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Seventh-Grade Advanced Language Arts

Mr. James Thornton

Email: thornton_james@svvsd.org


WELCOME:

I am so excited to meet all of my advanced seventh grade students. We will cover the same major subject areas (literature, writing, grammar, vocabulary, etc.) as in sixth grade, but with more difficult content. The focus of this year will be learning to analyze literature and express those thoughts into longer pieces of expository writing.

 

EXPECTATIONS:

Our classroom is for learning, participation and cooperation. Students will follow the Six Pillars: Caring, Citizenship, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility, and Trustworthiness.

My general classroom rules are:

 

·         Have an Open Mind

·         Be Respectful at All Times

·         Come to Class Prepared

·         Follow all School Policies

 

LATE WORK/STUDENT ILLNESS:  

Missing assignments become a zero and will appear as an M in infinite campus. Work that is turned in late will be graded at a loss of ten percent. Sometimes absences are unavoidable. If a student misses a class, he or she has one week to make up work, including tests and quizzes. If a student is absent for a longer period of time, they will have two days for every excused absence in order to make-up missing work.


COURSE DESCRIPTION:

CURRICULUM:  Language Arts is a core subject and what is often overlooked is the importance of these skills in every class and for the rest of your life.  The skills include reading, writing, speaking, and, most importantly, thinking.  We joyfully delve deep into the Core Knowledge curriculum while developing character through the Six Pillars every day.   

 

CLASS READING:

  • NOVELS, POETRY & SHORT STORIES: The Call of the Wild, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, & Anne Frank:  The Diary of a Young Girl.  We will read wonderful short stories like “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Necklace” with other great short stories by authors such as James Thurber, Edgar Allan Poe and more.  Poetry included in the curriculum includes: “Annabelle Lee,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” “Fire and Ice,” and many more. (Please see Core Knowledge Curriculum for the complete list.) Students will respond to reading selections in a dialectical journal and will need to complete book reports on the free read books of their choice. As an advanced student much of the reading for class will need to be completed at home.

WRITING SKILLS:

  • WRITING:   Students will be writing every day in school; encompassing complete sentences, paragraphs, summaries, outlines, research papers, and presentations.  Students will also have the opportunity to try their hand at creating poetry.  We will be preparing our skills to excel in eighth grade and beyond.

 

  • VOCABULARY, SPELLING AND GRAMMAR:  Students will focus on vocabulary, root words, spelling, and grammar all year long.  This year we are using the Shurley Method to teach grammar. Vocabulary and root words tests usually occur every two weeks on Fridays.  

SPEAKING:  

  • DRAMA & VERBAL SKILLS:  Students will present a short story after we read “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe. We are reading/watching the play Cyrano de Bergerac. Students will be assigned a role for each act. Students will present an autobiography in class after we read and watch The Diary of a Young Girl.

 

CLASS ROUTINE:

YEARLY:  In the long term, the semesters will generally look like this:

1st Semester

2nd Semester

·         Grammar and Vocabulary

·         Short Stories

·         The Call of the Wild

·         The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

·         Research writing

·         Literature Response Essay

·         Grammar and Vocabulary

·         Short Stories

·         Poetry

·         Cyrano de Bergerac

·         Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

·         Autobiography


GRADING SCALE:

This year the grading scale has been changed to be the same across the school in grades 1-12. The scale is ten points and Ds have been removed.

Grades 1-12

 

Mastery

Proficiency

Sufficiency

Failing

Incomplete

 

90-100%     (A)

80-89%       (B)

70-79%       (C)

0-69%         (F)

                    (I)

 

Credit requires a C or above.

 

Plagiarism and Cheating:

Students are expected to do their own work at all times. If caught cheating or using another person’s work in any way, students will automatically receive a zero and a CH for cheating will be entered into the gradebook for that assignment, regardless of the weight of the assignment on the student’s grade. Re-takes will not be allowed.

Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words or thoughts as your own without giving full credit to that person. This includes copying another’s work, having someone do your work for you, and not crediting another person’s ideas when you use them.   

 

Extra Credit:

I occasionally give extra credit opportunities, but not often. I will not give extra credit on an individual basis. Opportunities will be given to the whole class or to no one. 




