7th and 8th Language Arts
The English program at Hyla Middle School is a comprehensive language arts curriculum. Our ultimate goal is to support thoughtful, articulate, and confident students of literature. The two-year program offers students the opportunity to mature at their own pace and addresses individual needs. Classes are built around a discussion based format, celebrating student-guided, cooperative learning. Students are encouraged to explore the meaning of assignments and ask questions.
In both the 7th and 8th grades, students are challenged to move beyond literal meaning, reaching from the concrete to the abstract. Emphasis is placed on developing interpretive, expressive, and technical skills. These skills are strengthened through the exploration of different genres of literature. Over the course of two years, students will examine both fiction and non-fiction. We will look at novels, short stories, plays, memoirs, autobiographies, biographies and poetry. This literary foundation provides a stepping stone for expository writing, creative writing, grammar, and vocabulary. All assignments are designed to help students prepare for high school and instill an appreciation for literature.Read more»
WRITING: The writing program helps students develop sincere, authentic writing voices and challenges them to expand their experiences by writing different types of essays, including descriptive, comparison, and persuasive essays. The traditional “5 paragraph” essay structure is utilized for critical essay writing. Students will also learn how to write resumes, and business and cover letters.
While there is considerable emphasis on developing formal writing skills, students have plenty of opportunities for creative writing. Students have time each week to journal, fast-write (from story starters and prompts), and invent stories of their own. All Hyla students in the 7th and 8th grade are required to attempt to publish two pieces of their writing. These pieces may be entries into contests, newspapers, reviews, or magazines.
GRAMMAR AND VOCABULARY: Grammar and vocabulary lessons are class-wide practices derived from common challenges and the examination of literature. Weekly grammar and vocabulary tests are routine practices. Attention to individual challenges is provided to each student during workshops and can be arranged after school or during lunch. Students are introduced and work thorough lessons discussed in The Elements of Style by Strunk and White and the Writing Stylist Sheet used by Bainbridge High School.
READING: In each grade, students pursue a common theme through a variety of literature. Students strengthen their reading skills through the examination of characters, plots, themes, and settings.
This year, the 7th grade is focusing on themes surrounding identity. Students begin by studying selected short stories, such as “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip,” by George Saunders and classics including “The Adventures of Three Students” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “To Build a Fire” by Jack London, “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry, and “The Necklace“by Guy de Maupassant. Students read the novel The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen, selected poems, and articles.
The 8th grade is grappling with themes surrounding exploration and adventure. Students read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, and Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi, selected poems and short stories, and a memoir of their choice.
PORTFOLIOS: All English students maintain two writing portfolios. The first portfolio is kept in the classroom. It contains a hard copy of all the student’s finished and assessed papers. This portfolio helps both the student and the teacher evaluate and track assignments over the course of the year. A second portfolio is kept on the student server at Hyla. Students use this folder for working on assignments at home and at school.
ASSIGNMENTS: Students should spend thirty minutes on English homework each school night. The weekly study guide helps students keep up with assignments, particularly when they are absent. This study guide is internet-accessible through our class site.
SPECIAL PROJECTS: Throughout the year, students are encouraged to attend readings at local libraries and bookstores, such as Eagle Harbor and Elliott Bay Book Company. This connection to the Bainbridge literary community is invaluable. Students will also have the opportunity to share their works with the Hyla community each spring.Powered by Hackadelic Sliding Notes 1.6.5