Elsberry’s Claire Hasemeier teaches Communication Arts for seventh and eighth grade students and is that teacher. When you have chosen teaching as a profession, there is a reason why you pick the area you go into. Those of us, who teach, know that middle school teachers are the ultimate description of a teacher.
The focus of seventh and eighth grade English Language Arts is reading, writing, vocabulary development, and spelling. The seventh graders just finished a perennial favorite, Holes, and are beginning to read Jack London’s classic, The Call of the Wild.
Eighth graders began the year reading Avi’s Nothing But the Truth, a novel told in a document format that allowed the reader to consider multiple points of view. Currently, the eighth graders are investigating utopian societies and reading the novel, The Giver. One of the main focuses in English Language Arts this year is writing. The focus for first quarter was informative writing.
The skills students learn in ELA are then integrated into their other core subjects. For instance, students worked on paraphrasing and summarizing skills that were put to use in science articles they wrote for science. Second quarter’s focus will be argumentative writing.
Eighth graders are currently deciding on a topic that they have a strong opinion on to argue. Topics range from cell phones in school and no homework policies to paying organ donors and violence in video games.