Elementary School English & Language Arts Courses
Third Grade English Language Arts and Reading Course
(Full Year Course) This course provides students instruction and practice in reading, comprehending, and analyzing various genres. Students will also learn skills to become stronger writers while creating texts for various purposes. Students will complete basic research tasks. In addition, students will learn spelling, grammar, and conventions to strengthen their writing. They will also learn and practice skills and strategies to build their vocabulary. Students will further their communication skills by listening, speaking, and working with peers. Students will also learn and utilize cursive writing.
Fourth Grade English Language Arts and Reading Course
(Full Year Course) Covering 4th Grade ELAR objectives, this course builds upon third-grade skills and vocabulary development. The focus is reading comprehension of main ideas, details, and themes. Students also keep a reading journal and compare different genre elements. Students write narratives and various essays, including a persuasive essay and an informative research paper. They also evaluate graphic elements, media, and speeches. In the area of cooperative learning, students practice good listening and discussion skills. Additionally, they use technology to make a presentation and self-evaluate their performance.
Fifth Grade English Language Arts and Reading Course
(Full Year Course) All standard conventions of English grammar are thoroughly covered. Vocabulary and spelling are spiraled throughout and include word roots, affixes, use of the dictionary, and using context. Students will read and analyze all major genres and be asked to imitate each in their own writing. Students analyze the novel Number the Stars. The students compose all forms of writing required by the state standards and are given detailed instructions in formal research and essays. A section on media literacy is included. Many lessons require peer collaboration. Fluency in reading aloud is taught overtly.
Middle School English & Language Arts Courses
Sixth Grade English & Language Arts Course
(Full Year Course) This course provides an overview in reading/comprehension of various genres including fiction and non-fiction. Students read the novel Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and analyze the main character’s development. Various activities emphasize informative and fiction writing, including planning, research, use of organizers, drafting, revision, and editing. Instruction also includes grammar basics and mechanics such as combining sentences and using correct punctuation. Analytical exercises consist of comparing genres, evaluating media, and identifying and using persuasion. Additionally, students practice necessary life skills such as communication and presentation, reflecting on the importance of collaboration in teamwork.
Seventh Grade English & Language Arts Course
(Full Year Course) In this course, students will learn and apply new skills in reading, writing, and oral communication. Students will consider the importance of establishing a purpose in reading and identifying themes. Reading assignments include short stories, myths, legends, true stories, and expository texts. Students will read and critique the historical novel Chasing Lincoln’s Killer. Students will plan, draft, revise, proofread, edit, and publish a fictional narrative and an expository essay. Students will research reliable sources in order to create a research essay and accompanying multimedia presentation. Exploring the poetic devices of sensory and figurative language, students will create a poem of their own. Students will develop oral communication skills by preparing and presenting persuasive and instructional speeches. The course finishes with an investigation of communication in teamwork and collaboration.
Eighth Grade English & Language Arts Course
(Full Year Course) This course will expand students’ reading horizons and communication skills. Investigating narrative, epic, lyric, and free verse poetry, students will develop an appreciation for the sound, structure, and language of poetry. Students will better understand the elements of literature after reading O. Henry’s “A Retrieved Reformation,” Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, and William Gibson’s The Miracle Worker. Writing projects include creating a personal narrative, a procedural text, and a multimedia research presentation. Students will examine various forms of media and learn to distinguish bias when evaluating a persuasive text. Presenting a persuasive speech, participating in a debate, and practicing formal and informal speaking and listening will enhance students’ communication skills.
High School English & Language Arts Courses
High School English I Course
(Full Year Course) English I launches a four-year journey during which students will confidently master grammar, develop advanced communication skills, and learn to analyze and appreciate challenging literature. The course begins with grammar fundamentals including sentence structure, parts of speech, and phrases and clauses. Students’ vocabulary will expand through a study of technology, literary terms, and words with multiple meanings. Culturally diverse texts will emphasize literary elements and techniques while an overview of short and long prose will delve into excerpts from The Odyssey. Reading Animal Farm and Romeo and Juliet will expand the students’ literary world. Writing skills will advance as students learn and apply the steps for creating a research paper. The course includes coverage of effective speaking and listening.
High School English II Course
(Full Year Course) English II begins with a major focus on grammar to help students become stronger writers. Students then analyze literary genre elements in various excerpts of classical stories. A major focus is the Greek drama, Antigone, by Sophocles. The novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee is required with this course to study for analysis, as well. Students compare informational texts and have various writing projects. For example, they write an analytical essay on a short story and a persuasive essay that they also present as a speech. Their research paper is about a topic they choose on the Civil Rights Movement in which they construct a multi-media presentation to accompany it. Additionally, this course includes work-related documents with students constructing their own resumés and letters.
