The Language Arts block (two periods) provides students with a comprehensive program that teaches the Common Core State Standards and helps students become better readers, writers, and thinkers so they are better prepared for college, careers, and beyond. The major objective of this course is to develop students’ ability to read and understand fiction and nonfiction text and to write, speak, and listen as ways of communicating effectively. This course has students reading novels, plays, short stories, and poems. Writing is also a strong component in the course using the Collins Writing Program. Students will write narrative, argumentative, and informative pieces. Grammar and editing instruction is integrated into the processes of reading and writing. The Accelerated Reader Program, as a component of this course, is worth 10 percent of the overall grade. Academic students are required to earn 15 required points per grading period.
- Essay Writing: Preparation for PSSA timed-writing in all three modes: argumentative, narrative, expository. Students will use a specific and clear thesis and support it with reasons and textual evidence.
- Novel Study: They Had a Dream by Jules Archer. PSSA open-ended response, vocabulary, non-fiction analysis.
- Novel Study: The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. PSSA open-ended response, vocabulary, applying reading strategies, plot elements, and figurative language.
- Civil Rights Project: Students will research a topic from the Civil Rights timeline, write a summary of their findings and create a website complete with pictures and text to illustrate what they learned.
- Vocabulary: Vocabulary from Latin and Greek Roots: A Study of Word Families I.
- Community Contribution Project/Speech: Students will write an informative essay on one thing in which they excel. Then, they will find a person in their community who has become successful in that field. Students will give a short speech utilizing media to demonstrate what they learned.
- Short Stories and Plays: Students will read and analyze a collection of short stories and the play, A Christmas Carol.
- Poetry Unit: Students will analyze a series of poems by professional and student poets. Students will also write their own poetry using form, figurative language, and other poetic devices.
- Grammar Study: Analysis of proper sentence construction, types of sentence structures, sentence combining, parts of speech, run-on, fragments, agreement, and punctuation.