What is Academic Literacy?
Academic Literacy is a skills focused course utilizing PA English language arts as well as some math and family and consumer science standards. At the middle-level, these literacy courses are designed to introduce and deepen skills needed for reading, writing, research, speaking, and critical thinking in the content-areas. Therefore, relevance is emphasized so that students will apply skills across their academic subjects and experience increased success.
Grade 6 Academic Literacy Course Description:
This course supports the transition to middle school by helping students understand and navigate the increased literacy demands of reading and writing to learn across all subjects. With an emphasis on nonfiction informational text, data, and informational writing, students will strengthen their ability to comprehend, summarize, analyze, interpret, and make connections within and across texts. Students will enrich their vocabulary and literacy skills through choice reading, shared reading experiences, and research opportunities. This is an interactive class that encourages critical thinking based on reading, writing, and discussion that is a foundation for the skills that will be developed in 7th and 8th grade.
Grade 7 Academic Literacy Course Description:
Academic and technical literacy is necessary for success in today’s highly educated, global society. Throughout this course, students will deepen reading, writing, and critical thinking strategies to continue the development of the habits and skills required for becoming confident and independent readers. Students will be able to apply academic literacy skills to any curriculum or content area. Students will also be able to identify their own areas of interest and learn how to access a variety of materials to read for pleasure. During the Academic Literacy course students will discover who they are as readers through personal literacy development and genre study, and understand the relationship between literacy, power, and access. Students will learn to use metacognitive strategies so they can access text in a more meaningful way while making insightful connections that improve their comprehension.
Grade 8 Academic Literacy Course Description:
Throughout this course, students will build critical thinking skills to access, analyze, and evaluate more complex texts. Students will continue to develop extensive reading and metacognitive conversations through inquiry-based learning. In addition, students will identify, analyze, and evaluate textual claims and evidence in order to establish their own substantiated claims or positions. Students will grow as readers and thinkers through exploration of personal, informational, visual, and communication literacy. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research projects practicing key skills associated with citing work, recognizing reliable texts, and using evidence to support claims. Students will learn the importance of evaluating media sources containing minimal bias and original facts against less reliable sources. They will enrich their working vocabulary through choice reading, nonfiction articles, and independent word study. Throughout the units of this course, students have the power to choose books, articles, research topics and products in order to reflect their understanding of a concept. Students will have multiple opportunities to share and showcase their individually chosen books, articles, project work, and developed ideas in a variety of media formats.