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  • Middle School

    Students engage in a variety of written assignments, including both expository and creative writing. Written expression is enhanced by developing fluency, clarity, and comfort with the writing process. Proficiency in grammar, punctuation, and spelling is emphasized, along with the continued development of vocabulary.

    Seventh grade language arts is closely integrated with the seventh grade social studies curriculum on American History. American literature, including poetry, drama (The Crucible, Our Town), historical fiction (Johnny Tremain), and short stories (from Ray Bradbury to Shirley Jackson) are represented throughout the year for reading, interpretation, and response. Animal Farm is also read in conjunction with studying the U.S. Constitution. Students also engage in a family history project that helps to give them and their families their own personal context of American history.

    The eighth grade language arts curriculum is strongly tied to, and integrated with, the eighth grade social studies curriculum. Jewish identity is represented from past to present across five forms of literature: novels, short stories, non-fiction essays, drama, and poetry. Included in these are the novels The Chosen, The Cure, The Merchant of Venice, Night, poetry from Psalms, Holocaust poetry, and contemporary Israeli fiction. Students write essays evaluating literature, researching and reading on specific topics related to the Social Studies curriculum. Grammar, and defining and refining expression through punctuation and vocabulary are also stressed.

  • Lower School

    The lower school’s language arts program focuses on literature and writing. Throughout the grades, teaches utilize the methodology of the Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing project. This program introduces students to the various modes and models of writing, such as opinion, informative, and narrative writing, and encourages a rich personal and sophisticated engagement in literature.

    The K/1 multi-age class language arts program is centered on the growth and development of reading and writing skills. Spelling and vocabulary growth are promoted, and students use the Handwriting Without Tears program to facilitate in printed handwriting. Much of this skill-building is integrated throughout the thematic units in the curriculum, which provide students the opportunity to read, write, and develop new vocabularies based on the social studies, science, math, or Judaics unit they are involved in.

    The 2/3 multi-age class focuses on the prescriptive writing of paragraphs, letters, and journals. The reading comprehension strategies that are taught emphasize the concept of “reading to learn” instead of “learning to read.” Spelling and vocabulary growth is integral to the program and students use the Handwriting Without Tears program to master both the printed and cursive handwriting skills.

    The 4/5 multi-age class continues to focus on spelling and vocabulary development. Students learn to make inferences, analyze, and make proper word choices in their writing. Their writing assignments include journaling in response to social studies, science, math, and literature, creating comic stories and pop-up books, writing puppet plays, and writing letters. The writing of a research paper is also introduced in conjunction with a social studies project. Oral presentations are introduced and encouraged throughout the curriculum.