The English curriculum at Parker Middle School focuses on producing self-reliant learners who are able to communicate effectively through written, listening and oral means, and who use these skills with confidence to further their understanding of their fellow man.

Enduring questions include: Why is it essential to have the ability to write clearly and cohesively on any given topic? How does an understanding of the structure of language enhance the student’s ability to succeed in life? What is the importance of reading with understanding and listening critically in the global world of the future?

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  • What a Grade 8 student will know and be able to do in English:

    • Students will be able to identify the different types of sentence, e.g. simple, compound, complex and the parts of a sentence, including subject, predicate, transitive/intransitive verbs, prepositional phrase, direct and indirect object, appositive, predicate adjective, predicate nominative, gerund and participle.
    • Students will be able to diagram complex and compound sentences in order to strengthen their knowledge of the structure of the English language.
    • Students will be able to read with understanding and discernment various kinds of texts (short stories, newspaper articles, poems, novels, plays instructions rubrics, etc.) in order to determine the purpose and meaning of the text.
    • Students will be able to demonstrate reading comprehension skills through written response and to use these skills in order to find evidence for their writing.
    • Students will be able to recognize and follow the various stages of the writing process (i.e. from paragraph to essay) to create clear, cohesive written work, and to understand the purpose of the thesis, topic sentence, key idea, evidence, and concluding sentence/paragraph structure.

English Curriculum by Grade

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  • Grade 6

    Grade 6 students explore a range of literary genres, including an introduction to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream. Frequent paragraph writing experiences emphasize the development of an effective topic sentence and organization of supporting details. There is a strong emphasis on parts of speech, grammar, and mechanics. Diagramming of the following elements is introduced: simple subject, simple verb (action and linking), compound subjects, compound verbs, adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions and prepositional phrases. Additionally students pursue an ongoing vocabulary study and independent reading program.

    As a class, students engage in a teacher-directed study of mythology and experience an extensive poetry unit. Sixth grade students study the short story and read several books including: The Giver, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, A Hero's Tale, and D'Aulaire's Mythology. Independent Reading  of nine novels is aided by a monthly book club.
  • Grade 7

    Composition experiences focus on the paragraph and include such preparation as logical organization, the use of details to support generalizations and effective editing. Class discussion and literature-based writing opportunities promote awareness of literary techniques and develop analytical skills.

    Reading selections include folk tales; the short story, Impact: 50 Short Short Stories; Golding's Lord of the Flies; Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun; Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men; Jiang's Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Many of the selections involve material presented concurrently in seventh grade history and encourage development of skills in practical and moral reasoning. Integrated into the course are comprehensive vocabulary study and independent reading programs; extensive usage and grammar study; opportunities to write original poetry; teacher-directed study and readers’ theatre performances of Shakespeare.
  • Grade 8

    This course creates opportunities for the student to learn to love the English language through in-depth study of such genres as the short story, novel and play. Students analyze both character and conflict of people in various cultures and deepen their understanding of human nature. Reading material includes University Reader  Short Stories; Arthur Miller’s The Crucible; Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird; Elie Wiesel’s Night; and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

    The majority of these works are taught in a cross-curricular mode with grade 8 American history. Opportunities are given for short "on-demand" pieces of writing. Essays are analytical explorations of these works of literature. Students learn to support general statements by citing specific examples and quoting appropriate passages.

    The course incorporates grammar study through sentence diagramming, proofreading and peer editing for errors in punctuation, capitalization, usage, sentence structure and content, and also features ongoing vocabulary study. The study of poetry encompasses various forms of poems with students modeling the poems to create their own works.A research project entitles “Family History Project” traces the ancestry of each student and the project is shared jointly between English and history classes culminating at the end of 1st semester where each student makes a presentation of his/her ancestry.
Francis Parker School is a private, independent, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12 from across San Diego County. Founded in 1912, the Lower School is located on the Mission Hills Campus with the Upper and Middle Schools on the Linda Vista Campus. Parker's mission is to inspire a diverse community of independent thinkers whose academic excellence, global perspective and strength of character prepare them to make a meaningful difference in the world.

Mission Hills Campus Lower School

4201 Randolph Street
San Diego, CA 92103

Linda Vista Campus Middle/Upper School

6501 Linda Vista Road
San Diego, CA 92111
858 / 569-7900