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Grade 7 Language Arts

December 6, 2019 | Brent Harris

Mr. Brent Harris
[email protected]

Course Description

Through essays, exhibitions, daily reading of a variety of texts, and grammar,
vocabulary, and spelling, students will learn skills for writing effectively and with confidence
for many different audiences. Students will also develop strategies for building reading fluency and
comprehension while completing high volume reading across several genres.

Academic Exhibitions for Grade 7

Art Exhibition: Fall Term
History Exhibition: Winter Term
Science Exhibition: Spring Term
Literature Exhibition: Spring Term

Units of Study

Literacy & Literature

Independent Reading:

Independence: Daily reading, 30+ minutes per night; one book per week.

Wide Reading: Choosing books from given list and reading multiple genres and authors

Fluency: Reading high volumes at a growing rate

Comprehension: Weekly book talks

Literature Studies:

  • Fall Term: Independent Reading and Short Stories
  • Mini-term: Julius Caeser (Shakespeare)
  • Winter Term: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Orbiting Jupiter (Gary Schmidt)
  • Spring Term: Flowers for Algernon (Daniel Keyes), Literature Exhibition Reading

Literary Critique:

  • Frequent writing in reader’s notebook, classroom participation, reading groups, and readers responses every three weeks.

Writing & Composition

  • Grammar and Mechanics:
  • Vocabulary: Wordly Wise 3000
  • Grammar: Write Source 2000 Daily Language Workouts and

Fall Term:

  • Writing Workshop — Personal Narrative Essay
  • Writing about Reading
  • Art Exhibition Writing
  • Oral Tradition – The Art of Storytelling

Mini Term:

  • Practical Writing: Extra-curricular Resume

Winter Term:

  • Research-Based Argument
  • Citations

Spring Term:

  • Comparison/Contrast Literary Analysis Essay for the Literature Exhibition
  • Literary Analysis Essay for the Literature Exhibition

Graded Work

  • Weekly Vocabulary and Grammar
  • Independent Reading and weekly Reading Responses
  • Class texts
  • Essays
  • Quizzes and tests
  • Class participation
  • Reader’s and Writer’s Notebooks

Homework and Due Dates

Homework Overview:

All homework and assignments should be completed before the start of class on the day they are due.

There will not be time to print at the beginning of class, so in order to be prepared, all assignments must be printed before class.

Many writing assignments will be started in class, but, often, students will be asked to finish assignments at home.

Many assignments, both writing and reading, will be posted on Google Classroom.

Independent reading will happen at school and at home, so IR books must come to school every day.

Specific due dates for essay drafts will be given at least two weeks in advance.

Daily Homework will be posted on the blog.

IR books should be read for 30+ minutes every day.

Entries should be made weekly in the reading notebook.

Book talks in Advisory Groups

Brent Harris

Teacher, Grade 7; Language Arts, Seventh and Eighth Grades

Brent Harris has been teaching Middle School students since 2015. He loves teaching students how to understand the world through literature and writing. He teaches English Language Arts, but he likes to teach other things too! Both of Mr. Harris' parents are educators, and despite trying his hardest to avoid following in his parents’ footsteps, he graduated from Calvin College with a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in English Education and a Minor in Physical Education; as a result, Brent is a great argument piece for any “Nature versus Nurture” debate.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Harris enjoys playing guitar and drums, listening to music, spending time outside, playing sports, and hanging out with his kind and loving wife, Lauren. A native of Ontario, Canada, Mr. Harris stays true to all the Canadian stereotypes by being extremely kind and perpetually sorry. He has been a director and counselor at multiple children’s camps in Canada and Michigan, and he appreciates the idea of teaching students and campers in a place where there is freedom to entertain new ideas and try out new things. Mr. Harris has enjoyed coaching volleyball, soccer, and baseball, and while he loves nature, he is being slowly converted into a city boy.

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