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Language Arts Curriculum 5 -8 Grades

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Grade:  6, 8, Language Arts








Integrated with all areas of study at this level.

Study of literature by genre, including short stories, nonfiction, poetry, novels, and Greek mythology which coincides with an interdisciplinary sixth grade Greek Unit.  Plot, character and setting emphasized.  Study of vocabulary in context and use to demonstrate comprehension.

Students learn to interpret and analyze literature to understand and appreciate different genres.  Critical reading skills developed using reading response journals and class discussions about theme, plot, setting, characterization, style, point of view and tone.  Reading literature includes traditional, environmental, newspapers and primary research documents relating to 18th century America.

Requires students to read and write every day.  Fall term begins with speech writing.  Student writes an original speech which is researched during September and presented at a Middle School Assembly during the eighth grade year.  May write a longer paper at the end of the year that reflects their study in the middle school.


Reading is literature based.  Novels and other selections are coordinated with the study of the United States culture, geography, and history.  Study and research skills are emphasized.

Writing program emphasizes structures to make writing stronger: sentences, verbs and other parts of speech and organization.  Via reading and writing workshop, students write and publish pieces from daily writing exercised, journals and logs helping students analyze books and stories.

Writing workshop focuses on skills and fluency improvement, addressing the writing process, purpose, audience, leads, setting, dialogue, voice and mechanics.  Paragraph development working towards improving five paragraph essay.  Vocabulary and spelling taken from reading material.  Grammar taught through study of parts of speech, sentence and paragraph structure and paragraph development.

Study of literature by genre continues and lays the foundation for more advanced study in high school.  In addition to reading popular adolescent books, students study classic novels and short stories.  Selections of novels are often based on the studies of other classes and the connection between English and social studies are strong.


Writing process to refine paragraph writing and combine paragraphs into coherent essays.

Spend one term learning/applying research skills in Computer Research Course, gathering information to write research paper in class using word processing.

Study poetry, select own poem for oral presentation, including poet and interpretation information.  Produce “Williamsburg Evening” - recreation of colonial American life using research, public speaking, writing and dramatic skills.

Class discussion, group projects, and writing in response to literature are used to develop understanding.  Includes vocabulary study, the study of grammar, mechanics, and usage.


Correct spelling, grammar, and mechanics are stressed in all written work.

Each student selects meaningful quotation from The Edge by Howard E. Ferguson and prepares oral presentation for weekly assembly.

Expected to have developed appropriate listening skills as well as being attentive and appreciative of audience.

Reading and writing workshops promote the enjoyment of reading and writing as well as skill development.  Expected to read and write outside of class for at least 30 minutes per day.  Journaling is a part of the reading and writing workshop.












Spelling continues to build knowledge of rules and patterns, of high frequency words, words specific to an academic discipline and words of interest to student

Reading of traditional and adolescent literature outside of class is expected and encouraged.  Silent sustained reading incorporated into school term.

Writing class provides time and direction for students to improve skills.  Writing teachers work with instructors in other disciplines to improve writing across the curriculum.  Produce work that is often addressed both in writing class and in another class.

Expected to set the tone for the Middle School Assemblies, both in the presentation of their speeches and in their modeling of appropriate audience response to speakers.  After each assembly, the eighth grade speaker accepts the congratulations of his or her peers.


Oldest students in assembly, students often serve as leaders.  Recitation at assembly is highlight of public speaking experience - students have opportunities to develop competence and independence in speaking, listening, reading and writing


Annual objectives are developed to meet the needs of specific students and may include Power of the Pen practice, peer critiques, fluency, grammar, paragraph and essay writing, and poetry workshops.

In the seventh and eighth grade writing class, students continue to improve skills.  Writing teachers work with instructors in other disciplines to improve writing across the curriculum.  Use writing skills to produce quality work in all their classes.  Annual objectives are developed to meet the needs of specific students and may include Power of the Pen practice, peer critiques, fluency, grammar, paragraph and essay writing, and poetry workshops.




Students will read and study a variety of literature.  Encouraged to enjoy popular adolescent literature by reading outside the class.  Silent sustained reading is often incorporated into the school term.

Some of the literature that may be used at the eighth grade level:

The Diary of Anne Frank

A Midsummer’s Night Dream

The Red Badge of Courage

Flowers for Algernon

Of Mice and Men

Huckleberry Finn

Tom Sawyer

The Pearl

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court




Some titles from which selection will be made include:

The Light in the Forest,Where the Lilies Bloom, Tuck Everlasting

Human Comedy,Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, To Kill A Mockingbird


The Plain Dealer,The News Herald,The Wall Street Journal










Teacher:  Ann Soucek

Grade:  6, 8, Language Arts



Life long readers and writers.

