Language Arts

Language arts are essential both as a discipline and as a means of communication about all other areas of study. In the Lower School, children are engaged in a language-rich environment where their natural interests and abilities are expanded. They receive many opportunities to listen and speak in formal and informal settings, developing their capacity for effective communication. A love of reading is fostered throughout each school day as teachers enjoy sharing stories with children and encouraging them to interact with a variety of texts.

As their literacy skills expand, students move from deciphering pictures and reciting familiar stories to reading simple books on their own and eventually to reading more difficult and varied texts. Writing progresses developmentally, from the initial stages of drawing and dictation, to writing independently using phonetic and increasingly conventional spelling, to eventually involving the editing process. Students are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes ranging from notes, lists, and simple stories in the earlier grades to more detailed stories, poetry, biographies, and research reports in the older grades.

Language Arts - Early Childhood

The major goals for early childhood students in Language Arts are to:

Listening
(These goals apply throughout the Lower School, though the listening skills required increase in complexity and duration in the higher grades.)

  • enjoy stories, poetry, rhyming, and playing with sounds of language
  • listen and respond appropriately to others
  • follow multi-step directions
  • hear and remember stories and other information

Speaking

  • exhibit ability to verbalize own needs
  • recite songs and poetry with the group
  • share ideas and experiences
  • dictate stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • join discussions with relevant comments

Reading

  • enjoy stories and poetry
  • identify name in print
  • begin to identify letter names
  • begin to associate some consonant sounds with letters
  • strengthen receptive and expressive vocabulary

Writing

  • express ideas in drawing
  • dictate stories based on drawings
  • develop fine motor skills

Language Arts - Kindergarten & Grade 1

The major goals for kindergarten and first-grade students in Language Arts are to:

Listening


(These goals apply throughout the Lower School, though the listening skills required increase in complexity and duration in the higher grades.)

  • enjoy stories, poetry, rhyming, and playing with sounds of language
  • listen and respond appropriately to others
  • follow multi-step directions
  • hear and remember stories and other information

Speaking


  • exhibit ability to verbalize own needs
  • recite chants and poetry with the group
  • share ideas and experiences
  • dictate stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • join discussions with relevant comments
  • discuss stories with attention to sequence and detail
Reading


  • enjoy stories and poetry
  • distinguish upper and lower case letters
  • recognize consonant sounds
  • recognize short and long vowel sounds
  • recognize initial and final consonant blends
  • read primers
  • begin to read chart stories
  • choose to look at books in free time
  • read own writing
  • recognize sight words
  • use picture clues
  • strengthen receptive and expressive vocabulary
  • use context clues
  • comprehend and discuss stories at a literal level
Writing


  • dictate continuous stories with several events in sequence
  • generate varied ideas for written expression
  • expand stories with details
  • print upper case letters
  • print lower case letters
  • use phonetic spelling
  • build knowledge of conventional spelling
  • begin to understand the conventions of capitalization and punctuation
  • write legibly using manuscript
  • begin to write rhyming and non-rhyming poetry

Language Arts - Grades 2-3

The major goals for second- and third-grade students in Language Arts are to:

Listening
(These goals apply throughout the Lower School, though the listening skills required increase in complexity and duration in the higher grades.)

  • enjoy stories, poetry, rhyming, and playing with sounds of language
  • listen and respond appropriately to others
  • follow multi-step directions
  • hear and remember stories and other information

Speaking

  • exhibit ability to verbalize own needs
  • share ideas and experiences
  • join discussions with relevant comments
  • discuss stories with attention to sequence and detail
  • communicate ideas clearly
  • begin to develop formal presentation skills

Reading

  • enjoy stories and poetry
  • recognize short and long vowel sounds
  • know initial and final consonant blends
  • know digraphs (wh, sh, ch, etc.)
  • know diphthongs (oa, ow, ee, etc.)
  • recognize ending punctuation
  • recognize sight words
  • use picture and context clues for comprehension
  • comprehend and discuss stories at a literal level
  • employ phonics, context, and syntax in decoding unfamiliar words
  • read grade-level texts fluently
  • read silently for a sustained period
  • state main idea of a passage or story
  • make predictions while reading
  • draw supportable inferences
  • begin to develop dictionary skills
  • strengthen receptive and expressive vocabulary
  • read for information

