Language arts class is a combination of reading, writing, grammar, and spelling. Because so much material is covered in one class, language arts meets every day for a full 63 minutes. This class combines traditional language arts studies with reading and writing workshops. The workshop approach allows students to choose their own reading materials and writing topics, giving them major decision-making responsibilities in the learning process. Empowering students with reading and writing workshop often leads to greater interest and motivation.
In the reading portion of the class, for approximately one half of the trimester, I will select reading material designed to teach reading strategies and literary concepts. Together as a class, students will read and discuss one novel and explore one or two other genres (short stories, poetry, drama, or nonfiction). For the remainder of the trimester, students will choose their own books to read. These books must be of an appropriate grade/reading level and are subject to teacher approval. Parents must approve books not selected from the Liberty library. Students will demonstrate their ability to comprehend, analyze, and recognize literary devices in their novels by completing papers, conferences, and projects.
In the grammar/writing portion of the class, students will complete exercises designed to review capitalization, punctuation, parts of speech, correct usage, and sentence structure. They will keep a writing portfolio that will include argumentative, explanatory, and narrative writing. At the end of the school year, they will complete an autobiographical project based on "The Hero's Journey." Students will also be exposed to logical-thinking and reasoning activities which will improve their ability to write clearly and concisely.