English and Language Arts
6th Grade English
Humans are natural storytellers. Whether we are around the dinner table recounting the day’s events, warming our hands by the fire between the dreadful pauses of a ghost story, or building a sound case in the courtroom, stories need to be told and heard. But how do verbal tales become the written text we love to read and hope to write? Many times, it seems good writing is a gift or an act shrouded in mystery. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be elusive. Sixth Grade English will consider, in depth, how we craft our stories and what impact they have on readers. In doing so, we will work to cultivate a solid understanding of the process of writing and reading.We will analyze many styles and types of text by compartmentalizing the parts of a written work into manageable bites: Ideas, Word Choice, Organization, Sentence Fluency, Conventions and Presentation. Students will put their comprehension of each trait into practice. Students will become aware of the choices one makes when sitting down to write. They will learn to identify areas in which a piece of writing can be strengthened. This course will work in tandem with 6th grade World Cultures as well as 6th grade Science to expand awareness of literature around the world as well as STEM-related topics.
7th grade English
What makes a piece of writing interesting to read? At times, a good story line, other times, the writer’s prose and the way their words roll off the tongue. Sometimes it isn’t just about the writing itself, but what surrounds the writing—why it was written, what was happening at the time it was written, and what people have done as a result of the writing. It is this last part that sparks the driving question of this course: What has writing made you feel and as a result, what has it provoked you to do? In 7th Grade English, we will be paying extra attention to the idea of controversial writings—those little firecrackers of prose that lead people to action. Don’t worry—this course is accompanied by the structure of a more traditional English course in which we learn about sentence structure, vocabulary, and punctuation, and we practice public speaking and writing across different genres. This course asks: How are we, as writers, speakers, and readers, part of these controversies created by words, and how can we be passionate, effective authors and speakers who evoke critical thought in our audience?
8th Grade English
In order to be well versed, educated, citizens of the future, students at Headwaters need a robust English Language study course. Skills that students will know by the end of 8th grade include, but are not limited to: cite textual evidence, make inferences from a text, determine a theme or central idea, read and write formal and informal texts and narratives, along with speaking and presenting skills. Students will alternate between book study and composition, with weekly, supplemental grammar and reading instruction. 8th Grade English is integrated with the U.S. History curriculum. Often, students will read texts which support their learning in Humanities in a cross-curricular approach. Writers and readers are encouraged to question and challenge bias as well as question the history they have previously learned.