The Middle School Literature curriculum begins in the sixth grade with the introduction to literature, basic literary terms, basic genres (novel, nonfiction, drama, short story, mythology and poetry), the analysis of the novel (including setting, point of view, characterization, plot, theme, etc.), and annotation techniques. In the seventh grade students continue to explore literature through the analysis of the literary devices used in the selections, the reinforcement of annotation techniques, and writing; and will be introduced to more complex literary terms. Literature class in the eighth grade continues to reinforce the analysis of the literary devices used in the selections by annotation and through writing.
Components of the literature curriculum include literary analysis skill building, assessments, projects, written assignments, and the outside reading of ten novels per year. The literary analysis skill building includes learning the literary terms, annotation of literary works, and the discussion of and writing about the students’ analysis. The assessments will include many different approaches to allow for creativity and critical thinking. The outside reading is a component of the literature program that is designed for differentiation. Students read ten books over the course of the school year in addition to the class novels. The students are allowed to choose books within their own reading levels and interests. For each book read, students complete a project designed to highlight aspects of the books that are being independently read. These activities often involve art, creative writing and technology.
Each quarter one of the books is a novel read by the entire class for in-depth study. In each grade level, the students will complete novel units which are made up of the novel and several related readings from many different genres. The additional readings are related to the novel in some literary aspect i.e. theme or character type. The eighth grade will have an AP book project to complete for the last quarter of their eighth grade year. Novels selected for study include both classic and contemporary titles.