Find it fast Open

English Language Arts

Middle School

English Language Arts

The Hopkinton Middle School English Language Arts curriculum, with its variety of activities to enhance differentiated learning, is rich with interests and challenges for all students. Our goal is to instill in our students a  love of literature and writing, as well as critical thinking skills. The "arts" in the title "language arts" refers to four areas: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Students will further develop their skills in each of these arts as follows:

Reading: Students explore increasingly sophisticated literary genres including short stories, novels, plays, and poetry, both classic and contemporary. Additionally, students read non-fiction texts and articles that enrich their understanding of unit concepts. Active reading strategies are taught so that students can bring their full attention to an author's words.

Writing: As students continually sharpen their writing skills, they progress through directed writing exercises and self-chosen creative writing topics, as well as activities related to the literature.  Students continue writing and reading activities emphasizing how to locate and cite supporting textual evidence. Vocabulary is taught through the context of reading selections, with emphasis on using context clues, common roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

Speaking and Listening: Continued practice of reading aloud and conducting Socratic seminars fosters students' understanding and appreciation of good literature and strengthens their discussion and listening skills. Students exercise public speaking skills through presentations incorporating technology, collaboration, and synthesis of information. 

Courses

English Language Arts

Grade 6

In Grade 6 English, students read a variety of genres. Not only will students read novels, but they will also read literature from the anthology, The Language of Literature, as well poems and articles. Students continue to develop previously learned reading strategies including summarizing, predicting, analyzing, clarifying, visualizing, connecting, and questioning. As students build on these skills, they learn to analyze literature as self-directed learners and critical thinkers while interacting with the text at a higher level. Students are encouraged to connect reading selections to their own lives, the world around them, and to previously read literature.

Students practice and improve their writing skills through many different writing genres: narrative, persuasive/argument, response to literature, and research-based writing. Students learn to improve word choice, sentence variety, paragraph development, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling. Students also complete the research project, "Elder Tea," in which they spend time learning about someone important in their lives and present on this individual.


Curriculum Units and Learning Outcomes:
Building the Reading Culture in 6th Grade (Routines, Structures, Stamina)
Launching the Writer’s Notebooks and Independent Writing
Coming of Age Book Clubs--Realistic Fiction
Writing Personal Narratives
Looking at Structures in Nonfiction Articles
Writing within Non-Fiction Text Structures

Grade 7

Students in Grade 7 English read across the literary genres, organized around the theme of "Coming of Age." Students study novels such as, but not limited to, So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. These particular selections are known for their international literary acclaim and they offer students opportunities to examine and understand aspects of the human condition. While reading these novels, students work collaboratively to sharpen their critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

Through the literary anthology The Language of Literature, students read selected short stories, poems, and plays, continuing to examine the "Coming of Age" theme. Students learn to analyze and evaluate the connections between literature and themselves, as well as how literature relates to the outside world.

Formal student writing includes narratives, arguments, and expository compositions. Students analyze and evaluate their writing for strengths and areas in need of improvement while in peer review groups, guided by writing rubrics.  Throughout writing instruction, they learn to improve their word choice, sentence variety, style and length, and paragraph structure in order to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. Students also enhance their knowledge of standard grammar, demonstrating this skill base in their writing.


Curriculum Units and Learning Outcomes:
Argument Writing Term II
Crisis and Courage
What We May Be: Examining Our World through Dystopian Literature
Sentence Sense
Building Character through Narrative
Truth, Lies and The American Way
Realistic Fiction - Identity and Sense of Self
Writing About Reading

Grade 8

In the Grade 8 English curriculum, students explore the concepts of justice, tolerance and adversity through discussions of characters, conflicts, and themes in varying genres of literary works. As students read, analyze, and respond to these central concepts in novels, short stories, and non-fiction texts, they gain insight into their lives and the world around them.

The goal of English 8 is to continue to increase students' skills in the following areas: vocabulary usage, decoding, literary analysis, formal, thesis-based writing, as well as informal writing. Within these units, students work both individually and collaboratively to sharpen their creativity, leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills while, at the same time, infusing the self-directed learning requirements demanded of 21st-century learners. The literary selections of English 8 include short stories, poetry, non-fiction, and novels. Novels may include, but are not limited to, Trouble by Gary Schmidt, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Also, students are introduced to their first Shakespearean play, the comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. An annual live performance of the play is sponsored by the HPTA. From these texts, students analyze and evaluate the elements of fiction.  Formal student writing involves thesis-based research and thesis-based literary analysis.

