The middle school curriculum at Holy Cross Academy focuses on providing learning experiences in which students will recognize, develop, and apply effective communication skills at an age-appropriate level in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, speaking, and listening across the curriculum, enabling the student to be a life-long learner in an ever-changing society. The importance of technology and communication awareness in an information age will be acknowledged and promoted. Communication proficiency, aesthetic appreciation, and creativity are also emphasized and encouraged throughout the language arts curriculum. Students will engage in strategies that allow them to be knowledgeable and proficient thinkers who will make positive contributions to society through further education and/or employment.
The Holy Cross Academy student will focus on reading and analyzing fiction and nonfiction texts while developing guiding research questions, organizing ideas and information, and discovering patterns, structures, and relationships. Students will apply decoding strategies, identify and develop vocabulary, and apply reading strategies during reading to assist them in reading at their individual skill level. Students will use text details to analyze the influence of setting on characters, plot, and resolution, explain cause and effect, and identify the problem-solving processes of characters and the effectiveness of solutions. Students will record and organize relevant information using a variety of note-taking strategies to assist them in writing summaries from magazines, newspapers, and informational text. Using the writing process, students will paraphrase, summarize, reflect on beliefs and discoveries, and practice formal and informal writing while developing their own unique personal voice. Students will learn to identify and explain appropriate figurative language through reading a number of fiction, nonfiction and poetry selections. They will use conventions to be able to write complete sentences with subject/verb agreement, correct punctuation, capitals, word usage, and parts of speech. Activities in this unit will provide opportunities for cross-curricular studies, especially with art and technology/computer classes. Students will identify and explain viewpoints conveyed in various media including videos, pictures, websites, artwork, plays and/or news programs.
The Holy Cross Academy middle school student focuses on reading and writing fiction and nonfiction. Students will identify and organize information using a newspaper/magazine article, editorial, or a news program. During reading, students develop and apply reading strategies to self-question and correct, infer, visualize, and predict and check. In addition, notes are taken to identify and explain media techniques used to convey messages in various media. Students will focus on figurative language (symbolism, hyperbole, and imagery) in fiction (poetry and prose) and nonfiction texts. Using selected novels, students apply pre-reading strategies to aid comprehension, and post-reading strategies to comprehend and interpret. Students will analyze consumer texts such as product information and identify and interpret figurative language. Students will also analyze propaganda techniques and write multi-paragraph expository essays. Using a theme of understanding propaganda, students will demonstrate active and critical listening behaviors, use an organized note-taking system, and effectively use visual and audio media to demonstrate and present their understanding of key concepts within a designated time limit. Holy Cross Academy students will use methods for constructing sentences using parts of speech such as nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, with subject/verb agreement, correct punctuation, capitals, word usage, and parts of speech.
Students at Holy Cross Academy will focus on their ability to comprehend and analyze what they read, see, and hear. Students will develop and apply their skills in vocabulary, reading comprehension strategies, note-taking, and summarizing. Students will focus on an overall evaluation of fiction and nonfiction text, including text features; problem-solving processes and the effectiveness of solutions; author's purpose; author's viewpoint; the accuracy and adequacy of information; word choice and connotation and precise language; and organizational effectiveness, including the use of cohesive devices such as transitions, repetition and parallelism. Students will develop their writing skills, focusing on the use of precise word choice, developing personal voice, expanded use of punctuation in compound and complex sentences, and editing while writing business communication from two different points of view.