Students read to enhance their understanding of different genres and to enhance their own writing. Students practice the writing process in each part of the course as they plan, organize, compose, and edit four projects: a brief narrative essay about a personal hero, a piece of creative fiction, an essay analyzing a poem, and a research project. As they read the coming-of-age novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor, students focus on the elements of fiction and examine elements of the author’s craft. In a tour of folktales, students embark on a journey to South America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as ancient Greece and Rome. Students are introduced to several types of poetry, learn to recognize poetic devices, evaluate the effectiveness of a poet’s message, and, ultimately, compose their own poetry. As they explore nonfiction and informational texts, students build on concepts they learned in the elementary grades to develop higher-level critical thinking skills. A study of advertising and persuasive techniques helps students become more informed consumers. Students strengthen speaking and listening skills through predicting, questioning, summarizing, clarifying, and synthesizing. Students learn to work collaboratively, incorporate multimedia in their presentations, and present their findings in unique, effective ways.
“For Poets” by Al Young
“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
“Twelfth Song of Thunder” by an anonymous author
“Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein
“Ars Poetica” by Archibald MacLeish
“The Railway Train” by Emily Dickinson
“The Bird” by Ernesto Santiago
“The Quill” by Ernesto Santiago
Various haiku by Matsua Bashō
“Some Limericks for Kids” by Graham Lester, et al
“Sonnet 18” by William Shakespeare
“The Song of Wandering Aengus” by W. B. Yeats
“The Adventures of Beowulf: Episode 11” by David Breeden
“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad by Ann Petry
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant by Ulysses S. Grant
“World’s Tiniest Chameleon Discovered” by Andrea Mustain
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
“Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost Various advertisements
“It Looks Good … But is it True?” by an anonymous author
“Rare Frog Species Thought to be Extinct Are Found” by Louise Gray
“Leonardo da Vinci” by Amy Steedman
“Sunshine Stories” by Hans Christian Andersen
“Polymers – The Joy in Toys” by the American Chemical Society
“Earth’s Atmosphere and Beyond” by the American Chemical Society
“The Tube, Food, and You” by Alice Park
“A Close Look at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch” by Christina Barron
“Green Invaders” by Catherine Clarke Fox
“Remembering Rosa Parks” by Molly Pribble
“Sleeping in Space” by Stephen Ornes
“Are Micro Apartments the Future of City Living?” by Meera Dolasia
“First Ever Giant Squid Filmed” by Claudia
“Internet Safety Tips for Children and Teens” by the New York Public Library
“New Eyes to Scan the Skies” by Stephen Ornes
“Chimp’s Gift for Numbers” by Stephen Ornes
Read and analyze poetry.
Analyze poetic elements.
Read and analyze nonfiction works.
Write an analytical essay. Read and analyze nonfiction works.
Identify and examine persuasive techniques.
Write a research essay.