THE INTERMEDIATE GRADES ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS – FOURTH THROUGH SIXTH GRADES
Success in the intermediate grades depends on the mastery of the basics. Above all, this means being a comfortable reader and a fairly fluent writer. These are the main tools on which school success depends. If your child is in the fourth grade in these two critical areas, act immediately. Make sure he receives additional help and spends time reading and writing.
Now that your child can read, school should expose him to all kinds of readable selections, from folklore to biographies to articles in magazines. In the English course itself, the focus should be on literary lectures. As your child moves through the intermediate grades, you should spend less time reading practical or informative texts and spend more time in literature, such as stories, poems, novels, plays, literary prose and great speeches. Students should read many fine works: ancient mythology, famous folklore from all over the world, children’s classics such as The Lion, the Witch, the Wardrobe or Where the Red Fern Grows, and some children’s versions of great literary classics (such as good Dickens masterpieces retelling). As always, you must ask the teacher what the class is going to read and be satisfied that most of these tasks depend on high – quality, demanding text.
Part of the task of the teacher is to show your child how to make the most of the material. The benefits of good literature largely depend on the reader’s ability to find the intended meaning. To do this, students must not only be able to understand more and more complicated language and plots, but they must also learn to interpret literary devices such as images and flashbacks. You have to understand the various elements of a story or poem and how they work. It takes practice to develop this skill. That’s why good English teachers spend considerable time asking questions like, ” What do you think of when the poet describes a tree wearing a nest of robins in her hair? ” That’s why they teach children to analyze stories for setting, drawing and character, and why students need to know speech figures such as alliteration and similarity. It is a reason that good teachers have students memorize poetry and prose of quality. Although they have sometimes been wrongly criticized for pushing ” red ” tasks, they recognize that the full benefits of good literature usually do not come with first reading, but require work, time and thought. According to Edmund Burke, reading without reflection is like eating without digesting.
During these years, writing assignments should also be frequent. Children should be encouraged to write creatively, but the emphasis on expository writing, such as book reports, descriptive essays, summaries, and short biographies, should also be increased. Writing exhibits educate children to think and write analytically. Students learn how to plan, review and proofread papers. In the process, they refine their dedication. Your child should be able to write a clear, well organized three or four-page paper at the end of the sixth grade. Students should frequently visit the library and learn how to use reference works such as glossaries, thesaurus, literature and electronic databases. They should work on basic research skills, such as questions, information analysis, and conclusions development.
Learning the grammar rules and writing mechanics makes your child a better author. You should, therefore, see young people studying subjects and predictions, verbal tenses and punctuation. Work on vocabulary and spelling should continue. Children learn word meanings and spellings in the context of reading (especially if they are encouraged to look for unfamiliar words in the dictionary) but also important exercises such as learning assigned word lists, making analogies, teacher dictation and studying word origins. You should see intermediate grades for frequent spelling and vocabulary tests (at least once a week). Oral language skills are continuing to develop. Your child should learn how to make ” formal ” class presentations, such as reciting a poem, reading a book report or talking about a topic he has researched. Children practice using standard English, clearly enunciate, maintain good posture and keep an eye on listeners. They work to listen to what other people have to say, to ask thoughtful questions and to make relevant comments. They differentiate between facts and opinions when listening to others and use evidence to support their claims. You can’t expect your child to be a polished public speaker by the end of the sixth grade, but he should be able to participate in group discussions and give short presentations to his classmates without much difficulty with sufficient training.
English is suitable for half a dozen in the intermediate grades, but it permeates all the others. You can hear a teacher using the phrase ” writing in the curriculum. ” This means that writing takes place in every field. Once your child learns different subjects from different teachers, writing in history, science, mathematics and other classes should be linked to the objectives of the English curriculum.