Constructive learning

Have opinions and interpretations, ideas and literature

Analyze text, relate them to life or modern society and cultures

See that the English language is not a separate entity but related to every aspect of life

Literature reflects history

Know what makes writing good and be able to write in such a way

Creative and analytic writing

Individuality in thoughts, words, actions, self-reliance, logical thought, comprehend writings using higher or deeper levels of analysis









To be able to write a sentence, using subjects and predicates.

To be able to develop and write a paragraph using a topic sentence / main idea and sub-topic sentences.

To be able to learn to write stories, such as fantasy, mystery, biographies and non-fiction using and introduction, rising action, climax and a conclusion.

To be able to write poetry, including haiku’s, cinquains, free verse.

To be able to plan and develop the various steps in writing book reports, compositions, non-fiction reports and a research paper by learning the format of an outline note cards and a rough draft.

To be able to proofread, edit and revise each of the above objectives.




The ability to:

write simple and compound subjects and predicates in sentences

write declarative, interrogative, commanding and exclamatory sentences

use adjectives and adverbs to make sentences more interesting

join sentences by making complex or compound sentences using “and”, “or”, or “but”

use phrases to expand sentences

edit sentences

write a topic sentence for a paragraph

write a paragraph in proper sequence

write a descriptive paragraph

write a paragraph to compare or contrast

write paragraphs that give an opinion, explain, prove, or convince

revise a paragraph

to write a story/composition about characters, using dialogue, tall tales, mysteries, biographies, fantasies

begin, develop and end a story

write a report or research paper using encyclopedias, card catalog, bibliography

organize information for a report by writing an outline, note taking and rough draft

write a book report.

write a friendly letter, business letter, invitation and/or response, thank you letter, newspaper advertisement, directions for a recipe, address an envelope.

write poetry in free verse, cinquains, and haiku’s.

Paraphrase when taking notes.






To be able to identify sentences and fragments.

To be able to distinguish between an antonym, synonym, homonym, compound work and contraction.

To be able to identify nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, articles, and prepositions in a sentence.

To be able to be able to identify subjects, predicates, and objects in a sentence.

To be able to develop an agreement between the subject and predicate.

To be able to distinguish the differences between singular, plural, and possessive.

To be able to review the rules of capitalization and punctuation (including use of quotation marks), apostrophes, and contractions.

To be able to identify a prepositional phrase.

To be able to understand how to use a dictionary and thesaurus, and to see the values in using these.

To be able to reinforce the use of context clues to develop vocabulary skills.




Recognize the four kinds of sentences: declarative, interrogative, imperative and exclamatory.

Recognize the subject – predicate pattern of N-V, N-V-N, N-LV-N, N-LV-Adj.

Recognize the function of subject, direct object, indirect object and proper nouns to help identify various kinds of nouns in a sentence.

Understand the function and use of pronouns, both as subjects and direct objects.

Understand the function of a verb in a sentence, in a predicate, and  in various tenses.

Understand the function of an adjective, predicate adjective, comparative adjective, superlative adjective and their uses in enlivening sentences, paragraphs and compositions.

Understand the function of adverbs as modifiers of verbs, recognize that many end in an –ly form, have a comparative and superlative form, can modify adjectives and other adverbs, and can be positioned almost anywhere in a sentence.

Locate dictionary entries especially when given another form of the word besides the root word.

Identify parts of speech through the dictionary, as well as meaning pronunciations, spellings and synonyms.

Identify information in an encyclopedia, using key words, alphabetical order, volume number, and guide words.

Identify prepositions, objects of prepositions, and prepositional phrases in a sentence.

Distinguish between prepositions and adverbs.

Identify conjunctions in a compound/complex sentence, in compound subjects or compound predicates.

Identify and correct run-on sentences.

Organize information for a report using an outline, notecards, rough draft and final copy including a bibliography.

Proofread to reinforce rules of capitalization, punctuation, and word usage.

Write interesting friendly, business and thank you letters using correct capitalization, punctuation, abbreviations, greetings, closings, and addressing of envelopes.






To be able to derive the main idea and locate specific information.

To be able to relate to ideas in a sentence.

To be able to summarize materials and relates outcomes.

To be able to evaluate material and relate events in a story.

To be able to understand details and make comparisons.

To be able to infer the authors’ meaning and answers factual question.

To be able to discuss character development.

To be able to distinguish fact from fantasy.

To be able to read for retention.

To be able to read for enjoyment.

To be able to appreciate poetry.




The ability to:

Understand word meanings.

Understand meanings of phrase and special expressions.

Understand meanings from syntactic and rhetorical relationships.

Use punctuation marks and typographical variations as meaning aids.

Comprehension application.

Follow directions.

Noting and remembering important details.

Note correct sequence.

Identify the topic and the main idea of a paragraph or longer passage.

Draw conclusions.

Make inferences.

Predict outcomes.

Recognize cause and effect.



Understand types of literature.

Understand types of story elements.

Understand writing styles and devices.

Use the library and special reference sources.

Locate and use information within books.

Evaluate information.

