English

Middle Grades Program of Studies - English Langage Arts

5th Grade

Instruction in fifth grade builds on students’ foundational literacy skills acquired in the elementary grades and continues to focus on laying a solid foundation for reading and writing aligned to TN state standards. The four domains of writing, speaking and listening, reading, and language are integrated throughout lessons which are built around quarterly themes designed to challenge students’ critical thinking with complex texts and vocabulary. The themes in fifth grade are Quarter 1 – Perseverance, Quarter 2 – Ingenuity, Quarter 3 – Courage, Quarter 4 – Philanthropy. Students read a wide variety of literary and informational texts including dramas and poetry. Works from authors such as Robert Hoge, Brian Selznick, Avi, and Lauren Tarshis are among some of the texts explored in fifth grade. Written expression is a central component of each quarter as students build and refine their craft through evidence-based narrative, informative, and opinion writing.

6th Grade

Expectations for sixth grade emphasize a continuation of learning standards in the four TN state ELA domains of writing, speaking and listening, reading, and language. The quarterly themes of grade six are: Quarter 1 – Culture, Quarter 2 – Empathy, Quarter 3 – Perspective, Quarter 4 – Survival. Students read a range of literature and informational texts to include extended works by Deborah Ellis, James L. Swanson, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and Michael Oher which explore history, culture, and society while building reading comprehension, vocabulary, and analysis through enriching classroom discussions. Writing instruction builds on fifth grade standards for the three modes of writing: narrative, informative, and argumentative with introduction of the counterclaim.

7th Grade

The class encompasses a variety of literary genres including science fiction, historical non-fiction, fantasy, drama, and various forms of poetry. Each quarter is divided into separate themes: Quarter 1 – Individuals vs Society, Quarter 2 – Perspective, Quarter 3 – Tolerance, and Quarter 4 – Gumption. Throughout the class, the students experience the writings of multiple authors including, but certainly not limited to, Lois Lowry, Leon Leyson, Shirley Jackson, and Roald Dahl. While reading the texts, the students engage in critical thinking skills such as analyzing, evaluating, and predicting in order to draw conclusions. Additionally, the class provides instruction in reading comprehension, vocabulary, and analytical skills. Writing is also a main focus of this class with the students writing multiple narratives, informatives, and argumentative essays. All curriculum and activities used are built around the Tennessee State Standards.

7th Grade Advanced Course

Advanced Language Arts curriculum is designed to challenge students with accelerated coursework devised of upper-grade level material that is directly aligned with the Tennessee State Standards. The class is designed for students with accelerated reading comprehension, vocabulary, and analytical skills and moves at a faster pace than a traditional Language Arts class. The class uses a wide variety of genres that prepare students for advanced level courses at the high school and collegiate level. While analyzing complex literature, students acquire knowledge that goes beyond the regular classroom curriculum. The students are required to think independently, complete project-based learning, analyze and interpret complex literature, and write thought-provoking responses to rigorous writing prompts. Students will also be required to complete a summer reading program that will extend throughout the school year.

7th grade students will be selected to the advanced ELA class based on a number of criteria:

- Grade 6 English nine-weeks English average (Q1, Q2, and Q3)

- Grade 6 English checkpoint results (Q1, Q2, and Q3)

- Teacher recommendation based on 6th grade English performance

8th Grade

English Language Arts encompasses a variety of literary genres including realistic fiction, non-fiction narratives, drama, historical fiction, and various forms of poetry. Each quarter is designed using separate themes: Quarter 1 – Cognizance, Quarter 2 – American Dream, Quarter 3 – Social Classes, and Quarter 4 – Identity. Throughout the class, students experience the writings of multiple authors including, but certainly not limited to, Kwame Alexander, Michaela DePrince, S.E. Hinton, and Lauren Hillenbrand. While reading the literary texts, students are asked to consider other types of texts sharing similar content as the quarter’s theme: documentaries, current news articles, short video clips, images, and poems. Using these text sets, students engage in critical thinking skills such as analyzing for author’s craft, evaluating effectiveness of word choice and argumentative strategies, and delineating the claims made by effective authors. Writing is also a major focus of this class; students learn about, evaluate, and write several essays using the three major types of writing including narrative, informational, and argumentative. All curriculum and activities are built to align with the Tennessee State Standards.

8th Grade ELA Advanced Course

Advance Language Arts curriculum enhances student learning using a wide variety of rigorous text, enriched writing programs, required summer reading, participation in debates, delivery of speeches, and an opportunity to serve as eighth grade ELA ambassadors to their peers. This class is designed to challenge students with accelerated classwork comprised of upper-grade level material that is directly aligned with the Tennessee State Standards. The class is designed for students with accelerated reading comprehension, vocabulary, and analytical skills and moves at a faster pace than a traditional Language Arts class. The class uses a wide variety of genres that prepare students for advanced level classs at the high school and collegiate level. While analyzing complex literature, students acquire knowledge that goes beyond the regular classroom curriculum. The students are required to think independently, complete project based learning, analyze and interpret complex literature, and write thought provoking responses to rigorous writing prompts. Students must meet rigorious criteria set by Johnson City Schools in order to be recommended for the class.