Reading, English and Literature
The early elementary Language Arts program integrates phonics, spelling, writing, and reading. This fosters phonetic awareness, decoding skills and word recognition. The writing process emphasizes solid foundations in a variety of writing genres. The reading program begins with picture-story books and is followed by chapter books and Reader's Theatre.
Elementary school students practice manuscript and sentence formation, readying the students for cursive writing. Constructing cohesive paragraphs teaches our students to understand main character, plot lines, and chronological order. We'll write to persuade, to teach, and to tell a great story.
The literature in Middle School is based on extensive coverage of classic works by time-tested authors. The works of Twain, Poe, Asimov, O. Henry, Shakespeare, Bradbury, Hemingway, Kipling, Steinbeck, Longfellow, Stevenson, Tolkien, Buck, Brooks, Dickens, Doyle, Christie, Dickinson, Blake, Hinton, and Harper Lee among many others, are explored in depth.
Creative writing is introduced in 5th grade, with students writing basic stories and poems, and is developed through the middle grades, culminating in 8th graders designing 15-20 page stories in specific genres and exploring the craft of penning sonnets, villanelles, and sestinas.
English grammar and usage is a separate class at SJRS. Students develop their grammar, vocabulary and spelling throughout their middle school years, culminating in advanced essay writing and research papers.