Writing

  • generate varied ideas for written expression
  • create stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • follow a logical story line
  • expand stories with details
  • revise writing to clarify content
  • persevere in completing stories
  • begin to use capitalization and punctuation
  • use phonetic spelling
  • build knowledge of conventional spelling
  • begin to edit for spelling and punctuation
  • recognize a variety of poetry forms
  • write in a variety of genres
  • take notes and organize information in report form

Language Arts - Grades 4-5

The major goals for fourth- and fifth-grade students in Language Arts are to:

Listening
(These goals apply throughout the Lower School, though the listening skills required increase in complexity and duration in the higher grades.)

  • enjoy stories, poetry, rhyming, and playing with sounds of language
  • listen and respond appropriately to others
  • follow multi-step directions
  • hear and remember stories and other information

Speaking

  • exhibit ability to verbalize own needs
  • share ideas and experiences
  • join discussions with relevant comments
  • discuss stories with attention to sequence and detail
  • communicate ideas clearly
  • employ specific terminology appropriate to the topic being discussed
  • strengthen formal presentation skills

Reading

  • enjoy stories and poetry
  • employ phonics, context, and syntax in decoding unfamiliar words
  • read fluently with expression
  • read silently for a sustained period
  • make predictions while reading
  • draw supportable inferences
  • select books of an appropriate level
  • state main idea of a passage or story
  • refer to text to support statement about reading
  • read critically (compare/contrast, synthesize, and apply new information to previous knowledge)
  • recognize important information
  • use a variety of research materials
  • use a dictionary proficiently
  • strengthen receptive and expressive vocabulary

Writing

  • generate varied ideas for written expression
  • create stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • follow a logical story line
  • expand stories with details
  • write multiple drafts
  • revise to clarify content and improve style
  • persevere in completing stories
  • employ capitalization and punctuation
  • build knowledge of conventional spelling
  • edit for spelling and punctuation
  • use varied and complete sentence structures
  • write paragraphs with topic, supporting, and concluding sentences
  • employ new styles and techniques
  • write in a variety of genres
  • learn to write in a variety of poetry forms
  • utilize a word processor proficiently
  • apply correct grammar as acquired
  • write legibly using manuscript and cursive

Language Arts - Early Childhood

The major goals for early childhood students in Language Arts are to:

Listening
(These goals apply throughout the Lower School, though the listening skills required increase in complexity and duration in the higher grades.)

  • enjoy stories, poetry, rhyming, and playing with sounds of language
  • listen and respond appropriately to others
  • follow multi-step directions
  • hear and remember stories and other information

Speaking

  • exhibit ability to verbalize own needs
  • recite songs and poetry with the group
  • share ideas and experiences
  • dictate stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • join discussions with relevant comments

Reading

  • enjoy stories and poetry
  • identify name in print
  • begin to identify letter names
  • begin to associate some consonant sounds with letters
  • strengthen receptive and expressive vocabulary

Writing

  • express ideas in drawing
  • dictate stories based on drawings
  • develop fine motor skills

Language Arts - Kindergarten & Grade 1

The major goals for kindergarten and first-grade students in Language Arts are to:

Listening
(These goals apply throughout the Lower School, though the listening skills required increase in complexity and duration in the higher grades.)

  • enjoy stories, poetry, rhyming, and playing with sounds of language
  • listen and respond appropriately to others
  • follow multi-step directions
  • hear and remember stories and other information
Speaking


  • exhibit ability to verbalize own needs
  • recite chants and poetry with the group
  • share ideas and experiences
  • dictate stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • join discussions with relevant comments
  • discuss stories with attention to sequence and detail
Reading


  • enjoy stories and poetry
  • distinguish upper and lower case letters
  • recognize consonant sounds
  • recognize short and long vowel sounds
  • recognize initial and final consonant blends
  • read primers
  • begin to read chart stories
  • choose to look at books in free time
  • read own writing
  • recognize sight words
  • use picture clues
  • strengthen receptive and expressive vocabulary
  • use context clues
  • comprehend and discuss stories at a literal level
Writing


