reading and writing and push them to develop more sophisticated reading strategies and writing abilities. Students also explore current events and other non-fiction texts, as well as engage in grammar instruction and practice.
The Outcomes in ELA
All ELA curriculum values our four school outcomes: students learn and practice oral presentation and discussion skills, as well as listening skills (Effective Communication), peer conferencing and collaboration (Community Membership); careful interpretation of rubric expectations, revisions, study skills, and meeting due dates (Self-Direction), and active reading strategies to inform reading comprehension, inference, and context clues, while also making effective decisions during the writing process to create a strong final product (Problem Solving).
Sequence of Study
Fifth grade ELA focuses on teaching basic grammar, paragraph writing structure, use of details, and reading comprehension. In order to assist in building foundational reading skills and tools, all fifth graders are also required to take a reading course titled Critical Thinking and Reading which highlights use of Systems Thinking tools to assist with comprehension and interpretation of articles and novels, analysis of character change, and relationships between factors in text.
Sixth grade ELA concentrates on components of persuasive writing including thesis statements, strong details, and citing evidence. Sixth graders also continue their development of reading comprehension and inference skills.
Seventh and Eighth Grade
Seventh and eighth grade ELA classes build skills in note-taking and more complex writing, including research writing, citing sources, and bibliographies. The goal is to prepare students for success in high school.