Learning to read deeply, write clearly, speak precisely, listen attentively, and appreciate the beauty and goodness in literature are the main goals of the Lower School language arts instruction. High expectations and selections of children’s literature from various times and genres support these language arts goals. Reading instruction begins in the early grades with decoding and fluency work. Gradually, teachers guide students from learning to read to the practice of reading to learn, with explicit grammar, vocabulary, and comprehension instruction. In addition, teachers use read-aloud time to help students continue to cultivate a taste for quality narrative.
Both informal and formal assessments allow a design of instruction that moves each child forward in language arts development. The language arts curriculum emphasizes not only quality fiction materials but also the critical importance of building nonfiction background knowledge in a coherent and sequenced way within and across grades. Topics are integrated from history, geography, science, and the arts into the language arts block so students can strengthen their understanding by reading and writing across the curriculum.
Our weekly Book Buddies program integrates students from different grade levels to encourage peer-to-peer learning.