AMOS & CELIA HEILICHER MINNEAPOLIS JEWISH DAY SCHOOL

Lower School

Language Arts Curriculum by Grade Level


First Grade

First graders learn to find patterns in their words which lead them to more conventional spelling. Students read to themselves for enjoyment and begin to develop descriptive vocabulary. The focus of first-grade Language Arts is:

  • Nurturing and deepening reading habits
  • Inspiring creative writing and self expression
  • Developing phonemic awareness and spelling

Second Grade

Second graders strengthen reading comprehension skills. Writing conventions are taught and students expand their sentences. Students become more serious participants in:

  • Reader’s Workshop; inferring and predicting
  • Words Their Way Word study
  • Expanding Writer’s Workshop; writing conventions; personal narrative
  • Author study

Third Grade

Third graders appreciate the writer’s voice through literature read-alouds and book choices reflecting personal connection. Students are guided through the writing process by developing well-constructed paragraphs. They engage in:

  • New and complex literary genres
  • Words Their Way Word study
  • Writer’s Workshop: writer’s voice, writing about a small moment, organizing a paragraph, editing
  • Oral presentation skills; delivering a demonstration speech; persuasive discourse

Fourth Grade

Fourth graders analyze text and examine story development in works of fiction. They also learn to extract important information from non-fiction texts to be used in presenting research. And they develop skill to make inferences to deepen their reading comprehension. These skills are achieved through:

  • Literature Circles: Expanding genres; discussion about story elements (character, setting, plot details, rising action, conflict, and resolution.)
  • Writer’s Workshop: news article, essay, personal narrative, turning point moment, poetry
  • Research skills: note taking, organization of information for a Native American project

Fifth Grade

In fifth grade, students focus on organization of thoughts and ideas in writing, public speaking, research, poetry, and literature. A highlight of the fifth-grade curriculum is the Country Report in which students learn about non-western countries through exposure to literature and research-based reading. Ultimately the project culminates with students presenting their research paper content through a PowerPoint presentation to an audience of family, friends, and faculty.

  • Non-fiction Research
  • Literary Analysis
  • Public Speaking
  • Poetry