MS LA Benchmarks

The Middle School English curriculum provides scaffolded, differentiated instruction in essential skills and content, focusing on the gradual transfer of responsibility for learning to the individual students. An inventive, instructive, and interactive literature-based program challenges students to become abstract thinkers and capable learners, as they achieve skills mastery at each grade level.
The course outline reflects the integration of basic literacy (literature, process writing/grammar, vocabulary), media literacy (research, evaluating and documenting sources, extrapolating information from visuals, preparing multi-media presentations), and communication literacy (speaking, listening, applied English, global communications). Our objective is to promote critical and analytical thinking, collaborative learning, and lifelong learning.
Each grade builds upon the foundation of the previous grade, exploring, in greater depth, the structure of language in basic literacy.



  • show discrimination in literary tastes through the introduction of, and continued exposure to, a variety of genres
  • connect with the text (text-to-self connections, text-to-text connections, text-to-world connections, cross-curricular connections)
  • employ theme-based units to explore fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, folk literature, informational text and visual media
  • develop reading skills and strategies (define meaning, draw conclusions, make inferences, determine importance, establish cause and effect, analyze works, build background, ask questions, compare and contrast, summarize, synthesize)
  • understand and use literary terminology
  • identify literary elements and devices


  • process writing; view writing as a fluid process of prewriting, drafting, and editing/revision
  • learn the purposes and major modes of writing: creative, persuasive, narrative, descriptive, expository, research, and response to literature
  • write cohesive, unified, coherent paragraphs; vary sentence structure and length
  • apply writing skills to essays, personal narratives, short stories, dialogues, research reports, storyboards, editorials, public service announcements

Grammar & Style

  • use the conventions of grammar and style correctly in verbal and non-verbal communications
  • identify: parts of speech, parts of a sentence, types of sentences, cases, subject-verb agreement, punctuation, capitalization, usage and expression, figurative language, common grammatical mistakes

Vocabulary & Spelling

  • study the basic structure of language
  • explore word origins and families
  • discern the difference between denotations and connotations
  • develop vocabulary through literature, students’ own writing, workbook exercises, and regular usage

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