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Language Arts

Middle School Language Arts classes help students develop a strong academic base by building their confidence as readers, writers, and speakers. Students write both formally and informally and practice all stages of the writing process, from draft through revision to final product, producing writing in a wide variety of genres and modes. Emphasis is on sharpening students’ abilities to analyze and respond clearly and precisely to what they read. Vocabulary and grammar study are undertaken both in the context of student writing and as distinct topics. Choice in independent reading encourages students to develop their own tastes and strengths as readers, while whole-class texts, frequently chosen to augment the social studies curriculum, allow a deep dive into ideas through lively and respectful discussion that encourages students to connect the themes from literature to their communities and to the world.

Course Descriptions

Language Arts 5th Grade

5th grade develops the foundation of the 5-paragraph essay with cross-curricular connections through literature and social studies content. They learn the elements for expository and persuasive formats and focus on grammar and Greek and Latin vocabulary development. There are also projects and STEAM units that culminate each quarter with engaging experiences for students.

Language Arts 6th Grade

6th grade continues to practice the 5-paragraph essay, building on the skills learned in 5th grade. Students write a variety of essays—narrative, expository, persuasive, and responses to literature. 6th grade students study grammar in the context of their writing, and continue to learn Greek and Latin roots in their vocabulary study. Literature includes historical fiction that mirrors social studies topics, and STEAM projects focus on this connection between Language Arts and Social Studies.

Language Arts 7th Grade

7th grade begins the year with refining all basic writing skills and formats. Students then build their skill set to include poetic analysis, cause and effect, compare and contrast, and vignette writing formats. Students create a grammar based interactive notebook which includes writing activities to bridge the gap between learning grammar in isolation and actively using it in written pieces. While literature is grounded in historical fiction to connect to social studies topics, there is an emphasis on exploring contemporary pieces that connect to their modern lives. Reading non-fiction is another emphasis in the seventh grade curriculum. STEAM unit projects are highly integrated across all core curriculums, and draw in several electives as well, thus exemplifying global learning.

Language Arts 8th Grade

8th grade at The Village School continues the concepts from 7th grade with accelerated depth and pace. The social studies influence is based on world history which leads the learning, both reading and writing, to a global focus. Students begin to see themselves as lifelong learners with inquisitive minds and valid opinions. Essays are based on responses to literature, free choice topics and topics within the social studies curriculum. Research writing and rhetoric, with works cited as well as annotated bibliography, are an additional focus as students prepare for the rigors of high school. Literature varies from traditional texts and novels to poetry and speeches. At this level, STEAM unit projects are advanced and often presented independently.