English Language Arts
The curriculum is composed of reading, language (grammar, spelling, mechanics) and writing.
Reading includes foundational skills like phonics and fluency. Literary reading includes learning about and comparing theme, plot, character and setting, as well as vocabulary and overall structure of a literary piece. We will experience different genres of literature, although most of the novels read will be historical fiction to supplement and complement the history curriculum. The final reading emphasis will be informational texts, like the social studies and science textbooks. This will include studying main ideas and supporting information, relationships between material, content specific vocabulary, and drawing inferences from what a text explicitly states.
Language study will include the conventions of standard English including parts of speech, with an emphasis on verb tenses and conjunctions. Mechanics will be taught during daily editing exercises, especially the varied uses of the comma. Students will understand the difference between formal and informal English and the appropriate use of each. Vocabulary acquisition will be cross-curricular and will include word roots and bases.
Although students will have varied writing experiences, the main emphasis will be on expository writing, both paragraphs and essays. Students will practice supporting a point of view or thesis statement with reasons and information. Students will be taught how to structure their writing, whether it is a single paragraph, an essay, or a research paper. Much of this writing will be based on the literature read as well as experiences during science lab. Creative and narrative writing may be based on social studies content, such as writing letters or journal entries from a historical perspective.