The English Language Arts curriculum in the Middle School explores the overarching theme of identity through literature, and discussions emerge through central questions posed as students read. Reading, writing, and communication skills are developed. Study of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary are also features of Middle School English classes; teachers use a variety of tools for these exercises.

The theme for 6th grade English is courage and resilience. Students embark on a reading, writing, listening, and speaking learning journey during which they learn the stories of people’s lives through a variety of reading materials. They learn to communicate their own experiences to different audiences by exploring the central questions:

  • How does reading change, inform, and support my perspective?
  • How do writing, speaking, listening, and creating visual images help me communicate my thoughts, ideas, and opinions?
  • How does what I’m reading and writing affect me and my world?

The focus of 7th grade literature studies centers around the theme of identity. As students read, write, discuss, and create, they ask the questions:

  • What makes us who we are?
  • How do different parts of our identities combine to make us who we are?
  • How are our identities today shaped by society?
  • Do the ways we identify ourselves change over time?
  • Do the ways we present our identities change depending on where we are or the people we are with?
  • Who am I today?

The 8th grade English Language Arts curriculum builds on 6th and 7th grade explorations of identity with an eye towards further engaging in and building a just community. Students read diverse genres, from poetry, to non-fiction narratives, to graphic novels, honing analytical and expressive language skills both orally and in writing. Various voices and perspectives are examined as students seek to identify and communicate their own truths in relationship with others. Throughout the year, vocabulary and grammar are practiced in differentiated modules and utilized in class exercises. This class is designed to prepare students for the rigorous Upper School Language Arts curriculum.