Examination of word choice, sentence variety, and paragraph structure strengthens communication skills. In addition to rules of usage, punctuation, and spelling, students continue to refine their skills in providing textual evidence while developing an awareness of voice and audience in their writing.


Curriculum Units and Learning Outcomes:
Facing History, Our World, and Ourselves
An Introduction to Shakespeare
Nature vs. Nurture
Short Stories, a study of literature
Greed and Destruction

Media Literacy

Overview

Media Literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and produce communication in a variety of forms. Media Literacy includes the skills of literacy-reading, writing, speaking, listening, inquiring, and critically viewing-extended to all message forms and a wide range of technologies.

Grades 7 and 8 students participate in Media Literacy classes one trimester per year.
 

Grade 7

Grade 7 students begin the term by building an awareness of their media consumption. They evaluate and discuss the constructed messages in the media that surrounds them each day. As the term progresses, they learn to work collaboratively to create a variety of media. With the knowledge that all media is deliberately constructed, students learn to independently identify the frameworks that are the structure of most of the media we consume. With a focus on information media, 7th graders learn to create media messages using a wide range of technologies and frameworks, and identify useful applications for the media that they find and create.
 

Grade 8

Grade 8 students build on their knowledge as consumers and creators to become confident critics of all media. 8th graders evaluate how media messages shape our vision of the world and our sense of ourselves. As students deconstruct and analyze media messages, they work to become more critical and questioning readers and viewers. Students study entertainment media as a powerful source of social learning that shapes attitudes, social and consumer behaviors, and people's world views. 8th graders learn to employ media literacy as an antidote to manipulation and propaganda and become empowered as positive contributors to society to challenge cynicism and apathy. By the end of 8th grade, students are ready to serve as agents of social change.
 

Resources

Newsela PRO- Instructional Content Platform (Nonfiction Articles on Current Events)

Newsela PRO boasts,

"We’re building a future where vibrant digital reading experiences supercharge reading engagement and learning in every subject."

HMS teachers agree. As a result, teachers and students in Grades 6 - 8 have pre-paid accounts that provide unlimited online access to Newsela content, standards-aligned reading activities, and insights to support core instruction and differentiation across the curriculum. Students and teachers have access to 20+ genres of content to support core instruction, like primary sources, reference texts, essays, fiction, issue overviews, and more–all at 5 reading levels.

IXL Learning (Language Arts)- IXL is the world's most popular subscription-based learning site for K-12. IXL Learning (Language Arts) allows students to practice and hone skills in four ELA-related learning areas: reading strategies, writing strategies, vocabulary, and grammar/mechanics. 

IXL is personalized learning. With comprehensive grade-level curriculum, individualized guidance, and real-time analytics, IXL meets the unique needs of each learner. Teachers ands students at HMS are provided pre-paid accounts. Teachers utilize this online resource to allow students to practice and master skills taught in the ELA classroom. 

Contact Us

1 2 > showing 1 - 10 of 12 constituents

Stephanie Snyder

Titles: Teacher Grade 8, MS English CTL
Departments: English, Grade 8, Green Team, MS English
Email:

Rebecca Abate

Titles: Teacher Grade 8, Varsity Field Hockey Coach
Departments: English, Grade 8, Green Team, MS English
Email:

Kylie Broberg

Titles: Teacher Grade 6
Departments: English, Grade 6, Yellow Team, MS English
Email:

Danielle Caron

Titles: Teacher Grade 7
Departments: English, Grade 7, Silver Team, MS English
Email:

Karen Ford

Titles: Teacher Grade 7
Departments: Aqua Team, English, Grade 7, MS English
Email:

Maryellen Grady

Titles: Teacher Grade 8
Departments: English, Grade 8, Orange Team, MS English
Email:

Jeffrey Kearney

Titles: Teacher Grade 6
Departments: English, Grade 6, Red Team, MS English
Email:

Bruce LeBlanc

Titles: Teacher Grade 7
Departments: English, Grade 7, Purple Team, MS English
Email:

Lauren McDonough

Titles: Teacher Grade 6
Departments: Blue Team, English, Grade 6, MS English
Email:

Andrea Richards

Titles: Teacher Grade 6
Departments: Blue Team, English, Grade 6, MS English
Email: