Language Arts

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n sixth through eighth grades, students expand upon their abilities to read and respond to a wide range of literature.  Students are encouraged to make connections between their lives and the lives of characters in the books they read.  Typical themes include self-awareness and integrity.  These large issues are tackled by closely examining characters in novels.

Students study different writing genres, including short stories, poetry, and the essay.  They develop an understanding of how authors use conflict, setting, character, and tone to convey meaning.  They use the texts they read as models for their own writing.

Writing fundamentals are a focus in middle school.  Students study Greek and Latin roots, dictionary skills, and words taken from literary texts. The study of grammar includes sentence structure, oral language skills, and the understanding of the foundation of language.

MS Language Arts News

  • Eighth Grade Families Share Laughter and Tears at Kinship Project Evening

    Posted April 9, 2014

    The fifth annual Kinship Project, an iconic 8th grade research and writing project, ends in an evening of sharing and story telling for the entire family. All students, parents, grandparents, and alumni are invited to get up and tell a three-minute story from their lives. The eighth graders have spent six weeks interviewing their parents and other relatives, gleaning details of family history and recording stories, and then producing a final paper that includes the interviews and a family album.

    The stories shared at this annual event range emotionally from hilarious or anecdotal to tragic, and April 3 was no exception. Language arts teachers Jennifer Baumer and David Jefferies each shared a story of their own. Said Ms. Baumer, “Students apply all the skills they've learned through the years to their own narrative. This project is in many ways the culmination of the BHDS writing curriculum.”

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  • The I-Search Project: Iconic Sixth Grade Research Delivers Answers

    Posted April 30, 2013

    Each year, our sixth graders choose a subject they're curious about, find experts to interview, spend weeks on investigation, and then produce detailed research papers and visual or digital models. The questions and topics posed are invariably fascinating: this year's include How did Peter Jackson create the on-screen world of the Fellowship of the Ring trilogy?, The Origin and Cultural Prevalence of the Meatball, The History of Amusement Parks, and What is a Linear Particle Accelerator and How Does it Work?...

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  • Seventh Grade Writes Candle Poetry

    Posted February 19, 2013

    A flame, burning or dying out, has inspired poets of all cultures throughout the ages. As part of seventh graders' ongoing examination of poetry, students were asked to observe a burning candle and record all the details they saw...read on for examples of student work...

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