At the Middle School level, students participate in a school-wide speech contest, complete cross-curricular writing projects, and often give presentations in their own classes. There is a strong emphasis on reading in and out of the classroom. The sixth-grade program features a double period of English that helps provide a strong foundation in grammar, reading comprehension, and writing. Seventh grade students have one period of regular English, and also take "Global Quest," which helps increase global awareness and focuses on writing and research skills.
Sixth grade English focuses on providing a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure. Students are taught the writing process through the composition of paragraphs, short works of fiction, essays, and poetry. Essential library and research skills are introduced. Students read from a variety of literary genres with an emphasis on increasing reading comprehension and building vocabulary. This is a double-period class, split into literature and composition.
Grammar and writing skills are further reviewed and developed in the seventh grade, with daily practice and essay assignments requiring greater depth, length, and sophistication. It is also a course designed to make the principles of grammar and punctuation of practical use to students. The objective of seventh grade literary studies is to cultivate in the student an appreciation for the various types of literature. In order to familiarize students with different genres and styles, they explore and respond to multiple genres from various global, historical, and social contexts.
Global Quest (7th grade only)
This course is a requirement for 7th grade students. In this class, students will spend the first semester researching and problem solving local, state, and national problems. The second semester will be spent researching and understanding a problem that is on the world scale. Students will learn how to identify credible sources and formulate a plan to solve the problem. Students will raise awareness about this problem by presenting information to their peers and the R-MA community. This course aims to increase global awareness and further develop writing, research, problem solving, and communication skills.
To prepare for high school, eighth graders intensify their writing practice with essay assignments requiring greater depth and complexity of thought. Research skills, including internet research, culminate with the writing of a formal research paper. Students’ study of literature continues with an increased emphasis on developing critical thinking skills. Oral communication skills are strengthened through formal seminar discussions, oral presentations, and an annual speech contest.
All Middle School students are required to participate in the Speech Contest each year. Students learn the research process and are taken step-by-step through drafting, revising, and practicing their speeches. Here are the first-place winners from 2019: