At St. Thomas More Parish School, we are alive with our mission...We, the pastor, staff, and parents of St. Thomas More Parish School, are committed to developing the minds, hearts, and souls of our students.  By planting faith-filled seeds of good habits, we open our students’ minds to knowledge, their hearts to service, and their souls to the beauty of God’s Creation.


Dear 7th and 8th Grade Students and Parents:                                                         

A hammer and a chisel are tools that allow man to create objects and beautiful shapes.  Language is also a tool.  In fact, language might be the most powerful tool that man possesses.  We use language to comprehend our environment by way of listening and reading, and we use it to communicate our ideas with others by way of speaking and writing.  So, as man builds tables and chairs with saws, hammers, and chisels, he can also communicate how those tables and chairs are to be built and to what specifications.  Similarly, through the use of written words, man can create inspiring works of art such as poetry, drama, non-fiction, and fiction of all genres.

What makes literature challenging to junior high students is the idea that words are more than merely a means to comprehend and communicate concrete ideas.  Literature in junior high school invariably deals with such abstract concepts as freedom and slavery, democracy and authoritarianism, morality, ethics, trust, faith, and love.  Literature then is more than a study of a writer’s words, but rather a study of the human condition and the world in which we live.

In both seventh and eighth Grade literature, students will be studying short stories, drama, poetry, novels, personal essays, and Greek mythology.  Some authors included in the seventh grade curriculum include Hemingway, O. Henry, Longfellow, Robert Frost, Ray Bradbury, Rod Serling, Charles Dickens, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Eighth grade students will be examining works by authors such as Shakespeare, Bradbury, Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, Jack London, Edgar Allan Poe, Steinbeck, and many more.  Interpretations will be discussed and reflected in student written responses to these assigned readings.  Major tests will usually follow a novel or unit of study, but a majority of weekly grades will be derived from quizzes and written responses.  

I should mention that I also very much enjoy sponsoring the chess club after school.  It is a pleasure to watch chess members from grades four through eight as strategies are realized, confidence is developed, and, in the face of winning or losing, grace is learned.


Paul G. Winslow

For grades and assignments, please check edline.net