Language Arts Course Syllabus
Text: The Language of Literature, by McDugal Littell, Inc. ($42.84)
Course Description: The Seventh Grade Language Arts Program is a literature-based program with emphasis on developing reading, writing, grammar, and critical thinking skills. Combining reading selections with the study of vocabulary and the writing process, this program also engages in a series of writing projects which will include, comparing/contrasting, persuasion, personal narrative, research projects, poetry, and other expository and creative assignments. Additionally, emphasis will be placed on grammar, sentence structure, and paragraph formation. Practice on both formal and informal speaking will be afforded through the performing of skits, plays, poetry, monologues, and independent reading project presentations.
Course Outline for the Year:
Students read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama from the following thematic units: On the Threshold, Life’s Lessons, and Stepping Forward. Using the writing process, students will complete the following:
Ø A personal response essay; prepositional phrases; graphic organizers
Ø A personal experience narrative; vivid details, sensory images, consistent verb tense
Ø A short story; paragraph unity
Ø An interpretive paper on literature; subordinate conjunctions and clauses
Ø A research report; using facts and statistics
Students will read fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and myths and folk tales from the following thematic units: Meeting Challenges, Not As It Seems, Across Time and Place. Using the writing process students will complete the following:
Ø An explanation or definition
Ø An extension of a story; dialogues and quotation marks
Ø A critical review; compound sentences; transition words
Ø An opinion paper; interviewing experts
Grading: Quizzes, tests, projects, reports and essays will make up 60% of the grade. Homework, in-class activities and participation will consist of 40% of the grade.
Major Assignments: (i.e. essays, reports, projects, etc.) These assignments will be checked on a due date. Late assignments will have 10% of the points deducted for each day they are late.
Independent Reading Project: One independent reading project will be assigned each semester, and comprise 10% of the student’s semester grade. (see reverse and attachment)
Homework: Homework is assigned as necessary. Homework may take the form of reading, writing, research, grammar practice or studying for tests. Homework will be checked on a due date, and late homework will not be accepted.
Provision for Improving Grades: Students who have low (73 or below) or failing cumulative grades may ask the teacher for opportunities to improve their grade when all work required to date has been completed and students have demonstrated a legitimate effort to meet all course requirements including attendance.
Scheduled Help Sessions: Help sessions can be provided during homeroom from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Other times may be arranged with the teacher on an individual basis. Please note that advance notice is requested to avoid conflicts.
Teacher/Parent Communication: The student is required to keep a list of grades and assignments in his/her agenda. The parent should check this from time to time to keep up with the student’s progress. Grades will be sent home every six weeks, and interim progress reports will be sent home every 3 weeks. If a problem arises, parents will be notified. Please note that you may reach teachers by calling Northwestern Middle School and leaving a message if you have questions or concerns. You may also e-mail concerns directly to the teacher.
Absent/Make-up work: It is the student’s responsibility to request make-up work for an absence. Upon returning to school following an absence, the student should request make-up work. The student must complete make-up work within the time specified by the teacher. (The student will be given the same amount of time to make up the work as he/she was absent unless other arrangements are mutually agreed upon.) The student will receive the actual grade on the make-up work if the absence was “excused.” Make-up work for “unexcused” absences may be reduced up to 6 points. Make-up work submitted late will receive a zero.