Grade 6 ~ Grade 8

English Language Arts, the only subject required every single year from kindergarten through twelfth grade, becomes especially important in the middle school years. Elementary teachers typically spend a large part of the day on English, usually integrating it into a wide variety of subjects.

Reading. It’s not just something you learn in first or second grade – it’s a highly complex skill that kids will hone over a decade. Expect lots of books in sixth grade, and loads more complicated thinking, talking, and writing about them. Over the year, teachers will try to introduce a wide variety of literature that will include novels, plays, poem collections, and nonfiction pieces. Teachers will heavily emphasize comprehension—what happened in that story? What does it mean? How does it remind you of your own life? They’ll also link to themes in writing such as style, tone, point of view, and credibility—nuances which are generally beyond the reach of younger, more literal-minded students.

Vocabulary and Word Use: Vocabulary is a powerful link between reading and writing. At school, expect teachers to go deeper than before, introducing literary concepts such as connotation, denotation, simile, metaphor, and allegory. Although you may also see formal vocabulary lists, you should rejoice if they are linked to actual reading and writing assignments. Research shows that this practical, “integrated” approach is the best way to help kids not just learn new words, but put them into use. Whatever the instructional method, celebrate any time your kid tries out a new word, especially if that includes playing around with more than one meaning or context.

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Published by Myungsuh Madeline Choi


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