• Language Arts Department

    Language Arts

    Leslie Bruce - Co-Department Chair
    Toni Cooley - Co-Department Chair
    Jeannie Hoffman
    Rachel Holbrook

    Our program is a standards-based one dedicated to providing the instruction and skills students need in order to master California content standards. In the language arts class, students are exposed to poetry, short stories, novels, essays, biographies, and literary criticism. Reading skills, including critical analysis and comprehension, as well as study skills, writing, thinking, speaking, researching, grammar, and vocabulary are stressed.

    In sixth grade, there is much integration within the language arts and social science curricula.In social science, students study the people and events that ushered in the dawn of major Western and non-Western civilization. They explore the early societies of the Near East and Africa, the ancient Hebrew civilization, Greece, Rome, and the classical civilizations of India and China. They acquire a sense of the everyday life of the people; their problems and accomplishments; their relationships to the developing social, economic, and political structures: their tools, technology, art, architecture, and literature; and the ideas they developed that helped transform their world. Students participate in specific activities and open-ended projects. Students continually share thoughts and ideas with one another.
    Mission Statement
    The primary goal of a language arts program is to teach the students to read and write well. Studies indicate that the more one reads, the better reader he/she becomes. Vocabulary and grammar construction are learned by student exposure to good literature. When a child participates in the Accelerated Reader program, not only will he or she read more but will also read more carefully. Thus, the Accelerated Reader program is a valuable tool. There are over 2,800 Accelerated Reader books on the list. This list can be accessed at this link. Students need to choose books from this list. After carefully reading the book, they must go to the library and sign up to take the computerized multiple choice test. Each book is assigned a point value based on its difficulty. Students should not choose a book just because it is worth many points. No points are earned at all if the child does not pass the test with at least 60/70%. Students cannot repeat a test. A record is kept of all accelerated reader tests taken by the students during sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, and none can be repeated from year to year. Students should choose books that interest him/her and that are on an appropriate reading level. The students must show their IDs each time they take a test. Students can take the tests before school, during lunch, or after school.
    Being Successful
    To be successful:
    • Choose an interesting book at the child¹s reading level.
    • Begin reading right away.
    • Take the test right after finishing the book.
    • Schedule the test so there is time to read other books if necessary.
    Some recent favorite Accelerated Reader books have been the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequels by Ann Brashares, Lemony Snicket's 12 Series of Unfortunate Events books, Holes by Louis Sachar, and Eragon and Eldest by Christopher Paolini. Long-standing series books, such as Redwall by Brian Jacques; Merlin by T.A. Barron; The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, continue to be favorites for many of our students. Read these books with your children. They are wonderful!
    Document Format
    To ensure success in LASS/Language Arts, our departments have developed the following guidelines:
    • The heading should be written in the upper right hand corner of the paper in the following way:
      • name
      • date
      • period
    • All formal papers should be written in black ink on one side of the paper or typed using 12 point, Times Roman, with 1 inch margins.
    • Homework may be completed in pencil, black or blue ink, or typed.
    For fuller details, please download Proper Paper Format,
    Cource Materials
    Supplies needed in class:
    • Colored grading pen or marker for editing - not a highlighter, Sharpie, or blue or black pen
    • Colored pencils, highlighter for text analysis
    • No Franklin spellers or other electronic dictionaries
    • A binder with separate sections for language arts and social science or folders
    Recommended supplies for home study area:
    • Dictionary
    • Thesaurus
    • Stapler
    • Pencil sharpener
    • Hole punch