7th & 8th Grade English Language Arts February Newsletter
As we near the end of another quarter, both 7th and 8th grades are immersed in the world of American Literature. While learning all about the author, Edgar Allan Poe, and reading certain selections of his writings – short stories and poetry, we are learning literary terms and concepts, as well as working on essential writing skills. This unit encompasses both nonfiction and fiction reading and writing. In the first section, we delved into an in-depth biography of Poe, after which we were able to make those all-important connections between the author and his work. For example, we now understand why Poe wrote such tragic stories…because of his own tragic circumstances. We now relate to the tone of his writings, as well as understand the great ironies contained within, as they stem directly from the author’s own life. Poe, I have found, is an author who can engage even the most stubborn of non-readers. The last time I taught this unit, there were no Poe books on the library shelves for many weeks after we had completed our last assignment. For those middle-schoolers who repeatedly announce that they “hate to read,” it is Poe who often introduces them to a whole new world…the world of great American literature!