Sparhawk middle school student using a drawing tablet in the computer lab to illustrate.Language skills are the primary means through which humans gain access to the world's great stores of knowledge. The more developed our skills, the more sophisticated our access. The refinement of those skills is the work of middle school.

The Sparhawk Middle School language arts curriculum includes independent reading, reading aloud, dramatizations, writing, research, peer editing and review, and one-on-one conferencing with teachers. Through these activities, your child will continuously work on foundational skills of literacy. In addition, they will develop 21st century literacies such as honing the ability to sift through information from multiple sources, analyzing different perspectives and making connections, synthesizing and evaluating different information and communicating both orally and in writing.

Reading is foundational, and we work to develop, nurture, and strengthen a love of reading in your child. We read books that align with the theme including works from many different genres (historical fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc.). Choice is a big element of engagement in reading, so our students choose the books they want to read with input from the teacher. They are challenged to seek out books that speak to them, and to lose themselves in independent reading. Each week, different students present book talks. In this way, your child is informed and inspired while also informing and inspiring peers in continuous conversations about literature with the goal of developing a lifelong custom of reading.

Our writing curriculum helps students develop the ability to communicate effectively in writing in different rhetorical modes. Again, students have the freedom and responsibility to determine what is meaningful to them, and to write personally meaningful work. The goal is to help your child relate and respond to the world through writing each week and to workshop with classmates and conference with the teacher as they draft and revise their work.