English Department

Welcome to English Language Arts!

Through a wide variety of classroom learning experiences which are largely literature based, our goal is to teach children how to fully comprehend and respond to what they read and teach them how to use the English language most effectively in their writing and speaking. This program has three components: language arts, composition, and literature.

The English curriculum draws on the four main literary genres:  fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. Selected age-appropriate readings within these genres are meant to expose students to a vibrant cross-section of viewpoints, cultures, and communities from around the world, past and present, and to foster an appreciation of this diversity.

Along with gaining skills in comprehending text on a factual level, students also learn how to think critically while they read and are given the tools to respond analytically and personally. These responses include small group and whole-class discussions, written responses, and projects that tap students' strengths in visual and performing arts. Students are also encouraged to read independently outside of what is required in school by teachers who model for children a love of reading as a lifelong habit of mind.

In all three grades, emphasis is placed on using the five-step writing process (prewriting or brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to meet success in conveying ideas on paper. Students will increasingly learn how to adapt the writing process to fit the demands of individual assignments and shape their writing to satisfy specific purposes and audiences.

Generally, writing assignments ask students to: provide information or explain what something is about (expository); tell a story (narrative); describe a place or person (descriptive); persuade others to understand and accept a point of view (persuasive); express thoughts and feelings and create fictional worlds (expressive). In all the writing they do, students are encouraged to develop their own individual voices and styles. 

 Photo of Liz Welburn Liz Welburn
ELA Curriculum Coordinator, Grades 6-8
elizabeth_welburn@needham.k12.ma.us

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2018 West Corporation. All rights reserved.