English (Language Arts & Reading)


Middle School Language Arts


The primary purpose of the English curriculum is to enable a student to appreciate good literature, speak eloquently and write prolifically. Students are exposed to classic literature, fiction of various genres, non-fiction, short stories, plays and poetry. As they read and study the above material, students develop thinking, comprehension and communication skills.

Language Arts Usage and Grammar

Students in middle school have a specific grammar curriculum. Cedar Hill Prep School uses a series that encourages students to discover the patterns that exist in the English language. Examples and directed questions help students arrive at grammatical rules and principles. Practice exercises reinforce the skills and increase their knowledge of the rules.

  • Reading (Guided Reading and Literature circles) – Students in Middle School
  • Develop familiarity with the work of established authors and poets
  • Discuss and express preferences in terms of language, style and themes
  • Look for implicit as well as explicit meanings, and make inferences
  • Articulate personal responses to reading, with close reference to the text
  • Analyze the success of writing in evoking particular moods (e.g. suspense)
  • Take account of viewpoint in a novel, and distinguish author and narrator
  • Understand aspects of narrative structure such as the handling of time
  • Explore how poets manipulate and play with words and their sounds
  • Read and interpret poems in which meanings are implied or multi layers
  • Compare and evaluate the print and film versions of a novel or play.
  • Distinguish between fact and opinion in a range of texts and other media
  • Analyze how paragraphs and chapters are structured and linked
  • Compare the language, style and impact of a range of non-fiction writing
  • Recognize key characteristics of non – chronological report writing

Required Reading

Students are required to read 3 books of their choice and three books prescribed by the school at each grade level.

Writing (Writers Workshop) – Students in Middle School

  • Use different genres as models for writing
  • Plan plot, characters and structure effectively in writing an extended story
  • Use the styles and conventions of journalism to write reports on events
  • Write non-chronological reports linked to work in other subjects
  • Summarize a passage, chapter or text in a given number of words
  • Argue a case in writing, developing points logically and convincingly
  • Write a balanced report of a controversial issue
  • Select appropriate non-fiction style and form to suit specific purposes
  • Use paragraphs, sequencing and linking them appropriately, in fiction and non-fiction writing
  • Use language effectively to prepare and present writing for publication