Organize information for retention and/or reporting.

Identify and recognize words in unfamiliar form.

Identify and recognize words unfamiliar in form and in pronunciation.


Speaking and Listening




Spelling units.

To be able to understand vowel rules.

Compound words and contractions.

Prefixes and suffixes.

Synonyms, antonyms, homonyms.

Syllables and plurals.

To be able to understand root words and derivatives.

To be able to use a dictionary.

To be able to read expressively – good phrasing – both prose and poetry.

To be able to choral speaking dramatizations.

To be able to deliver a speech effectively.

To be able to participate in discussions.

To be able to recite poetry.




The ability to:

Persuade (oral reports – panel discussions).

Compare and contrast (oral reports and group discussions).

Inform (oral reports and group discussions).

Evaluate facts and opinions (oral reports and group discussions).

Appreciate others thoughts (oral reports and group discussions).



Grammar / Composition




to feel comfortable composing prose and poetry

to be aware of and use standard English

to enjoy expressing oneself in written form




The ability to:

identify and write basic sentence patterns

identify and use adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, connectives, subordinate clauses, and appositives

use regular and irregular verb forms

generate ideas by brainstorming, and use them to write clearly and concisely

write letters, factual material, creative prose, and poetry

edit written work

summarize and evaluate stories and articles

write and deliver speeches

participate in drama presentations

gather information and synthesize it in writing






to develop an appreciation of good literature

to cultivate a love of reading

to comprehend stories using higher thinking levels

to recognize some of the characteristics of excellent literature




read and identify the features of different types of literature, including mythology, folktales, fantasy, realistic fiction, and poetry

recognize similes, metaphors, personification, foreshadowing, onomatopoeia, idioms, and euphemisms

identify the climax, the plot, the setting, point of view, and the main idea

use the context of the story, base words, and affixes, a dictionary, and thesaurus to determine meanings of words

make predictions, based on informed ideas

use details from the stories to support conclusions

use new vocabulary orally and in writing

use critical thinking to interpret and evaluate the author’s purpose

apply lessons learned in stories to real-life situations

compare and contrast characters








to be aware of spelling patterns

to relate spelling words to reading

to understand the relationship of sound and symbol

to use dictionary skills




The ability to:

correctly spell words with:

regular and variant spellings for vowels and consonants;

consonant blends and digraphs

the schwa sound

inflectional endings (-ed, -ing, -s, -es)

irregular plurals

prefixes and suffixes

contractions, possessives and compound words

proofread written work for spelling errors

use a spelling dictionary and regular dictionary

write sentences using spelling words









to establish an environment that encourages writers

to have the classroom become a community of writers

to share my own excitement about writing

to develop the skills of writing

to provide plenty of time for writing

to provide plenty of time for reading

to give students responsibility for choices

to use conferences to help the student react to his/her own writing




The ability to:

use the skills of writing (prewritng, planning, researching, organizing, drafting, editing and publishing)

take responsibility for choices

react to own writing and diagnose possible writing problems and solve them

correctly use the tools of writing (correct spelling, mechanics and grammar)

make use of resources

respect the written words as the property of the author

share (their) writing to build self-esteem and foster appreciation of others






to help students feel successful and make reading and writing dynamic

to share and enjoy freely all kinds of literature

to laugh and feel our feelings through literature

to react and respond to the ideas of authors

to continue development of reading comprehension and critical analysis

to continue developing interpretation skills

to expand reading, writing and speaking vocabulary

to promote speaking, oral discussion and listening skills




The ability to:

read and identify the features of different types of literature including essays, poetry, folktales, drama, autobiographies

recognize similes, metaphors, personification, foreshadowing, idioms, and euphemisms

identify the following elements in a work of literature: conflict protagonist, antagonist, characterization, setting tone, imagery, symbol, irony, satire plot, theme, moral climax, point of view and main idea

develop interpersonal skills such as making inferences, making predictions, understanding character innovation, discriminating between fact and detail and evaluating author’s purpose

compare and contrast authors’ writing styles

learn and use “new words” from literature selections through use of C. S. D. ( context clues, structural analysis and/or thesaurus)









to be able to read and enjoy short stories, nonfiction, novels, and poetry

to be able to use literary terminology to analyze a literary work

to be able to understand and critically evaluate the importance of common cultural values that appear in literary works

to become familiar with the characteristics of a variety of literature

to be able to develop analytical and creative writing skills

to be able to develop vocabulary skills




The ability to:

develop and use evaluating, classifying, and generalizing, synthesizing

develop and use alliteration, characterization, connotation, denotation, figurative language, flashback, imagery, inference, irony, metaphors, personification, plot, point of view, rhyme, setting, simile, syntax, theme, tone, foreshadowing

develop and use cause and effect relationship

develop and use main idea

differentiate fact and opinion

compare and contrast

inferring word meaning from context

develop skills in determining word meaning

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