We start the year working on writing with an emphasis on learning proper grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization rules which is all taught in the daily Work on Words (WOW) lessons during the first term. Specific grammar skills are taught with a look at some basic parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and pronouns. Reading strategies also play an important part of the curriculum at the beginning of the year. Everyone is expected to be doing daily silent reading all year and making at least 2 reading responses each week to the novels they are reading. In class, students will be taught about the reading skills that good readers use and and will be given many opportunities to practice these skills throughout the year. Research writing is also emphasized in Term 1 with the Socials research on World Religions. Students will be taught note-taking skills as well as how to organize their notes into an outline from which they will write their paragraphs. Proper paragraph writing with introductory and concluding sentences is taught as well as how to utilize transition sentences to move the reader from one idea to the next within a paragraph. Students will learn how to write a variety of types of sentences such as compound, complex and compound-complex sentences, and how to use conjunctions in their sentences to combine ideas. Students will demonstrate all these skills in their World Religion reports.
Term 2 begins with a novel study where students apply some of the reading skills taught in Term 1 to help them connect and make sense of the story. They will prepare some good questions that they will discuss in their literature groups each week to help clarify anything that they might be confused or curious about. Comprehension and vocabulary activities will be used to check to ensure that they are understanding what they are reading. Students will be taught how to write a compare/contrast essay using the characters in the novel study. We will finish the novel study up by watching the movie that was made of the novel and writing an essay comparing the movie to the novel.
Term 3 starts with the study of poetry. Students will learn about the different poetic devices used by poets in their poetry such as similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, alliteration, personification, etc. Poetry will be analyzed for the use of rhythm, repetition and sound effects and their effects on the meaning of the poem. Students will be writing a variety of poetry that includes many of these poetic devices and sharing them with the class. Following the poetry unit the students will be engaged in a Debating unit that will teach them effective speaking skills as well as how to plan out a good persuasive argument and deliver it properly in a respectful debate style. Students will be working with a partner to prepare and deliver their debates.