Our Curriculum

Image result for EL EducationAt Koontz we use the EL Education Curriculum for our Language Arts Class. We find that this challenging and thorough curriculum is excellent in its ability to push students to read closely, think critically, write thoughtfully and discuss effectively while simultaneously preparing them for content based standardized tests. 

Here you can learn more about the EL Education approach to learning:

Below you will find an in-depth look at the novels we will be using this year to teach our EL curriculum. It is important to note that we do not set out to just read the novels. Instead we use the novels and the characters within them to teach certain skills, supplemented with related non-fiction texts. If a student wishes to finish a book that we move on from without finishing, they are welcome to keep it and return it when they are done. 


3rd Nine Weeks:

Dragonwings - Laurence Yep

Image result for dragonwings

Moon Shadow is eight when he sails from China to join his father, Windrider, in America. Windrider lives in San Francisco's Chinatown and works in a laundry. Moon Shadow has never seen him. Moon Shadow soon loves and respects this father, a man of genius, a man with a fabulous dream. With Moon Shadow's help, Windrider is willing to endure the mockery of the other Chinese, the poverty, and longing for his own country to make his dream come true.

Inspired by the account of a Chinese immigrant who made a flying machine in 1909, Laurence Yep's historical novel beautifully portrays the rich traditions of the Chinese community as it made its way in a hostile new world.

Flush- Carl Hiaasen

Book - Flush by Carl Hiaasen

You know it's going to be a rough summer when you spend Father's Day visiting your dad in the local lockup. Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into a Florida harbor — which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is stuck in the clink. Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally somehow. His allies may not add up to much — his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate — but Noah's got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.

With both of these books, students will practice identifying the points of views of characters and analyze the experiences that have contributed to those points of view. This will be supplemented by other nonfiction texts that will allow students to analyze how authors use real-world experiences/issues to influence stories that they write. Sometimes this requires tough conversations, but seeking to understand the perspective of others is a valuable skill!.

4th Nine Weeks- 
Frightful's Mountain- Jean Craighead George

Book - Frightful's Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Can Frightful survive alone?
Sam Gribley has been told that it is illegal to harbor an endangered bird, so when his beloved falcon, Frightful, comes home, he has to let her go. But Frightful doesn't know how to live alone in the wild. She can t feed herself, mate, brood chicks, or migrate. Frightful struggles to survive and learns to enjoy her new freedom. But she feels a bond with Sam that can never be broken, and more than anything else, she wants to return to him.
The sequel to My Side of the Mountain and On the Far Side of the Mountain from Newbery Medal-winning author Jean Craighead George.

​With this novel, students will learn argumentative writing and how to analyze a debate for effectiveness, as well as how to craft their own opinion on a topic and support it in a way that is persuasive. We will use the story of Frightful to anaylze the debate over DDT use on crops and students will practice their arguments on this topic before I give them the opportunity to choose another debate. Students will be given the opportunity to choose a side, research it, and craft their own argumentative essay. 

​These are all of the books that we will read as a class. In addition to these, I am constantly giving students nonfiction, poetry, short fiction, and many other kinds of texts to support their novel studies.