• Chairperson: Mr. Antonio S. Caruso
    Building: NASH 
    Phone: 724-934-7200, extension 7461

    Middle School Curriculum Overview
    Middle School English Language Arts courses are in the process of phasing in the McDougal Littell Literature series in grades 6 - 8 and the Holt Elements of Language series in grades 6 and 7.  Students in grade 6 began using the series in 2010-11, grade 7 will be phasing in during the 2011-12 school year, and the final year of implementation will be 2012-13 for grade 8. 
    Program Highlights
    McDougal Littell Literature
    Great Literature
    • Classics that endure and capture the imagination of today’s students.
    • Contemporary selections that reflect the experience of today’s students.
    • Tiered Discussion Prompts offer students a framework for literary analysis.
    • Single column text and line numbers, featuring unique to McDougal Littell Literature, create an accessible format that increase comprehension and aids discussion.
    • Big Questions start every lesson, inviting students to connect literature to their own lives.
    Writing Instruction
    • Writing Workshops provide modeled instruction on every step of the writing process.
    • WriteSmart CD-ROM supports both students and teachers at every step of the writing process.
    • Grammar for Writing workbook is a grammar, usage, and mechanics workbook designed to make writing instruction interactive and accessible.
    Success for All
    • With the guidance of differentiation expert Carol Ann Tomlinson, McDougal Littell Literature scaffolds content and skills, provides practice and differentiated assessment, and offers tools for re-teaching that help achieve the goal of universal access for every student.
    • The Teacher’s Edition provides a comprehensive approach to meet the needs of all students.
    • The Resource Manager brings together everything needed for planning, instruction, and review, including:

      • Support for English learners
      • Alternative standards focus
      • Leveled selection tests
    Smart Technology
    • WriteSmart uses interactive modeling, revision tutorials, and accessible presentations to provide explicit, engaging writing instruction for all learners. The Teacher Edition includes a rubric generator and additional instructional resources.
    • MediaSmart provides the authentic media—film clips, commercials, documentaries, and news—to bring the Media Studies in the book to life for today’s students.
    • eEdition and Classzone.com bring together the tool that students need and the technology that they love. Students can highlight and take notes in this complete online textbook from school or home. Point-of-use audio summaries help struggling students to increase reading comprehension.
    Grade 6 Focus
    Language Arts--Reading
    Students are expected to build upon, extend, and apply comprehension skills and strategies developed in the elementary grades.  Inferential comprehension is further refined and voabulary and critical thinking skills continue to be developed.  Students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of material in both written and oral form.  Reading is stressed as a basic means of gathering information and as a lifetime skill for enjoyment.
    Students integrate reading, writing, listening, thinking, and speaking skills in sixth grade English.  They use literature, personal experience, and topics of interest to further enhance their writing skills through the development of various types of paragraphs and compositions.  They review and further develop spelling, grammar, sentences structure, and mechanics in their writing.  Students develop a strong vocabulary to strengthen their writing and speaking, and they integrate study skills, word processing, and librar skills in their work.
    Grade 7 Focus
    Language Arts--Reading
    Seventh grade reading focuses on developing and refining all reading skills and strategies.  The reading teacher works closely with other academic teachers in a team effort to help each student read critically in all content areas.  Literal and inferential comprehension, exploration of variou genres, vocabulary development, literary elements, reading and comprehending current events, and understanding propaganda are some of the areas in which students receive instruction. 
    Students continue their study of communication skills as they develop their understanding of the following four strands:  reading, writing, listening, and speaking,  These areas are integrated into a literature based curriculum through the study of vocabulary, grammar, mechanics, usage, and comprehension with an emphasis on critical and analytical thinking.  Students read poetry, short stories, plays, and mythology.  Furthermore, they utilize the writing process in the composition narrative, persuasive, and informational essays.  Students use elements of effective listening and speaking skills when responding in class, giving presentations, etc.  Students are expected to incorporate English skills into every curriculum. 
    Grade 8 Focus
    Literature, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, and critical thinking are integrated throughout this course.  Students read, discuss, and analyze plays, poetry, short stories, non-fiction, and novels.  Characterization, plot, setting, and theme are defined, identified, and analyzed in class discussions and written assignments.  Emphasis in writing is on developing a central idea and on using the processes of pre-writing, drafting, revising, and publishing.  Standard usage, correct spelling, proper mechanics, and precise wording are taught and evaluated in conjunction with the writing process.  Students utilize traditional and electronic resources for research purposes.  Students develop public speaking and listening skills informally during class discussion and lecture, and formally by preparing and presenting required speeches.  The importance of clear oral and written communication in all aaspects of daily life is emphasized.