LS Language Arts
Kindergarteners develop as critical thinkers in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Language skills are taught through authentic, interactive learning experiences and a rich, engaging variety of literature. Within a well-balanced literacy program, kindergarteners enjoy stories, poems and readers' theater.Listening, speaking, reading and writing are developed using reading and writing workshops as well as phonics/word study programs. Through imaginary play, building, multi-sensory exploration and games students are immersed in language skill experiences.
In first grade, students develop language skills through discussions, shared oral and written experiences, theater, independent reading as well as group and paired cooperative learning opportunities. Students develop as strong critical thinkers in reading, writing, speaking and listening skills using reading and writing workshops in addition to multi-sensory letter/word study programs. An active development of a joyful reading life is cultivated. Books and printed literature surround the classroom experience.
The second grade language arts curriculum is a literature-based program in which students work cooperatively and independently following the Readers' and Writers' Workshop program. The students develop and enhance decoding skills, reading comprehension, spelling and vocabulary development and the writing process. Second grade students focus on are fantasy, biography, historical fiction, realistic fiction, short stories, folktales and poetry which balances of both fiction and non-fiction studies. The integration of the language arts with other disciplines is an important thread that runs throughout all of the Lower School.
The third grade language arts curriculum incorporates a variety of language experiences in a literature-based program. Students work cooperatively and independently on a variety of activities that foster application and integration of language concepts, encourage creativity and develop effective communication skills. Instructional activities focus on decoding skills, reading comprehension, spelling and vocabulary development and the writing process. Fantasy, biography, historical fiction, realistic fiction, short stories, fairy tales and poetry play significant roles in the third grade curriculum. The integration of the language arts with other disciplines is strongly emphasized. Cursive writing is taught midway through the year.
The fourth grade language arts course provides a wide variety of integrated language arts experiences. The literature-based reading program incorporates activities that develop comprehension, research skills, an awareness of grammar, writing and critical thinking. Writing is taught as a step-by-step process with students analyzing, discussing and sharing their work. Novels are used to expand concepts, apply reading skills and generate enthusiasm and a love of reading. The curriculum involves engaging activities that challenge every child. Fiction, poetry, myth, short stories and fantasy are all integral parts of the fourth grade curriculum.
The fifth grade language arts course builds upon work done in earlier grades by continuing to emphasize reading, writing and oral communication, both speaking and listening. Novels, short stories, historical fiction and poetry provide the core content of the fifth grade language arts course. Reading comprehension is a particular focus across the curriculum. Comprehension strategies are taught explicitly and practiced for reinforcement. Writing experiences are both expressive and expository, with particular emphasis on the paragraph. The study of spelling and vocabulary continues in the fifth grade, as does the work on study skills. Study skills include using graphic and advanced organizers, test-taking skills and strategies and note taking.