LANGUAGE ARTS AT SUMMIT
Summit offers a literature-based curriculum that introduces students to a variety of high-quality works. Each course, from English I through English IV, focuses on responding to and analyzing written works both orally and in writing, with strong emphasis on the writing of essays and other full-length products. Students will be evaluated each fall for English Acceleration. In addition, the English department has developed a scope and sequence for grammar study at each level with additional topics introduced or re-taught as necessary. It is the intention of the English department to provide students with the powers of analysis to make reading and writing about literature a meaningful experience, as well as to create engaging experiences with literature that will foster life-long reading pleasure. Students are asked to purchase Writers Inc. to use as a resource if they do not already own a copy.
English I continues the students’ journeys toward being insightful readers who read like writers, paying attention to effective literary techniques with the aim of developing their own clear, apt styles in a variety of genres. In this course students will read, discuss, and respond to different types of literary works and will learn not only to evidence comprehension, but also to interact with texts on a deeper, analytical level. In writing, students will write cohesive, content-rich paragraphs and make the transition to the literary analysis essay, as well as continue to develop voice in both creative and expository pieces. To support students as they become accurate speakers and writers of Standard English, vocabulary, grammar, spelling, and usage will be taught in short instructional units and will be reinforced using online individualized instruction throughout the year as part of the writing curriculum.
English II continues the rich literary journey begun in English I. Students' responses to literature will include comprehension and analysis, as well as connection to personal experiences and contemporary issues. As writers, students will develop their skills supporting, organizing, and expressing ideas in the context of more extended expository pieces, specifically with the literary analysis essay. Grammar topics include prepositions and subordinating conjunctions with emphasis on writing more complex sentence structures. They will also experience a formal public speaking unit in which they will learn and practice speech writing techniques, delivery skills, and how to develop rapport with their audience. Through this focused study, they will gain knowledge and experience which will help them become confident public speakers.
Students in Level III will begin to consider universal themes and cultural context in interpreting literature. Close analysis of an author's intent and style will include references to character, conflict, symbol, setting, theme, language, and imagery. Students will broaden their writing and speaking repertoires to include a wider range of tasks, purposes, and audiences, such as persuading, sharing research findings, and entertaining an audience. Writing tasks will involve analysis of poetry and other literature, exposition of author's style, and creative writing. Students will also focus on improving their own personal writing style and command of formal English language. Grammar instruction will include sentence types and varying sentence structure, direct and indirect objects, and an advanced study of the parts of speech.
English IV is the highest level English class offered at Summit Middle. Of course it is therefore the most challenging, but also the most fun! Students will read and analyze many different kinds of texts, including short stories, novels, poetry, plays, and essays. Writing assignments will allow students to critically evaluate their reading, and all writing done in class will emphasize depth and creativity of expression, organization, style, and grammatical correctness. Students will receive formal instruction for effective presentations, recitations, and dramatic performances, and there will be periodic instructional units throughout the year on grammar, spelling, and usage which will also be reinforced as part of writing instruction.