High School English III Course
(Full Year Course) In English III, students focus on the development of American Literature and compare it with ideas and forms of literature around the world. Students review the basics of the language arts, then scaffold with practices of increasing complexity to meet the required grade-level objectives of analytical thinking. Engaging in a step-by-step process, students learn to write complex analyses and argumentative papers. Students also learn principles in research, teamwork, discussion, and presentation skills. The text that should accompany the course is the musical, Fiddler on the Roof, by Joseph Stein. This play highlights literary devices as well as the ideas of immigration and cultural assimilation with supporting literature. Additionally, students explore college and career planning as well as tips for dealing with information in technology today.
High School English IV Course
(Full Year Course) English IV emphasizes the interpretation of various types of literature from different time periods. The genres covered include fiction, drama, and poetry. The dramatic play Cyrano de Bergerac is read and studied for its use of language to convey dilemmas and themes. Poetry studies include a survey of British poetry as well as ancient and modern poetry from various cultures and in various periods. Students are also given a wide range of writing assignments. For example, students produce a fiction story and a script. They also write essays evaluating literary elements. The course also includes research and writing arguments with logic. These various writing assignments help prepare students for end-of-course and SAT essay writing. Coverage is also given to analyzing and evaluating media and speeches, as well as using presentation and discussion skills.
High School Literary Genres Course
(Full Year Course) Literary Genres is a senior-level course in which students will explore and analyze a variety of literature. A grammar review precedes a study of rhetorical and literary devices, as well as a brief survey of the major literary forms. Students will read a variety of fictional selections and stories including The Canterbury Tales, various mythologies, Beowulf, Hansel and Gretel, Dracula, and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death.” Students will better understand drama after reading excerpts from William Shakespeare’s plays and will contemplate timeless poems by Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Lord Byron, and other poets. Comparing and contrasting speeches by Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan will assist students in analyzing persuasive texts. The course concludes with a look at perspective in nonfiction texts, such as diaries and autobiographies.
High School Speech Course
(Half Year Course) Speech Communication seeks to improve the interpersonal and public communication skills of students. Surveying the communication process, students will learn the components and functions of communication, differentiate between oral and nonverbal communication, and comprehend the listening process. Developing familiarity with self and personal strengths and weaknesses, students will boost self-confidence as public speakers in situations such as speeches or interviews. The course will culminate with students applying their acquired communication skills in researching, preparing, and giving a speech.
High School Creative Writing Course (Print Only)
(Full Year Course) Creative Writing encourages students to write, reason, and relate to the world creatively. By engaging in a wide variety of exercises, students will learn how to express themselves creatively. Students will be writing creatively and reading in a range of domains including reflection, interpretation, evaluation, synthesis, persuasion, controversial issues, and experimentation. Students will demonstrate skills in these forms: fictional writing, short stories, poetry, and drama.
High School English Diagnostic (Digital Only)
(Full Year Course) The English Diagnostic is designed for students who are entering the 9th Grade. The purpose of the Diagnostic is to assess if the student is ready for high school material as well as to provide remediation for areas as needed. The Diagnostic consists of several English language categories. In each category, there is a pretest, remediation, and posttest. If students pass the pretest, they will immediately go on to the next category pretest. If students do not pass the pretest, they will complete remediation, and then complete a posttest. If the posttest is passed, they will go on to the next category of pretest.
High School English I STAAR® Study Guide (Texas Standards)
(Full Year Course) In the English I STAAR® Study Guide, students review English I TEKS in the STAAR®-tested reporting categories. The Study Guide also includes a STAAR®-like practice test. The practice test consists of a reading and writing section. In the reading section, students read passages and answer multiple-choice questions about the passages. There are also two short-answer questions about the passages. In the writing section, students answer multiple-choice questions that require students to revise and edit selections. Students also write an expository essay. When scoring the tests, each question is associated with a category and a standard. Students and teachers can determine if they are struggling or excelling in certain categories and redo the questions in the Study Guide for a particular category.
High School English II STAAR® Study Guide (Texas Standards)
(Full Year Course) In the English II STAAR® Study Guide, students review English II TEKS in the STAAR®-tested reporting categories. The Study Guide also includes a STAAR®-like practice test. The practice test consists of a reading and writing section. In the reading section, students read passages and answer multiple-choice questions about the passages. There are also two short-answer questions about the passages. In the writing section, students answer multiple- choice questions that require students to revise and edit selections. Students also write a persuasive essay. When scoring the tests, each question is associated with a category and a standard. Students and teachers can determine if they are struggling or excelling in certain categories and redo the questions in the Study Guide for a particular category.
Bright Thinker’s curriculum can promote learning in every type of learning environment.