Middle School Language Arts



6th Grade Language Arts (625 Minimum Weekly Minutes)
Word Analysis, Fluency, and Vocabulary Development
• Distinguishes and interprets written text
• Recognizes word origins and meanings
Reading Comprehension
• Identifies main idea and assesses evidence that supports those ideas
• Clarifies meaning and summarizes written text
• Makes predictions, draws inferences, conclusions or generalizations, and is able to support them with evidence from written material
• Reading point goals set every quarter through use of Accelerated Reader and Scholastic Reading Counts, Study and Reference Skills
• Reads and gathers or finds information from maps, charts, graphs, schedules, time lines, and notices
• Uses a variety of information sources, including the dictionary, atlas, encyclopedia, newspapers, & periodicals
• Composes multi-paragraph compositions with a clear purpose, supportive details, conclusion and summary with a linked purpose, and a properly formatted bibliography
• Analyzes, revises, edits, and clarifies written work
• Writes a final draft which considers suggestions from instructor and/or peers
Listening and Speaking
• Interprets auditory and verbal instruction
• Delivers a variety of concise presentations which uses effective volume, rate, and tone with interesting information to keep the audience’s attention
• Engages in critical and constructive discussion


7th Grade Language Arts (525 Minimum Weekly Minutes)
Word Analysis, Fluency, and Vocabulary Development
• Infers word meanings through identification and analysis of analogies, idioms, multiple meaning words, connotations, denotations, and jargon
• Uses knowledge of root words and word etymologies to understand word origins and content vocabulary
Reading Comprehension
• Understands and analyzes the differences among various categories of informational materials such as textbooks, newspapers, and the Internet in terms of their structure and purpose
• Identifies the development of an author’s argument, point of view, and perspective in the text
• Makes predictions, infers and draws conclusions, or generalizations based on evidence
• Identifies the details, main idea, conflict, plot, and theme in various forms of literature
• Reading point goals set every quarter through use of Accelerated Reader and Scholastic Reading Counts
Literary Response and Analysis
• Identifies the elements of and understands the purpose of various forms of literature such as autobiography, short story fiction, poetry, folk tales, myths, fables, and novels
• Identifies and gives characteristics of a variety of literature
Study and Reference Skills
• Previews titles, headings, summaries, and questions when studying
• Uses a variety of information sources to gather information including dictionaries, maps, charts, graphs, schedules, newspapers, and Internet resources
Writing Strategies
• Uses transition words between sentences, ideas, and paragraphs
• Utilizes the claim, data, and warrant style to support thesis statements, identifies topics, and investigates claims
• Employs description, facts, statistics, and examples to support claims
• Outlines, takes notes, and summarizes to ensure structure of drafts
• Edits, rewrites, and revises drafts in order to improve final composition using technology and word processing tools
Writing Applications
• Applies note taking, outlining, summarization, and inquiry techniques to enhance writing
• Defines thesis statements

• Writes various essays such as narrative (1st & 3rd person),  expository, descriptive, informational, and persuasive
• Utilizes resources such as the library, Internet, and field resources
• Utilizes footnote techniques to cite data for research papers
• Prepares a bibliography 
• Integrates quotations correctly
• Uses word processing skills to prepare essays and research papers
• Applies editing tools to all revisions of various topic

Written and Oral English Language Conventions

• Applies grade-appropriate language and mechanics,proper capitalization, vocabulary, and spelling to all written work
• Utilizes correct usage including all parts of speech, cases, and verb tenses when speaking and writing
• Demonstrates the use of simple, compound, and complex sentences
Listening and Speaking
• Asks questions designed to elicit purposeful information
• Discusses effectively and constructively
• Determines speaker’s attitude toward the subject
• Responds to persuasive messages with questions, challenges, or affirmations
• Shapes information to achieve a particular purpose
• Arranges details, reasons, descriptions, and examples effectively
• Defines roles and shares responsibility for a group project
• Uses explicit techniques for presentations
• Provides constructive feedback to speakers
• Delivers narrative presentations, oral summaries, and research presentations


8th Grade Language Arts (525 Minimum Weekly Minutes)
• Uses knowledge of word origins, word relationships, and historical and literary context clues to determine the meaning of             specialized & grade-appropriate vocabulary
• Develops vocabulary and knowledge of word structure through study of introductory Latin
• Understands and uses idioms, analogies, metaphors, and similes
• Identifies main idea and concepts, and assesses evidence that supports those ideas
• Makes predictions, draws inferences, conclusions, or generalizations about text
• Finds similarities and differences among texts
• Explains the purposes and characteristics of different forms of poetry
• Evaluates the development, subplots, conflicts, and climax of a story’s plot
• Compares, contrasts, and analyzes literary characters
• Identifies and analyzes recurring themes in literature
• Identifies the literary devices that define a writer’s style
• Uses a variety of information sources, including resource books, newspaper, and Internet
• Learns the background of selected literary authors
• Reading point goals set every quarter through use of Accelerated Reader and Scholastic Reading Counts 
• Writes clear, coherent, and focused essays using the elements of the writing process – pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing,        and publishing
• Creates a composition that has a coherent thesis, formal introduction, supporting evidence, and well-supported conclusion
• Experiments in writing different forms of poetry – ballad, free verse, lyric
• Revises writing to improve word choice, organization, sentence variety, and transitions
• Edits for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and clarity
• Writes narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive text of at least 500-700 words
• Uses correct and varied sentence types to create an effective personal writing style
• Uses transitions to indicate the relationship between ideas
• Recognizes and correctly uses all parts of speech
• Uses punctuation correctly. Uses grade-appropriate spelling
Listening and Speaking
• States a clear position and supports arguments with detailed evidence, examples, and reasoning
• Summarizes a speaker’s purpose and point of view
• Engages critically and constructively in discussions
• Comprehends, memorizes, and delivers selected excerpts from Shakespeare


Book List A variety of books are available in the school library. You may print out a list of acceptable books from the school website: http://www.stbarbara.com