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6th Grade Language Arts
Our sixth-grade course provides guidance and practice to help students move beyond grade level in reading, writing, and critical thinking. Through integrated grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing lessons, students build the skills they need to craft their own insightful interpretations of literature and to convey their ideas clearly and elegantly in writing. Lessons are structured to guide students through increasingly sophisticated selections from a variety of fiction and non-fiction sources. Through close analysis and observation of these texts, students learn methods from linguistics to derive grammatical rules from real-world examples of written and spoken English.
Along the way, students practice emulating the authors they are reading to build their own writing skills. In the first trimester, the class analyzes several examples of character analysis articles while students craft their own character analysis essays. In the second trimester, students explore the Hero's Journey narrative archetype, producing both an analytical essay about a Hero's Journey and their own creative Hero's Journey story. In the final trimester, students learn about the genre of memoir by analyzing several short memoirs by published authors and writing their own memoir about a significant experience in their lives. All of these projects culminate in students' revising and polishing one piece of writing from the whole year to include in a class portfolio.
What happens in class?
Each lesson includes a different combination of the following activities:
- Structured analysis and discussion of class readings
- Practice with new vocabulary words and grammar topics
- Writing workshops and guided writing activities with in-person teacher feedback
Students should expect to spend 60-90 minutes on homework each week. Throughout the year, students will work on several multi-week writing projects. Most weeks, students will be expected to complete a part of a project at home. It is crucial that students keep up with this process work and come prepared for class each week. Homework also includes vocabulary and grammar exercises that are completed through the course homepage. Finally, students are also expected to read independently throughout the year, selecting books from the Grades 6-7 Recommended Reading list.
Since students will complete most of their writing in class, there will be many opportunities for the teacher to provide informal feedback face-to-face while students are working. The teacher will conference with students regularly during class, providing oral feedback and some informal written notes on their work. At the end of each multi-week project, students will submit their final draft and receive detailed, formal written feedback from their teacher.
Students will take three in-class exams, one at the end of each trimester: weeks 12, 24, and 36. Exams will focus on the grammar, vocabulary, critical reading, and writing skills students are learning in class.