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Middle School English

We invite our students—as readers, writers, speakers, and critics—into a lively and ever-evolving conversation about literature and reading.

Reading Between the Lines

In Middle School, our literature-based curriculum builds the academic and literary skills of our students. As they learn to make connections between texts and across disciplines, students also build their independence and confidence as readers and writers. In shifting their study from writing the perfect paragraph to composing the five-paragraph essay, they practice literary analysis and master techniques for incorporating evidence into essays. In addition, students develop their own voice, incorporating the sensory language and details that bring their words to life on the page. Above all else, students expand their appreciation and love for language and literature, becoming lifelong readers and skilled writers in the process.

Accordion

The English 6 curriculum focuses on the essential question “Who am I?” bringing together students from various language arts experiences.

In this course, students may:

  • Analyze literature and craft effective, evidence-based paragraphs and essays
  • Exercise multiple intelligences through music, movement, art, and public speaking

The aim of the workshop course is to stimulate the writer’s creativity and spontaneity, through prompts and projects that are surprising and varied.

In this course, students may:

  • Use their five senses to create descriptive, figurative, and imaginative language as they explore literature and the world at large
  • Focus on writings such as journaling, poetry, and short fiction
  • Experiment with their writing in a fun and safe environment without the pressure of added tests, quizzes, and homework

English 7 coordinates with seventh-grade social studies to focus on the question “How does where we come from shape who we are?” Like English 6, it emphasizes reading comprehension and textual evidence, introducing a wide range of American literature and analyzing each work’s historical context.

In this course, students may:

  • Craft personal and literary essays
  • Work cooperatively to create projects and presentations that explore the elements of literature
  • Examine how their personal histories intersect with the history of the United States, drawing connections between the stories of the past and their present

Here students continue the work they began in Writing Workshop 6 by challenging their creative process and integrating good mechanics and attention to detail.

In this course, students may:

  • Begin to use writing as an effective means to express their ideas
  • Compose compelling and artful narratives
  • Take a practical and hands-on approach to writing, in a safe and comfortable space

Serving as a bridge to the Upper School, English 8 continues to build reading, writing, and study skills while introducing students to critical thinking, group discussions, and expository essay writing.

In this course, students may:

  • Cover topics in grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension
  • Study the issues of power and group dynamics, making interdisciplinary connections between novels and historical topics such as imperialism, war, fascism, and the Holocaust
  • Complete projects such as creative essays, short videos, artistic responses, and original poetry, and enact scenes from Romeo and Juliet

In contrast with other courses students have taken, Journalism 8 explores what it means to be a citizen of a democracy and the responsibilities that come along with it.

In this course, students may:

  • Learn the practical effects of the First Amendment and the impact current events have on their lives
  • Seek to inform and develop their own ideas regarding the realities of our planet
  • Run our student blog, “The BeeFeed”

The Creative Writing course centers on writing and the writing process. Students discuss as a class what makes some writing stand out, while also focusing on improvements that can be made to any piece.

In this course, students may:

  • Participate in peer editing, learning the value of sharing their work
  • Focus on elements of good writing while pursuing high standards of literary achievement
  • Celebrate each piece of writing that they are proud of