2018-19 7th Grade Language Arts Curriculum Map

James Thornton

 

Essential Skills

1.     Writing an outline to be used to organize a speech, essay or research paper.

2.     Using vocabulary from the Core Knowledge sequence appropriate in all forms of writing.

3.     Using a dictionary and an encyclopedia as resources to complete assignments or improve writing/research.

4.     Organization of a 5 paragraph essay, and writing a persuasive/informative essay

5.     Identifying the theme of a piece of literature or poetry and being able to discuss and write an appropriate response addressing the theme.  

Topic

Dates/ Duration

Skills

Warm up procedure & Classroom procedure

CK Vocabulary/Spelling instruction – Greek & Latin  (Roots, Foreign Phrases, Procedure for assignments and Quizzes

WRITING: proper Writing format and technique (using evidence)

FALL BENCHMARK

GRAMMAR:  Editing  (Writing out numbers, Appositives, Capitalization), Nouns, Verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions

August

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5

Elements of Literature – Setting, Theme, Characters, Plot, Rising action, Climax & Falling action

Summaries/Expository Writing (Essays on Literature)

READING:  The Call of the Wild by Jack London

GRAMMAR: Types of sentences (declarative, imperative, interrogative and exclamatory), End marks

CK Vocabulary/Spelling instruction – Greek & Latin  (Roots, Foreign Phrases

September

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5

Pronouns (Subjective, possessive, objective, indefinite)

Vocabulary in Context skills, vocabulary with dialect and time periods

WRITING:  Research Paper (Informative writing)

 Choice of topic, Narrowing a topic,

  Evaluating primary and secondary sources, web sources

 Source and note cards,  Outlines,  Formatting & formal stylef

 Bibliographies,  Drafting and final drafts.

 Grammar – Verbs, Helping Verbs,

CK Vocabulary/Spelling instruction – Greek & Latin  (Roots, Foreign Phrases

October/

November

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5

 

READING:  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Core Knowledge:  Short stories:  The Gift of the Magi  by O.Henry

Grammar:  Verb phrases, gerunds, Fragments, Simple, Compound, Complex and Complex-compound sentences

 

First Semester Final:  Call of the Wild, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and grammar

November/

December

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5

Core Knowledge Poetry pieces, using rigor techniques to find meaning, enhance comprehension, author’s craft.

William Blake – “The Chimney Sweeper – Songs of Innocence” & “The Chimney Sweeper – Songs of Experience”

“Annabelle Lee” by Edgar Allan Poe

“Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen

“Fire and Ice” Robert Frost

“Because I could not stop for death” by Emily Dickinson

“Heritage” by Countee Cullen

“Macavity: The Mystery Cat “ by T.S. Eliot

“The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert Service

WRITING:  Poetry Anthology

CK Vocabulary/Spelling instruction – Greek & Latin  (Roots, Foreign Phrases

January

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5

 

DRAMACyrano de Bergerac – using rigor for complex texts.

Terminology for Drama: stage directions, etc.  

Writing:   Narratives, writing poetry anthology, learning literary devices and figurative language

Theme in literature

CK Vocabulary/Spelling instruction – Greek & Latin  (Roots, Foreign Phrases

Grammar:  Sentence Patterns 1-5

February

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5

 

Grammar – Direct objects & indirect objects, Prepositions & prepositional phrases, Clauses – adjective, adverb, & noun clause

SPEAKING:  Reading and presenting poetry in class.

CK Vocabulary/Spelling instruction – Greek & Latin  (Roots, Foreign Phrases

CK short stories (The Necklace & The Purloined Letter)

March

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5

ESSAYS – Writing and Reading Core Knowledge Essays

CK SPEECHES: Winston Churchill, FDR Declaration of War

READING:  Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

“The Night the Bed Fell”, James Thurber

“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” by James Thurber

DRAMA:  Anne Frank Play and movie

GRAMMAR:  Improve writing through word choice, voice, tone and mood, Participles, Compliments

CK Vocabulary/Spelling instruction – Greek & Latin  (Roots, Foreign Phrases

April

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5

 

WRITING – WORLD WAR II PRESENTATIONS IN CLASS:  presentation text, bibliographies, researching nonfiction sources

SPEECH:  Tone, volume, speed, presentation, etc.

Essays on Anne Frank,

 

Second Semester Final:  Cyrano de Bergerac, Anne Frank, Grammar, and Final Presentation (50%)

May

Essential Skill 1

Essential Skill 2

Essential Skill 3

Essential Skill 4

Essential Skill 5