Reading is a core element of the NH School of Applied Learning middle school curriculum. Students read assigned literature selections throughout the year, which are discussed in literature discussion group twice per week. Practice with written response in the form of short answer, reflection and formal essay, is an important component of our literature curriculum. In addition, students are required to read and write a review of one additional novel of their choice each cycle.
Novels that we will study in literature this year include: City of Embers, Of Mice and Men, Catch a Tiger by the Toe, John F. Kennedy, His Life and Legacy, The Outsiders, and To Kill A Mockingbird.
There is a heavy emphasis placed on writing in the NH School of Applied Learning middle school curriculum. Writing skills are introduced in a writing class that meets in small groups two times per week. The 10 elements of writing introduced in writing class are then practiced and reinforced in appropriate academic disciplines throughout the year. The 10 elements of writing central to our curriculum are:
1. Writing complete sentences and topic sentences
2. Cohesive paragraph construction
3. Personal essays
4. Five-paragraph essays
5. Business writing (resume, cover letter, thank you note)
6. Note taking
8. Report writing
9. Lab report/observations
We believe authentic learning to be of primary value for all learning styles. Therefore, whenever possible, our vocabulary curriculum comes from class discussion, as well as from independent and academic reading. Additionally, we supplement these sources with an ongoing independent study of vocabulary. Students self-assess, set work goals, and work independently throughout the week to master new vocabulary. Eighth grade students who are preparing for the SSAT may choose to use SSAT vocabulary preparation material in the fall.