English Language Arts
Currently, eighth grade teachers and students are working in Unit 2 (Suspense). We are very pleased with the progress our students are making this year. This is due, in large part, to the excellent training they received in seventh grade.
This unit is a journey into suspense and the elements of fiction that create it. Students will read a variety of authors and evaluate how they use literary devices, such as mood and tone, to conjure a sense of suspense in their readers. Students will then apply this knowledge to write their own suspense narrative. The engaging scenario will be a student-produced minute‐long movie trailer or a storyboard synopsizing their narrative, which they will pitch to the film board of University Studios for consideration as a feature-length film.
Seventh Grade teachers and students are making progress through Unit 2. In this unit, students research a topic that has had an impact on a current or historic society, write a report of information, and present their research in a broadcast format for their fellow students. Throughout the modules, students learn the importance of choosing a compelling topic, asking interesting questions, accessing relevant articles and multi-media sources, gathering credible and unbiased information, writing an effective report of information, and presenting an entertaining and informative broadcast (i.e. talk show, radio news program, etc.) either in video or a live format. NOTE: This unit is designed to fit with preparation for History Day. Concurrent use with History/Social Studies curriculum is encouraged.
Sixth Grade is well into Unit 2, which requires students to deepen their understanding of courage by reading, writing, speaking, listening, and presenting. Through whole-class learning, small-group learning, and performance-based assessments, students will discover the answer to the essential question: Where Can Courage Take Us? After reading short stories, articles, memoirs, and various poems, students will write their own short memoir, poem, or found poem expressing the impact of their own courage, or the courage of someone they may admire in themselves or others. This unit is based on the NYS Common Core ELA Curriculum for Module 2B created by Expeditionary Learning. For more information and specific lesson plans, go to https://www.engageny.org/resource/grade-6-ela-module-2B.
Articles of the Week
All grade levels continue to work on the Articles of the Week, designed to sharpen our students’ close reading, summarizing, and constructed response writing skills. This continues to be a focus for homework in all ELA classes. The skills students master by successfully completing Articles of the Week go a long way in ensuring their success on the SBAC Test in May.