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As students progress from Grade 7 through 9, the degree of complexity and sophistication in their use of language skills will increase.

Students will listen, speak, read, write, view and represent to

  • explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences
  • comprehend and respond personally and critically to oral, print and other media texts manage ideas and information
  • enhance the clarity and artistry of communication respect, support and collaborate with others

Listening and Speaking

Students will use talk to clarify and assess understanding of ideas, information and experiences. As well, they will present information orally to achieve a particular purpose and to appeal to the interest and background knowledge of an audience. They will listen and respond constructively to alternative ideas or opinions and use appropriate verbal and nonverbal feedback to respond respectfully.

Viewing and Representing

Students will learn to interpret visual, print and/or other media. They will be expected to integrate appropriate visual, print and/or other media to reinforce an overall impression or point of view and engage an audience.

Reading and Writing

Students will read a variety of text and practice reading strategies that improve their comprehension. Written expression will vary but the emphasis will be on communicating clearly, creatively and correctly. The writing process will be modeled.

Writing Process: Samuel Johnson wrote “What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” Writers who care about how their words go down on the page know that in the end what they’ve said and how it looks each contribute to a reader’s appreciation of text. Given this, the process of writing is very important. Students will pre-write, write, rewrite, edit and publish. They will work individually and collaboratively to improve their written expression so that the final product is rewarding for themselves as well as their readers.

Conventions of Language: Conventions such as grammar and punctuation are taught within the context of the students’ writing in a mini-lesson format.

Narrative: Students will be provided ample opportunity to explore a variety of narrative text and write stories, personal and imaginative, of their own.

Reading Responses: The purpose of individualized reading is to get students to choose reading material that is appropriate to their own reading levels and interests and to read text that encourages sustained, uninterrupted reading and reading fluency. Students are encouraged to read a variety of genre.

Literature Circles: The purpose of literature circles is to enhance comprehension through other readers and through a variety of approaches.

Short Stories: Students will learn the elements of a short story, understand their contribution to an overall effect, and observe writing techniques and styles so that they can be applied to the students’ own short story writing.

Expository: Students will read and write nonfiction genre. They will observe the structure of such formats as the paragraph, essay, and letter so that they may, in turn, apply their knowledge to the writing of clear, concise, and well-organized expository pieces.

Descriptive: Students will understand dominant impression and the use of sensory images, figurative language, and connotative words in description. They will experiment with descriptive writing within their stories or separately in the form of character sketches or descriptive paragraphs.

Poetry: Students will read, write, and interpret poetry and be encouraged to use figurative language, sensory imagery and other techniques to enhance their own written expression. It is hoped that students gain a love and appreciation for poetry and its unique characteristics.

Research: The intent of research is to find an answer to a question that is truthful and just. Students at all three grade levels will be taught a research process that will assist them in thorough and accurate research.

1. Pre-research
2. Information retrieval
3. Information processing
4. Information organizing and creating
5. Information sharing
6. Evaluation

Tom Baines Junior High fosters good citizenship and, therefore, blatant plagiarism is not tolerated. Students involved in research will put notes into their own words and in point form and be required to reference and cite information used. They will be expected to show rough drafts and changes to written work. All of the aforementioned strategies will assist students in avoiding “unintentional” plagiarism.



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