Middle School English

The English courses in grades 6 – 8 are designed to enhance each student’s reading, writing, and oral skills. They are also specially designed to encourage open and clear communication, and foster reading for comprehension, information, and enjoyment.  Each course requires homework and student participation in class discussions. In addition, the program is constructed to give students the opportunity to succeed in a wide variety of learning experiences including writing poetry, short stories, and essays; delivering speeches; and reading literature.

Curriculum Standards


The Faculty of the Middle School English department are happy to be contacted via email by selecting the relevant name below:

English Department Head for grades 6-12:  Kate Lemons

Deborah Alkalay (Grade 6)

Jade Eliasson (Grade 7)

Stacy Martin (Grade 6)

Sean McHugh (Grades 7 & 8)

Linda Oshman (Grade 6)

Rebecca Scott (Grade 8)



This course meets three out of every five school days and is designed to enrich students’ skill development in their core English classes.  Work will focus primarily on developing students’ reading skills in a variety of genres including novels, short stories, poetry, and non-fiction. Several opportunities for choice book reading will enhance textual study. Students will build writing skills through short, focused writing activities, supported by vocabulary and grammar study.

Course M260/M261   GRADE 6 ENGLISH   Full Year

This course is designed to provide reading and writing instruction and practice. Many types of literature are read and studied including fiction, biographical pieces, and informational texts. Students read a variety of texts, including non-fiction, short stories, the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and a range of choice reading novels, all of which students read and analyze. The class will employ the process writing approach, and students will put considerable work into their revision efforts. Narrative, expository, and research-based writing are the main forms students study. Students work toward mastering writing strong paragraphs that include central ideas, textual evidence when appropriate, and the development of ideas. Paired conferences, small group work, student-teacher conferences, and ongoing teacher feedback are part of this process. With the iPad, digital presentations, and internet research, various technologies will build upon students’ 21st century skills.

Course M270/M271/M272   GRADE 7 ENGLISH   Full Year

Reading, writing, and discussion form the core of the seventh grade English program. Students are encouraged to read actively, write clearly, and participate thoughtfully. Through rich discussions, detailed presentations, and thoughtful reflections, students will build upon 21st Century Skills by utilizing various technologies, including the iPad, to enhance their learning.

Students study literature from varied genres including short stories, novels, plays, poetry and non-fiction. Some works read include The Giver, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Outsiders. Students learn about and practice various literary techniques, vocabulary, note-taking skills, and essay writing. Through the process writing approach students draft, edit, and revise in order to enhance their work. Students also participate in paired conferences, small group work, and student-teacher conferences as part of this process.

Course M280/M281/M282   GRADE 8 ENGLISH   Full Year

In Grade 8 English, students read, discuss, and write about literature of various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, drama, and poetry. Assignments are designed to deepen and broaden the understanding of key literary terms and improve clarity of written and oral communication.  Through literature students will explore important issues that are relevant to their lives, such as justice and coming of age.  All eighth-grade students will read and study five core texts: Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Animal Farm.  These core texts are supplemented with additional reading throughout the course.

By the end of the year, students will improve their overall writing skills, with an emphasis on analytical writing. They will also see writing as a means of thinking through and expressing thoughts and ideas. In addition, students will continue to enrich their grammar and vocabulary skills through reading and exercises, and will employ technology, including Chromebooks, regularly in and out of class.