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Foundations in Middle School Language Arts

Academic Year Language Arts

This course prepares sixth grade and beginning middle school students for an advanced middle school language arts curriculum. The course is divided into four units, each of which helps students level-up their reading, writing, and public speaking skills in one of the primary genres of language arts: persuasive speaking, creative writing, research-based expository writing, and literary interpretation. Each unit is designed around a central project that allows students to apply and master these new skills through creative, language-based problem-solving.

Over the course of each unit, students produce a written work and public presentation that represents their mastery of the focal skills for the unit.

In the first unit, students study classical philosophy and build skills in critical thinking and persuasive speaking while preparing their own speeches.

In the second unit, students learn the craft of creative fiction and explore how writers wield grammatical tools to refine their writing. During this unit, students create a portfolio of creative pieces, one of which they will choose to revise, refine, and share in an author reading on the final day of the unit.

In the third unit, students develop strong research skills as they research, draft, and revise an engaging feature article, all following the process students would undertake if they chose to submit their work for publication in a real magazine.

Finally, in the fourth unit, students learn all the skills necessary to understand, analyze, and enjoy A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. This unit culminates in a competition where students analyze and perform selections from the play.

What happens in class?

Each lesson of Foundations in Middle School Language Arts is grounded in a unit project, which provides a meaningful context for students to apply and master the skills they are learning. In each day of class, students engage in activities that help them advance their project work, including a blend of the following types of activities:

Homework

Students should expect to spend about 60–90 minutes on homework every week. Homework will include: practicing skills learned in class through questions on the course website, long-term writing assignments connected to the unit project, and assigned reading in one of the four quarterly textbooks.

Teacher Feedback

Students will receive direct, oral feedback from their teacher during class. This in-person feedback is key in helping students revise and improve their writing while they are working on the unit projects. At the end of each writing project, students can expect to receive evaluative written feedback from their teacher.

Course Texts

Schedule in 2021-22

All times Central.
Saturday
Aug 7 - May 14
2:45 - 4:30 PM
Saturday
Aug 7 - May 14
2:45 - 4:30 PM
Emma Holt
ENROLL
5 spots left
Sunday
Aug 8 - May 15
12:30 - 2:15 PM
Sunday
Aug 8 - May 15
12:30 - 2:15 PM
Thomas Ray
ENROLL
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"My children have been students of AoPS Academy for several years now. The staff is very good at identifying and encouraging high achieving students to attain their fullest potential. The instructors engage kids to solve tough math problems, and push them to think logically and come up with unique solutions, instead of following a memorized formula. I have witnessed many classes where students are given the opportunity to suggest multiple ways of approaching the same problem. This has really helped my children develop independent learning skills and a stronger foundation in mathematics. The staff truly care for each and every student’s growth. Every child gets an abundance of individual attention. Programs such as the math competition classes, MATHCOUNTS Trainer Contest, and Short Story Contest really challenge the kids to reach up to the next level. The language arts classes like Debate & Public Speaking and College Essay Writing provide a much higher quality of education for their students. Thank you so much for being such a valuable resource for my children. "
-Usha D.
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