  • dictate continuous stories with several events in sequence
  • generate varied ideas for written expression
  • expand stories with details
  • print upper case letters
  • print lower case letters
  • use phonetic spelling
  • build knowledge of conventional spelling
  • begin to understand the conventions of capitalization and punctuation
  • write legibly using manuscript
  • begin to write rhyming and non-rhyming poetry

Language Arts - Grades 2-3

The major goals for second- and third-grade students in Language Arts are to:

Listening
(These goals apply throughout the Lower School, though the listening skills required increase in complexity and duration in the higher grades.)

  • enjoy stories, poetry, rhyming, and playing with sounds of language
  • listen and respond appropriately to others
  • follow multi-step directions
  • hear and remember stories and other information

Speaking

  • exhibit ability to verbalize own needs
  • share ideas and experiences
  • join discussions with relevant comments
  • discuss stories with attention to sequence and detail
  • communicate ideas clearly
  • begin to develop formal presentation skills

Reading

  • enjoy stories and poetry
  • recognize short and long vowel sounds
  • know initial and final consonant blends
  • know digraphs (wh, sh, ch, etc.)
  • know diphthongs (oa, ow, ee, etc.)
  • recognize ending punctuation
  • recognize sight words
  • use picture and context clues for comprehension
  • comprehend and discuss stories at a literal level
  • employ phonics, context, and syntax in decoding unfamiliar words
  • read grade-level texts fluently
  • read silently for a sustained period
  • state main idea of a passage or story
  • make predictions while reading
  • draw supportable inferences
  • begin to develop dictionary skills
  • strengthen receptive and expressive vocabulary
  • read for information

Writing

  • generate varied ideas for written expression
  • create stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • follow a logical story line
  • expand stories with details
  • revise writing to clarify content
  • persevere in completing stories
  • begin to use capitalization and punctuation
  • use phonetic spelling
  • build knowledge of conventional spelling
  • begin to edit for spelling and punctuation
  • recognize a variety of poetry forms
  • write in a variety of genres
  • take notes and organize information in report form

Language Arts - Grades 4-5

The major goals for fourth- and fifth-grade students in Language Arts are to:

Listening
(These goals apply throughout the Lower School, though the listening skills required increase in complexity and duration in the higher grades.)

  • enjoy stories, poetry, rhyming, and playing with sounds of language
  • listen and respond appropriately to others
  • follow multi-step directions
  • hear and remember stories and other information

Speaking

  • exhibit ability to verbalize own needs
  • share ideas and experiences
  • join discussions with relevant comments
  • discuss stories with attention to sequence and detail
  • communicate ideas clearly
  • employ specific terminology appropriate to the topic being discussed
  • strengthen formal presentation skills

Reading

  • enjoy stories and poetry
  • employ phonics, context, and syntax in decoding unfamiliar words
  • read fluently with expression
  • read silently for a sustained period
  • make predictions while reading
  • draw supportable inferences
  • select books of an appropriate level
  • state main idea of a passage or story
  • refer to text to support statement about reading
  • read critically (compare/contrast, synthesize, and apply new information to previous knowledge)
  • recognize important information
  • use a variety of research materials
  • use a dictionary proficiently
  • strengthen receptive and expressive vocabulary

Writing

  • generate varied ideas for written expression
  • create stories with a beginning, middle, and end
  • follow a logical story line
  • expand stories with details
  • write multiple drafts
  • revise to clarify content and improve style
  • persevere in completing stories
  • employ capitalization and punctuation
  • build knowledge of conventional spelling
  • edit for spelling and punctuation
  • use varied and complete sentence structures
  • write paragraphs with topic, supporting, and concluding sentences
  • employ new styles and techniques
  • write in a variety of genres
  • learn to write in a variety of poetry forms
  • utilize a word processor proficiently
  • apply correct grammar as acquired
  • write legibly using manuscript and cursive

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