The middle grade language arts curriculum shifts in focus from learning to read to reading to learn. Increased emphasis is placed on reading and writing informational content, which helps students gain familiarity with the structure of expository text. Strategy instruction focuses on constructing meaning from the text using a repertoire of comprehension strategies. At these grade levels, emphasis is placed on vocabulary, word identification skills, fluency, and comprehension. Students read and analyze various literary genres for figurative language and apply these techniques to their own writing. Direct instruction on the writing domains of focus, content, style, organization, and language conventions develops quality writing.
In 7th and 8th grade the focus of the language arts curriculum becomes literary analysis. At this level, students analyze various genres including poetry, drama, short stories, and novels for various literary devices and appreciation of an author’s writing style. Students’ written literary responses focus on this analysis. Further, the research curriculum at Ancillae-Assumpta Academy provides the instruction and scaffolding necessary for students to use research ethically and to write a well structured research paper with correct attribution. Analysis of student writing further guides teacher instruction of the application of language conventions.