Over the course of the academic year, sixth graders read Heroes, Gods, and Monsters of the Greek Myths, The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich, and various reading materials, including poetry and short stories. Historical perspectives are a concentration of the sixth grade. The seventh grade spends time with The Odyssey, Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez, and The Call of the Wild by Jack London. Adventure and survival are major themes of the seventh grade English curriculum. Within these units of study, students are able to work on their reading comprehension, literary response and analysis, various writing strategies, and listening and speaking strategies. Students refine their skills in vocabulary and grammar in order to write and speak with a command of standard English language conventions. To truly experience the impact of writing and reading, students are presented with opportunities to use their imaginations to create short stories of their own and to share these with their peers. Students in the sixth and seventh grade will write expository essays, research-based essays, literary responses, and persuasive essays. Several public speaking opportunities are provided, so as to practice delivery strategies, responding to messages, and refining the art of oral communication. Throughout the year, students are challenged to read outside of school from a pre-selected group of books. These books are organized by theme and students select what interests them. Students work on an outside reading project that includes writing a response that dives into why the character makes the choices he or she does in the text, plot development, theme, and other aspects of writing and reading. A summer reading challenge is also provided for all upper schoolers. Through the reading and discussion of the selected books, students will gain insight into the perspectives of others. Two primary goals for the sixth and seventh grade years are to form opinions and to learn how to organize those thoughts into a well-structured written response. It is the hope of the English Department that students walk away from their years in the upper school with much experience and interaction with texts, as well as a thorough love and appreciation of their own talents, in addition to those of published writers.
Begin to find your voice in poetry or prose for the 2010-2011 Literary Contest! Entries are due by the end of January, so begin to brainstorm now!
This is my fourth year at Crane Country Day School, and I love it! I am so thankful for the opportunity to teach at this wonderful – and happy – school. I am a Santa Barbara area native, growing up just down the road in Carpinteria. As a student in the Carpinteria school system, I volunteered at a local preschool, and it was then I discovered my love for helping children learn and achieve. From there, I continued to volunteer and seek employment in the education field. Attending the University of Rhode Island on an academic and athletic scholarship, I studied and graduated with a degree in both Education and English. While east, I taught at an inner city high school in Providence and a suburban high school in Narragansett. These experiences solidified my desire to teach. I spent four years shivering in the cold, only to move back to this lovely place! I did cheat a few times and return home for summer vacation and to take Shakespearean courses at UCLA and art classes through SBCC Adult Education. I have been a private tutor since returning west, and for two years I worked at Santa Barbara High School as a Gate and Honors freshman English teacher. Currently, I teach seventh grade English and share the sixth grade classes with Elizabeth Teare. I look forward to many years spent on the Crane campus and enjoying the Crane community!
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