Language Arts

Boy with pointer
The language arts curriculum at the Campus School is conceptualized as a vehicle for students to understand and appreciate the power and potential of language to inform, persuade, empathize, communicate, interpret, and extend their experiences beyond the immediate environment. Teachers share with students a deep-seated emotional and intellectual interest in language and literacy that imbues in students a desire to develop competency in the use of language, and to pursue reading and writing in the service of both intellectual and personal pursuits. Working within a classroom environment rich in written and oral language, teachers convey both high expectations and genuine joy and playfulness with regard to the development of language and literacy.

Exemplary literature serves as the centerpiece of the language arts program as it provides stimulating content that encourages active listening and discussion, provides a model of good writing, and demonstrates the power of language to take us beyond our immediate boundaries and experiences. As students progress through the school, they are introduced to and have multiple opportunities to explore through reading and writing different genres, such as fiction and non-fiction, fantasy and adventure, humor, poetry, memoir and biography.

In the early grades, students participate daily in literacy activities that provide models for reading and writing. These include reading the morning message, creating individual and classroom books that record learning experiences and contribute to meaning making, engaging in and charting curricular discussions, participating in reading and writing workshop, and listening to and discussing stories read aloud. Through these activities children learn that reading and writing is about communication and understanding. Within this context students develop the specific skills and strategies needed to become fluent readers. Students similarly develop techniques for writing as they learn to write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Emphasis is placed on writing as a tool of communication.

Students reading

As students in the upper grades continue to develop their language arts skills, they increasingly use these skills to further their understandings in other curriculum areas. A variety of reading and writing tasks are used as vehicles for helping students develop concepts and analytical thinking in social studies, science, and mathematics. Good literature continues to be a centerpiece of the language arts program in the upper grades, and students work with a wide variety of genres. Drama enlivens the curriculum as students perform their own as well as published works. Throughout the upper grades students increasingly learn to read and interpret expository (informational) text to extend their knowledge as well as develop research and presentation skills.

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