Topic outline

  • General

  • Topic 1

    EMS English Department

    The English/Language Arts program is designed to provide strategies that will enable each Middle School student to become an avid and capable reader, writer, speaker, listener, and thinker. The development of these skills is central to learning in all areas of the curriculum.

    The program includes the following aspects of language arts:

    • Reading a broad spectrum of literature
    • Writing
    • Speaking
    • Listening
    • Language usage

    Emphasis in reading is placed on the ability to read with comprehension and appreciate different genres of literature. Some literature selections are integrated with other curriculum areas.

    The writing program stresses the development of each student's writing proficiency. Correct usage and mechanics are emphasized in the writing program to strengthen the student's understanding of the specific structure of the English language. Literature serves as a model for students' writing processes. A consistent writing rubric is used in grades 6-8. This rubric outlines writing expectations and skills for students, and is used for on-going writing assessment.



    The ELA program also includes test-taking strategies and practice to prepare students for the New York State ELA Assessments required by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation. Since the 2005-06 school year, students in grades 6 and 7 have joined grade 8 students in taking the NYS ELA assessment

     

    • Topic 2

      6th Grade

      Through the use of core novels and book clubs, students learn by reading literature that represents a variety of genres, including:

      • Realistic fiction
      • Historical fiction
      • Science fiction/Fantasy
      • Biography/Autobiography
      • Poetry



      Additional titles are read by students individually and in small and large groups. Myths and legends are also among the various genres taught at the sixth grade level. Language Arts classes are designed to create an environment where enthusiastic readers and writers can pursue reading and writing to the fullest extent of their capabilities. Vocabulary is taught within the context of the ELA program.

      Students are expected to participate actively in discussions about the books they are reading. They are also encouraged to read at home to meet the New York State Department of Education’s recommendation to read approximately 25 books per year.



      Students write essays, journal entries, letters, fiction, and memoirs based on the need to write for information, social interaction, literary response, and critical analysis. The writing program is designed to teach children to write based on the following process model: 

      • Selecting topics and genre
      • Prewriting, including graphic organizers
      • Preparing drafts
      • Revising content
      • Editing for usage and mechanics (punctuation, spelling, grammar, and paragraphing)
      • Preparing the finished product

      • Topic 3

        7th Grade

        Students read core reading selections including fiction and drama. Students also read poetry, non-fiction, short stories, and essays. The course objectives for reading are: to enable students to analyze literature, to read for information, and to respond to various genres of writing. Periodicals and Internet sources are read as supplemental texts. Vocabulary is developed in the context of the reading assignments. Additional reading at home is encouraged to promote life-long literacy.

        Writing assignments include: literary responses, essays, and social correspondence. Prewriting organizational skills are taught through the use of graphic organizers, and outlines. Peer conferences are used to aid students in their revising processes. Standard written English is expected after the editing process.

        Group projects and oral presentations are also incorporated into the curriculum. Active listening skills and note-taking skills are honed. Critical reading skills are taught through the use of annotations and double entries.

        • Topic 4

          8th Grade

          Literature studied encompasses all genres and includes both the required core selections and additional titles. Students analyze literature as they develop comprehension, critical thinking, and vocabulary skills.

          Student writing covers the expository essay, the personal essay, reports, and creative writing. Spelling, usage, grammar, and mechanics are taught in the context of students' writing. Students are encouraged to enter various writing contests, and student work in various formats is shared with other students. When appropriate and possible, the curriculum is supplemented by cultural activities.

          Students continue to work toward mastery of the same ELA skills that were introduced to them in the seventh grade. The content is more difficult, and the level of expectations is higher.

          Students read core reading selections including fiction and drama. Students also read poetry, non-fiction, short stories, and essays. The course objectives for reading are: to enable students to analyze literature, to read for information, and to respond to various genres of writing. Periodicals and Internet sources are read as supplemental texts. Vocabulary is often taught in the context of the reading assignments. Additional reading at home is encouraged to promote life-long literacy.

          Writing assignments include: research reports, literary responses, poetry, essays, and social correspondence. Prewriting organizational skills are taught through the use of graphic organizers, and outlines. Peer conferences are used to aid students in their revising processes. Standard written English is expected after the editing process. Each student will keep a writing portfolio.

          Group projects and oral presentations are also incorporated into the curriculum. Active listening skills and note-taking skills are honed. Critical reading skills are taught through the use of annotations and double entries.

          • Topic 5

            Literacy Lab Grades 6, 7, and 8

            The focus of Literacy Lab is to provide support for students who need assistance with meeting New York State Standards with regard to literacy. Students read high interest fiction and nonfiction materials to help them become more engaged with the texts. Through direct instruction and implementation of various reading strategies, students learn to internalize specific reading behaviors and apply them when reading new material. The support allows them to become strategic readers, thereby enhancing their literacy.

            The Literacy Lab curriculum includes the study of comprehension strategies (before, during and after reading), study strategies, test taking strategies, vocabulary, written expression, listening and speaking skills. Pleasurable reading and reading in the content areas are also incorporated into the class. The course builds on what each child knows and allows the reading teacher to guide him or her as they strive for continuous progress in becoming a confident, independent reader.

            Textbooks and supplemental materials used in Literacy Lab include:

            • Focus on Reading Strategies
            • Take-Twos Guided Reading
            • CSI – Comprehension Strategies Instruction
            • Be A Better Reader
            • I'm Studying Reading
            • Anne Schraff Passages High-interest Novels
            • Anne Schraff Passages High-interest Suspense Novel