ELA II / Writing

Commitments:

In our middle school Writing classes, we utilize a Writers' Workshop model, where skills are modeled and practiced in a whole-class setting. Then, students are to apply those skills to their independent writing, while educators support small groups of students or utilized one-on-one instruction to provide specific feedback to students on their writing.

 

Curriculum:

Unit 4 middle schools utilize the Writing Pathways curriculum written by Lucy Calkins, Kelly Hohne and Audra Robb. You can find more information at their website.

Below are the Units of Study for each grade level:

 6th Grade Writing:

  • Personal Narrative
  • Poetry 
  • Persuasive Speeches
  • The Literary Essay
  • Research-Based Informational Writing      
  • Fiction

 7th Grade Writing:

  • Realistic Fiction
  • Writing About Reading 
  • The Art of Argument
  • Science Fiction/Fantasy                 
  • Poetry

 8th Grade Writing:

  • Memoir
  • Investigative Journalism                   
  • Short Story
  • The Literary Essay
  • Position Paper
  • Historical Fiction


Our students are evaluated in four main areas:

  • Overall Structure - Lead/introduction, organization, transitions, and ending
  • Elaboration - Researches, evaluates and included details suitable to purpose
  • Craft - Uses genre-specific techniques to create desired effects and tone
  • Conventions - Punctuation, sentence structure, & spelling

 

Each of our writing courses are based on the Common Core standards for English Language Arts.

 6th Grade:

 7th Grade:

 8th Grade:


Resources for Families:

Students are evaluated in four main areas (overall structure, elaboration, craft, and conventions). Below are the rubrics that we use in each of those areas.

 Overall Structure
   Exceeding Meeting Approaching Beginning
 6th Grade 

The writer...

  • includes a beginning that captures the reader's interest and hints at where the writing is going.
  • organizes the writing purposefully. Paragraphs focus on specific aspects or details and transitions hint to the purpose of the writing to follow.
  • reinforces the significance of the entire piece with the ending.

 The writer...

  • includes a beginning that effectively captures the reader's interest.
  • organizes the writing logically and purposefully and uses transitions to show the relationship between elements.
  • includes an ending that gives a sense of closure, which may leave the reader with something to think about.

 The writer...

  • includes a beginning that effectively captures the reader's interest.
  • organizes the writing, and uses transitions to connect different ideas.
  • includes an ending.

The writer...

  • is progressing towards the independent demonstration of the skills listed in "Approaching".

Refer to educator for progression rubrics and student work.

 7th Grade 

 The writer...

  • includes and develops effective genre-specific writing structures including leads, endings, transitions, and organization.
  • clearly develops arguments, characterization and points of view with adequate support. 

 The writer...

  • presents well-supported/developed writing.
  • incorporates a variety of text structures as needed, including argument, explanation, narrative, and procedural passages.

The writer...

  • includes a beginning that effectively captures the reader's interest
  • organizes the writing logically and purposefully and uses transitions to show the relationship between elements.

The writer...

  • is progressing toward the independent demonstration of the skills listed in "Approaching".

Refer to educator for progression rubrics and student work.

 8th Grade 

The writer...

  • manipulates structure and organization to demonstrate masterful understanding and implementation of genre-specific concepts.
  • includes complex ideas that engage and orient the reader with new ideas and understanding.

 The writer...

  • includes and develops effective genre-specific writing structures including leads, endings, transitions, and organization.
  • clearly develops arguments, characterization and points of view with adequate support.

 The writer...

  • includes a beginning that captures the reader's interest and hints at where the writing is going.
  • organizes the writing purposefully.
  • paragraphs focus on specific aspects or details and transitions hint to the purpose of the writing to follow.
  • reinforces the significance of the entire piece with the ending.

 The writer...

  • is progressing towards the independent demonstration of skills listed in "Approaching".

Refer to educator for progression rubrics and student work

 

 

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