Grade 6 through 8 Learning Expectations--Language Arts

The Language Arts Curriculum in the Princeton Regional Schools  is aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) and the Common Core State Standards.  Students in grades six through eight study writing, reading/literature, grammar, vocabulary,  listening and speaking.

Learning expectations for students in grades 6 through 8 include:

Writing:  Students will demonstrate their mastery of language conventions through writing.  Students will write frequently and in a variety of modes: descriptive, narrative, persuasive and personal.  Writing will be both expository and creative; the audiences for writing will also cover a range from one’s self to the community.  Writing instruction will cover: persuasion, analysis and speculation, and the essay format including: introductory paragraphs, developing the essay through support, and concluding paragraphs.  Students will write creatively in imitation of various literary styles.  Students will also practice research skills.  Students will write or revise writing in class every Thursday.

Viewing: Students will practice interpreting, analyzing and critiquing visual text.

Core Texts: Literature, Anthology published by Prentice-Hall, 2007.
The Holt Handbook:  First Course (6th), Second Course (7th), Third Course (8th).

Grade 6 Learning Expectations

Sixth grade students read literature representative of the different types or genres.  The study of each genre focuses on developing reading skills for successful understanding of the genre.  Units of study will be arranged thematically.  Language and composition work is in part related to the study of the literature.  In addition to works studied in class in detail, students read two books per marking period independently; these books will be assessed in a variety of ways: book reports, oral reports, projects, in-class essays.

Reading/Literature Units
  • Mythology.  Includes selections from the textbook unit on folk literature; Dragonwings; selected short stories and poems from the text.
  • Fantasy.  Includes Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and a dramatic rendering of The Phantom Tollbooth.
  • Animals.  Includes Big Red; Wind in the Willows; and a poetry unit from the text.
  • Adventure.  Includes The Hobbit; and a non-fiction unit from the text.
Grammar: The following topics will be covered: parts of speech; the sentence; agreement; using verbs correctly; using pronouns correctly; and punctuation.  Other topics may be covered as needed.

Listening and Speaking: Students will participate in classroom activities in response to the literature studied; participation will require the practice of listening and speaking skills.

Vocabulary: Formal vocabulary study will be drawn from the words presented in the literature text and from a list of roots, prefixes and suffixes.

Grade 7 Learning Expectations

Seventh grade students read literature representative of the different types or genres. In the literature, students study themes of human significance and life experiences from different time periods and regions.  Units of study are arranged thematically.  Language and composition work is in part related to the study of the literature.  In addition to works studied in class in detail, students read two books per marking period independently; these books will be assessed in a variety of ways: book reports, oral reports, projects, in-class essays.

Reading/Literature Units
  • Childhood Remembrances.  Includes: Cheaper by the Dozen; I Remember Mama.
  • Adventure, Survival and Mystery.  Includes: Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Non-fiction selections from the text.
  • Social Issues.  Included in this unit are: To Kill a Mockingbird; The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street; and a selection of short stories from the text.
  • Maturation of Self.  Included in this unit are: The Pearl; Summer of my German Soldier; and a selection of narrative and lyric poetry from the text.
Grammar: The following topics will be covered:  the sentence; complements; agreement; using pronouns correctly; capital letters; writing complete sentences; writing effective sentences.  Other topics may be covered as needed.

Listening and Speaking: Students will practice listening and speaking skills.

Vocabulary: Formal vocabulary study will be drawn from the words presented in the literature text and from a list of roots, prefixes and suffixes.

Grade 8 Learning Expectations

Eighth grade students read literature representative of the different types or genres. Students see modeled in the literature a variety of formal and informal language uses, themes of human significance, and life experiences in differing time periods and regions.  Units of study are arranged thematically.  Language and composition work is in part related to the study of the literature.  In addition to works studied in class in detail, students read two books per marking period independently; these books will be assessed in a variety of ways: book reports, oral reports, projects, in-class essays.

Reading/Literature Units
  • Growing Up.  Includes: House on Mango Street; A Separate Peace.
  • Society and the individual.  Includes: The Girl With a Pearl Earring.
  • Love.  Includes: Romeo and Juliet, both the text and the film.
  • Multi-Genre: Includes: selected poetry, short stories, and non-fiction from the literature anthology.
Grammar: The following topics will be covered:  the clause; the kinds of sentence structure; using verbs correctly; using modifiers correctly; usage; punctuation.  Other topics may be covered as needed.

Vocabulary: Formal vocabulary study will be drawn from the words presented in the literature text and a study of Latin and Greek roots, prefixes and suffixes as well as formal instruction in the use of a dictionary and an online dictionary.