Middle School Courses

Middle School English

Middle School English lays a foundation for critical thinking at St. Stephen’s, with its focus on careful and spirited exploration of reading and writing. The inviting activities, projects, and units of study promote vibrant engagement and sequential improvement in skills. The experienced and student-centered teachers offer deep understanding of the middle years while guiding students to think clearly and creatively. The three English courses emphasize the rich and varied human experiences expressed in literature and the role of young people in understanding and finding their rightful places within the world.

List of 3 items.

  • English 6

    English 6 is a lively course that encourages unification of entering Spartans while fostering independent work and study. Collaboration, discussion, reading, and writing are the heartbeat of the course and promote a blend of critical thinking and creativity. Class texts in multiple genres and perspectives come from the young adult stacks and ask complex questions: How do I view my own world? How can I be an advocate for positive change? Some books and assignments are interdisciplinary works with Science 6 and Global Connections. Students experiment with categories of writing with a focus on student choice. Many classes are writing labs so that the most challenging work of the sixth-grade year is fully teacher supported. Emerging writers gain confidence and skill, and students who already define themselves as writers set higher bars for themselves. The capstone project is the creation of a student-written and student-designed book, culminating in a grade-wide showcase.
  • English 7

    What is my community? What is my role in my community? What internal and external forces have shaped my community? What is my path?  These central questions in the makeup of humanity are designed to drive the spirit of inquiry and reasoned thinking as we grapple with our increasingly complex lives in a very complex world. In the English 7 student-centered classroom, students will engage with texts in their social, cultural, and historical contexts and drive discussion-based activities surrounding these works. As the course unfolds, students will be encouraged and expected to make strong connections across disciplines to bring greater meaning and relevance to their relationships with our texts and our world. During the year, students will refine their skills in close reading, analytical and creative writing, and independent thinking. There will be an emphasis on the interaction with a variety of texts, including novels, short stories, poems, photographs, art, and music toward helping students answer the questions posed above. Becoming an engaged and proactive citizen of the world starts within our own community and being encouraged to become passionate investigators of the world around us.
  • English 8

    English 8 is the gateway between the middle and upper grades, building on what students have learned while ushering them into more mature reading, writing, and thinking. The course satisfies eighth-graders’ desire to explore sophisticated material by offering adult (rather than young adult) literature that poses complex questions: What makes societies fail or flourish? What makes humans happy? The course’s texts span the genres of novel, short story, poem, play, and essay. Some English 8 texts are co-taught in Theology 8 and Cultures and Governance in order to deepen the students’ understanding and appreciation of them. Students engage in reflective yet lively discussions about literature, strengthening their critical-thinking and speaking skills. Eighth grade is the first time when boarding students join day students, broadening the range of perspectives in the classroom. Students continue to develop their writing prowess through a rich array of writing assignments, from analytical essays to journal entries to fan fiction, as well as through vocabulary and grammar study.
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213