English Language Arts

Unity Prep teachers will use a workshop model of instruction in which teachers demonstrate specific reading and writing skills and strategies for their students, lead them through guided practice, and confer with them extensively during independent practice. The curriculum is divided into interrelated reading and writing units that address a wide range of genres. In reading workshop, students learn how to access and interpret texts across genres, develop their ability to write and speak about what they read, build fluency and vocabulary skills, and read extensively in a variety of settings. In writing workshop, students write, revise, and edit extensively to develop creative and expository writing skills, an appreciation of craft, and increasing command of grammar and conventions. For both reading and writing, units culminate in summative assessments and projects that reflect increasingly sophisticated reading and writing skills. ELA classes in grades 6-8 at Unity Prep include the following features:

  • Guided reading/book clubs: students working alongside teachers in flexible small groups as they engage shared texts at students’ instructional levels, providing differentiated instruction on the critical comprehension and fluency skills required for that particular text level
  • Mini-lessons in reading and writing workshop
  • Interactive read-alouds with accountable talk: teachers modeling fluent reading and comprehension skills and strategies; students alternating between speaking in partnerships, recording written responses to questions or prompts, and other forms of active engagement
  • Independent reading: students selecting texts at their designated reading level, practicing comprehension strategies, building fluency, and developing stamina as readers
  • Word study/phonics: students learning spelling patterns, roots, prefixes, suffixes, based on assessments and according to student readiness, and developing vocabulary skills
  • Grammar/usage/mechanics study: students learning about the conventions of academic English by editing their own writing and through related exercises