Writing Program Overview

Our Approach

In grades 6 and 7, writing instruction is included within the Humanities, STEM and Leadership courses. All key writing topics are covered within those three courses, and students learn to write comfortably across a wide range of topics and genres. Weekly writing assignments are based on that week’s readings, projects, and learning topics, and build on each other throughout the year. Writing at this level focuses on punctuation, spelling, and grammar.

middle school student writing an assignment

Our middle school writing program uses challenging assignments and meaningful feedback to prepare students for high school level writing.

For students ready for additional writing instruction and/or wishing to spend more time and focus on writing, we offer supplemental, self-paced Writing 6 and Writing 7 courses.  These self-paced courses provide additional writing instruction, feedback and challenge and are ideal for students who are already fluent writers and who want greater challenge, or for less-advanced writers that need more and deeper instruction and feedback than our traditional program provides.

These self-paced courses are built on a daily writing model, and students in these courses should plan on writing 15-20 minutes daily to complete the homework. Daily writing allows students to quickly gain greater writing fluency and confidence, to receive prompt feedback, and to reinforce good writing habits.

Writing 8 A and B are offered as a stand-alone course and are not part of the Humanities 8 A and B courses. Writing 8 is not required of all 8th graders, but is highly recommended. Writing 8 courses include increased class time and more advanced assignments designed to help students deepen their writing skills. Students meet twice per week in live online classes. They also have access to a writing lab. Formulaic writing is honed, as students prepare for high school level and length writing assignments.

The Writing 8 A and B courses are specifically designed for 8th-grade students who are ready to learn and practice new skills, develop their individual writing style, and gain new perspective about why writing matters. Students carefully explore each step of the writing process (inquiry, outlining, drafting, and revision) and reflect on the value of strategic writing.

In Writing 8 A, students lay the foundation for the advanced essay writing that will be required in high school and college: well-constructed paragraphs. The course includes grammar, spelling, and punctuation, sentence structure, and developing individual writing styles.  When students have mastered sentence and paragraph construction, they’re ready to write three and five-paragraph essays.

Writing 8 B helps students focus their thoughts, clarify and develop their ideas, and choose patterns of communication that others can easily understand. Writing therefore builds their confidence and increases their likelihood of success in high school, college, and life. Students learn to focus, clarify, and develop their ideas in the format of three and five-paragraph essays.

Courses Recommended Grade Credit Version Delivery Format Versions Prerequisites
Supplemental Writing 6 & 7 6th, 7th, 8th 0.5 Live None
Writing 6 A 6th 0.5 Self Paced None
Writing 6 B 6th 0.5 Self Paced None
Writing 7 A 7th 0.5 Self Paced None
Writing 7 B 7th 0.5 Self Paced None
Writing 8 A 8th 0.5 Live None
Writing 8 B 8th 0.5 Live None