In 5th grade Reading/Language Arts, students will learn and apply the Minnesota fifth grade reading and language arts standards. There is a strong emphasis on fiction and nonfiction reading. Students will learn about and compare and contrast the following fiction genres: realistic fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, traditional literature, mystery, and poetry along with graphic novels and plays. They will be learning the five elements of a story (characters, setting, plot, conflict, and theme) and will apply them when reading fiction books. They will also learn about the following nonfiction genres: informational text, biography, and autobiography.
A student’s language arts experience will focus on the common core standards and Minnesota State standards in language arts. Our goal is to create and instill literacy and writing skills with our students. We read a variety of material, including novels, high interest short stories and nonfiction articles, which involve learning backgrounds to our stories, reading skills, and strategies. Students also read materials of their choice for their year-long reading requirement. Students write in a variety of forms and methods, of which many topics are in conjunction with the in class reading. They express their thoughts and ideas in many different types of writing, including but not limited to: persuasive, descriptive, comparison, research, informative, and creative. Writing skills and methods will be embedded within these lessons.
The language arts curriculum includes the following literacy and communication skills: reading, writing, language, speaking, listening, media literacy and critical thinking. The curriculum includes young adult contemporary and classic literature, nonfiction, short stories, poetry and drama. The students are challenged to analyze what they read and make connections to their lives and the world around them. In nonfiction, specific emphasis is placed on active reading strategies that improve comprehension. In fiction, particular emphasis is placed on character development, plot, conflict, setting, point of view and theme. Novels are taught as whole class instruction as well as small group literature circles. In addition, a free-choice reading requirement is included to provide practice and encourage the love of reading. Writing is taught as a process of skills that provides students practice in planning, drafting, revising, editing and publishing their work. The Six Traits of Writing is used for instruction and assessment in the following: Ideas, Organization, Word choice, Voice, Sentence fluency and Conventions (spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar and usage). The focus of writing is on a persuasive, narrative, and informative/explanatory writing. A word-study approach to spelling and vocabulary is used that includes Greek and Latin affixes and roots. All of these writing skills are reinforced through the students’ writing exercises and are incorporated within literature units to provide a balanced literacy approach.
Honors Language Arts
Honors language arts is a course for students who have strong reading and writing skills to be challenged at a deeper level. This course will approach the ELA standards with more depth and breadth with an advanced approach to understanding the standards. Students will be exposed to a variety of methods of learning, which may include independent learning, critical and creative thinking and problem solving skills. Overall, the curriculum will move at an accelerated pace with a more concentrated focus.
Language Arts in 8th grade focuses on reading, writing, speaking, language, and media literacy. We will write several formal papers including a memoir, a creative writing piece, a persuasive essay, a research paper, and several pieces analyzing specific works of literature. Students will work through each step in the writing process and al formal writing will be evaluated using the 6+1 Traits of Writing. Students will read one class novel (The Giver) and participate in literature circles based upon their reading level and interest. There is also an independent reading requirement where each student will select and read books of their choosing throughout the year. A persuasive speech and media project will accompany the persuasive writing unit. Ongoing topics will include vocabulary focusing primarily on Greek and Latin roots, journaling, nonfiction articles, and grammar.
Honors Language Arts
Honors Language Arts is a course for students who have strong reading and writing skills to be challenged at a deeper level. It will be a continuation of learning and developing the strong skills from 7th grade Honors Language Arts. This course will approach the ELA standards with more depth and breadth, with an advanced approach to understanding the standards. Students will be exposed to a variety of methods of learning, which may include independent learning, critical and creative thinking and problem solving skills. Overall, the curriculum will move at an accelerated pace with more concentrated focus.