Mrs. Zotos' Classroom Resources

Welcome to Grade 5 ELA and

6th Grade Social Studies

Social Studies Information

Welcome to Sixth Grade Social Studies!

I love the fact that I teach Grade 6 social studies for one block each day! This year I teach English/Language Arts at Grade 5 for most of the day, but have been a Grade 6 English/Language Arts and social studies teacher for the last 13 years, so it's nice to keep teaching a curriculum I love! Because I know the grade level ELA standards, it is a great opportunity for me to integrate the writing expectations into student work. Having the professional knowledge of social studies and ELA truly allows me the unique teaching opportunity to share my knowledge of these two wonderful subjects!

Our topics this year will focus on government and 19th century U.S. History:

  1. Civics & Government: Citizenship, US Constitution & the Three Branches of Government
  2. The U.S. Grows: Westward Expansion, Reforms/Invention, Immigration & Industrialization
  3. The U.S. Divides & Reunites: Civil War & Reconstruction

Below you will find a link to the Social Studies Website that Ms. Dill and I share. Further below, you will find my Social Studies start of the year newsletter with specific information about the class.

Looking forward to seeing these students grow into informed and effective citizens!

Website: 6th Grade Resources

ELA Information

Welcome to Grade Five English/Language Arts!

We begin the English/Language Arts year with setting a daily reading expectation to read 20 minutes at home each day from a novel of a student's own choosing. Students are excited to work towards their individual 30 Book Challenge goal for the year! A parent newsletter about the challenge has gone home in the homework folder for parents to learn about this ongoing effort as well as a communication about the weekly Reading Menu Reading Response question that each student completes about that week's choice novel reading.

In class we will be reading a variety of both informational and fiction texts including short stories and at least two class novels.

We will begin with reading the novel Esperanza Rising, a story of how one young girl's life of privilege changes suddenly and leads to her coming to America during the Great Depression. It is a wonderful book that helps students closely examine the power of a 1st person narrative story and clearly demonstrates how characters can greatly change in the course of a novel.

Our second novel will be Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief, a high-interest novel about a sixth-grade boy on a hero’s journey. This novel will allow us to have a deep study of mythology, its purposes, and elements.

Some students may be familiar with this popular fantasy book. Students will learn about the a storyline pattern called A Hero's Journey which can be found in most fables and fairy tales found throughout the world and across centuries.

As a class, we will also closely read several Greek myths. Greek myths are alluded to throughout the novel, so studying specific myths will help with the broader understanding of the novel.

Grade 5 writing will include focus on the key elements of writing including:

  • Narratives: Which is writing to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • Opinion: Which is the writing of opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  • Informative/Explanatory: Which is writing texts that examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Social Studies Parent letter

30 Book Challenge Parent Information

30 Book Challenge Parent Letter

A peek into the life of Mrs. Zotos...

Thank you for visiting my website. I’d like to first warmly welcome you all either to my Fifth or Sixth Grade class!

I am Marilyn Zotos, and this is my 13th year teaching English/Language Arts and Social Studies here at WJHS! So many aspects of my life have revolved around issues related to education. I served 11 years as a school committee member and board chair in my community, so I know how hard it can be to get a district school budget passed each and every year. I truly feel fortunate to teach in a district that values and financially supports a quality education in all of our schools!

My personal story is one of opportunity thanks to the values of our wonderful country. My parents immigrated to the United States 65 years ago with two small children, two suitcases and $30 in their pocket. Years later, I was born here in America. Although my parents only completed some elementary school as youngsters, they really emphasized the importance of an education to myself and my siblings, and they expected us to make school a priority. My family found that with hard work and great effort, the American Dream was truly something they could achieve for themselves and our family.

This year, my husband and I celebrated 33 of marriage. We have three children. George, who earned his Doctorate in Pharmacy and is a pharmacist in San Francisco; Alex, who earned his Master’s Degree in Higher Education and is the Director of Admissions, Partnerships and Access at Colby College, and our daughter Eleni, who earned her Master's Degree in Nursing from UNH, and is a pediatric nurse at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. We are proud of their individual academic accomplishments, but most importantly are so happy that they have each pursued a career they are passionate about. Each one, in his or her own way, is making a difference in the lives of others.

Teaching is a second career for me as I was first a journalist and later an editor of a publication in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Therefore, I bring real world experience to the classroom and hope to enrich the lives of your children when I connect their ELA and Social Studies lessons to other professional experiences I have had. I see how transformative a solid education can be in life. Please know that I will do everything I can to make this a year of personal & academic growth for your children in a safe and joyful learning environment. Thank you for all you do to support your student’s education and success. I look forward to a great year with your students!