Course Description


Foundation English Level

Course Objective: The Reading/Writing Workshop course is a two-cycle program for all seventh grade students. It reinforces and complements the themes, skills, and activities that are part of Language Arts Literacy Grade 7. Students will be involved in reading and writing in multiple genres and projects that involve technology. This standards-and research-based curriculum is designed to build upon each student’s experiences and skills addressed in the previous school year and facilitate student growth in the areas delineated by the NJCCCS for Language Arts Literacy, which in turn assists each student in becoming critical, lifelong readers and writers.

Course content:

A. Reading

1. Comprehension

a. Activating and connecting schema.
b. Questioning strategies to prepare for comprehension.
c. Visualizing based on text.
d. Making and monitoring predictions.
e. Summarizing with supporting details.
f. Locating and restating information within the text to respond to literal questions.
g. Determining author’s message/theme.
h. Making inferences from text and identifying what is implied or suggested in the text.

i. Making connections to text
i. Text-text
ii. Text-self
iii. Text-world

j. Determining the importance of the reading.
k. Responding to literature (oral and written)

i. Whole, small, and individual discussions
ii. Explaining possible interpretations of the text.
iii. Discussing author’s voice.
iv. Discussing author’s writing style.
v. Analyzing the characteristics of the genre studied.
vi. Evaluating the effectiveness of the text.

2. Literary Elements
a. Identifying elements of plot.
b. Analyzing character

i. Types of characterization
ii. Static vs. dynamic
iii. Antagonist vs. protagonist

c. Explaining setting and importance.
d. Analyzing conflict

i. Person vs. person
ii. Person vs. self
iii. Person vs. nature
iv. Person vs. society

e. Analyzing theme and underlying message.
f. Analyzing mood/tone.
g. Identifying main idea.
h. Distinguishing features of a genre.
i. Identifying author’s purpose.
j. Analyzing figurative language.

i. Simile
ii. Metaphor
iii. Personification
iv. Onomatopoeia
v. Idiom
vi. Irony
vii. Alliteration
viii. Pun
ix. Other types of figurative language.

k. Analyzing satire.
l. Examining poetic devices.
m. Recognizing structures in drama.
n. Critiquing persuasive and propaganda techniques.
o. Recognizing historical and cultural bias.

3. Genre Study

a. Short Story
b. Nonfiction
c. Mythology

4. NJASK Preparation

a. Recognizing theme or main idea
b. Recognizing details that develop or support the main idea.
c. Paraphrasing, retelling, or interpreting words, phrases, or sentences fro the text.
d. Recognizing the organizational structure for the text.
e. Recognizing a purpose for reading.
f. Making predictions of meaning.
g. Making judgments and drawing conclusions from the text.
h. Interpreting textual conventions and literary elements.
i. Analyzing questions to determine where to locate the information to respond.
j. Making connections to the text.

B. Writing

1. Composition
a. Prewriting strategies

i. Graphic organizers
ii. Outlines
iii. Mapping
iv. Webbing
v. Listing

b. Drafting

i. Thesis statements
ii. Topic sentences
iii. Introductions
iv. Supporting details and elaboration
v. Compositional risks
vi. Persuasive techniques
vii. Conclusions

c. Revising activities

i. Word choice
ii. Voice
iii. Supporting details and elaboration
iv. Transitions
v. Improving style and tone

d. Editing activities

i. Grammar
ii. Usage
iii. Mechanics

e. Publishing

2. Writing Discourses
a. Short Story
b. Mythology
c. Persuasion
d. Narratives
e. Research

3. NJASK Preparation
a. Writing to persuade.
b. Writing in response to literature.
c. Writing a response to a situational prompt.

C. Speaking and Listening

1. Collaborative discussions.
2. Interpretation of diverse media and formats.
3. Public speaking/speeches.
4. Incorporation of multimedia in presentations.
5. Interviews
6. Group and individual presentations.

D. Research

1. Using the library to select research materials.
2. Using the internet to select viable research materials.
3. Note-taking.
4. Outlining.
5. Paraphrasing and citing sources.
6. Avoiding plagiarism.
7. Constructing a product based upon reading research materials.


A. Whole-group, teacher-led instruction
B. Small-group, teacher-led instruction
C. Independent work
D. Individual reading and writing assignments
E. Individual conferencing with teacher
F. Oral presentations and speeches
G. Literature circle discussions
H. Scene performance
I. Viewing and analysis of films
J. Use of internet
K. Cooperative learning opportunities

L. Independent reading and writing
M. Reader/writer response discussions and/or journal writing

Texts and other Materials:

A. Prentice Hall Literature, Bronze 2002
B. Writing and Grammar, Prentice Hall 2002
C. Student selected novels for independent reading
D. Selected novels for guided reading and literature circles, as determined by level of instruction
E. Newspaper and magazine articles
F. Teacher-prepared materials
G. Films, audiovisual, and electronic materials
H. Internet sources
I. NJASK preparation materials and assessments.


• Homework will be given weekly. Work (including reading) should be done daily to stay caught up.
• Assignments will be kept up to date online. When assignments change, I will email that they have been updated.
• Must be in pencil, complete, (meaning the student must show all work), and kept in notebook or folder and workbook.
• Homework will be graded at the beginning of class and grades will be kept up to date on a weekly basis.
• Extra credit questions will be chosen after the homework is graded. (meaning: do all your work and you will earn extra credit).
• Late work will not be accepted (except due to an excused absence.)
• Quizzes and tests