English-Language Arts Curriculum

 Elementary School


1. Teacher Facilitated Literature Studies

All MTMS students will read SIX core novels per grade level in language arts class. Additional novels will be read at the discretion of the classroom teacher. There are four corresponding fundamental themes (Tolerance, Courage, Maturation, and Adventure) that spiral through our reading selections as indicated in the 2016 - 2017 Core Reading List.  As it is our school community’s Mission to lead our students to life-long learning and to responsible productive lives, these themes are fundamentally essential to in-class discussions, writing prompts, homework assignments, and assessments. The book Wonder, by RJ Palacio was required reading for all MTMS students during the summer of 2013.  The book A Long Walk To Water is required reading for the 2015 summer. 

Students are assigned reading from core novels, self selected reading, and additional articles distributed by the classroom teachers at least four nights per week as follows:

5th Grade: 10 pgs 1st semester/15 pages second semester
6th Grade: 15 pgs 1st semester/20 pages second semester
7th & 8th grades: 20 pgs all year

In conjunction with nightly reading, students respond to teacher created higher order / critical thinking writing prompts aligned to learning outcomes as delineated in the curriculum on four nights per week. The following day in class the writing is reviewed. Read a sample nightly journal prompt and student response by clicking here.

2. Self-Selected Reading

All MTMS students will self-select books to read throughout the school year. The activity / assignment / assessment associated with the self-selected readings will address Five Fundamental Literary Elements (characterization, plot & conflict, setting, narrative point of view, and mood & tone) as delineated in the related file charts below.


The MTMS staff is committed to providing students with a plethora of authentic writing instruction, experiences, activities, and assessments through the integration of content from all subject areas. Additionally, we strive to improve writing fluency through daily journal activities and approximately 23 timed writing samples, which are assessed via a New jersey Holistic Writing Assessment Rubric. Teachers systematically document individual and group progress so to target areas in need of improvement.

All students will self-select two writing pieces per marking period and rewrite/edit/publish these pieces to a "final draft". Various strategies and procedures will be utilized to complete this activity. These 8 finished pieces serve as the students' writing portfolio.

Research Strand

See learning objectives related to research by clicking here