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English Language Arts (ELA)

Welcome to English Language Arts (ELA)!

Here at Monroe County Schools, the English Language Arts (ELA) program is dedicated to developing students' abilities in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, integral skills that are essential across all areas of study and stages of life. Our curriculum is designed to engage students with a rich variety of texts and writing assignments, fostering a deep appreciation for literature while honing critical thinking and communication skills.

 

Our Curriculum

Our ELA curriculum spans from elementary to high school, with each level building on the previous one. We explore classic and contemporary literature, non-fiction, poetry, and multimedia to allow students to experience a wide range of perspectives and styles.

  • Elementary School: Focuses on phonics, fluency, and building reading comprehension. Writing is introduced through structured exercises that encourage personal expression.
  • Middle School: Emphasizes analytical reading and critical thinking. Students learn to support their ideas with textual evidence and develop more sophisticated writing skills.
  • High School: Prepares students for college-level reading and writing. Assignments become more complex, requiring thorough analysis and thoughtful synthesis of information from multiple sources.
 

Learning Outcomes

  • Reading: Students will develop the ability to decode text, comprehend narratives and expository texts, and critically analyze the intent and bias of various media.
  • Writing: From narrative to expository to persuasive writing, students will learn to articulate ideas clearly and effectively.
  • Speaking and Listening: Activities aimed at enhancing oral communication skills, including presentations, debates, and group discussions, are integral parts of our program.
  • Language: Mastery of language conventions—grammar, vocabulary, syntax—is emphasized to aid clear and precise communication.
 

Extracurricular Activities

We encourage students to engage with ELA beyond the classroom through various clubs and activities:

  • Literature Clubs: Dive deeper into genres and themes that interest you, from fantasy to non-fiction.
  • Writing Workshops: Join peer groups to improve writing skills through feedback and revisions.
  • Debate Team: Develop argumentative skills in a competitive format.
  • Theater Productions: Participate in or support school plays to understand narrative and character development through drama.
 

Our commitment is to not only foster a love for language arts but also to equip students with the critical skills necessary to succeed in college and beyond. Explore our resources, join our programs, and embark on your journey through the enriching world of English Language Arts today!

ELA Textbooks

Reading / English Language Arts (K-5)
Benchmark Advance Logo
Benchmark Aligned Tennessee State Standards
 
Reading/English Language Arts (6-8)
StudySync Logo
 
Reading/English Language Arts (9-12)
myPerspectives Logo

 

ELA Resources & Links

Reading Websites for Students and Parents
Literature and Article Resources: The resources below provide free literature - books, audio books, and articles.

Literature Resources - Books
(Click titles to access.)

Lit 2 Go: Here you will find both audio and text of major classic authors. You can search by topic (i.e. The Civil War – which really gives you a wide range of text options from non-fiction and fiction to speeches), or by Author, Book, Genre, or Readability. Some selections also come with a teaching guide (none of which have impressed me much.)  You do not have to download the files in order to hear or read them, but you can if you want access when you do not have wifi. The audio and text appear at the bottom of the page after you select your chapter.  There are a number of interesting obscure texts like Uncle Tom’s Cabin -Told to the Children, (an adaptation of the original story released to introduce readers between the ages of 9 and 12 to the best known classic novels of the 19th Century) and Vampyre, the first transformation of the vampire from folklore to literature.  It predates Dracula by almost 80 years. This site can be accessed on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

American Literature: This site houses classic novels, short stories, fables, fairy tales (the original versions), poems, etc. It’s all free. You can print it, or students can use mobile devices to read it. 

American Rhetoric:​  American Rhetoric houses a speech bank of over 5,000 speeches, sermons, legal proceedings, lectures, debates, interviews, and more. If it was a history-making event or speech, chances are you can find it here.  Go to the website and click “Speech Bank” on the left-hand margin. This will take you to the Speech Bank page. Then search the speeches alphabetically (hint: Speeches are usually organized by first name. Debates like the Lincoln-Douglass debate will fall under “L”.)  After the speech, the symbols [T]- text, [A]- audio, and/or [V]-video will appear. There are often multiple audio files to choose from. 

Epic Books - This site is currently free for teachers and gives you access to thousands of popular books ranging from A Bad Case of Stripes to Hugo Cabret.  


The Tennessee Electronic Library: The Tennessee Electronic Library offers literature and a number of other resources.
- Your local library: Visit your local library to get a library card. This card not only will allow you and your child to check out books from the library but also to access e-books online.

Storyline Online is a free site that has renowned actors reading award-winning books.
- Oxford Owl is a free website from England that has over 100 free e-books that you can browse by age, level, book type, etc. You do need to sign up for a free account to access the resources. https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/free-ebooks/  (There are products that can be purchased on this site, but there are also free resources like the e-books, kids activities, maths, etc).

 

Magazines and Articles
(Click titles to access.)

ReadWorksFree passages on numerous topics can be found here. You can search by level, topic, etc. There are also lessons and units available. The questions usually require higher-order thinking skills and there is often a writing task connected to the texts. You can also search for paired texts (although I have better success pairing the texts myself).
Tween Tribune (by Smithsonian): This site is now managed by Smithsonian and requires only a free registration.  The TweenTribune team scours the internet for age-appropriate news stories that are of high interest to tweens and teens. You can access each article at four different Lexile levels allowing teachers to differentiate while students are all accessing the same information allowing for classroom discussions and projects. Students can take quizzes that are scored and delivered to teachers. They can also comment on articles, but teachers are required to approve the comments before they are published.

NewsELA:  This free site provides access to current events that can be accessed at five different Lexile reading levels. As a teacher with a free account, you can “Quick Assign” articles to your class as you browse. There are also annotating suggestions in the right-hand margin that you can hide or share with your class during reading assignments. There are also Teacher Resources that can be used as teaching activities with most articles.

Learning Games and Websites:  There are quality learning games to help your child practice reading skills.  
Websites
Reading Eggs: Reading Eggs makes learning to read interesting and engaging for kids, with great online reading games and activities. Monroe County Schools purchases this program for students in Kindergarten through second grade. Students will need to log in to Clever in order to play this game. Your child's teacher can provide log-in information.
Clever
        Login procedures:
        -  Use Google Chrome web browser (preferred)
        -  Log-in with permanent ID as both user name and password
- Between the Lions (Early Reading): This website has videos from the PBS series that can teach or support early readers as they learn reading skills. This site is totally free. https://tnlearn.pbslearningmedia.org/collection/btl07-ex/
Starfall Education (a nonprofit that focuses on free and low-cost learning resources for children) has created an engaging group of games and activities that range from the ABCs to fables. The stories and poems can be read by the narrator or by your child, with or without assistance. Your child can read the text on the screen and click on a word they need help with. Many of these activities are free. Some of the activities require a home membership.   https://www.starfall.com/h/ 
- PBS Kids has more than 70 reading games connected to characters from its popular television series, such as Sesame Street, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Martha Speaks, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and Caillou. When your child successfully completes a game, many of them provide instant rewards, such as video clips or more fun games. This encourages children to keep playing and learning. This site is totally free.  https://pbskids.org/games/reading/  
 
Literacy Apps
Reading Rockets has a list of apps vetted by their staff. These apps are organized by skill (comprehension, spelling, phonics, etc). Website: https://www.readingrockets.org/literacyapps 

 

ELA Strategies & Tips

Reading Tips from Scholastic.com: There are a number of ways to improve your child's reading skills that can be implemented throughout your day. Scholastic.com has a list of strategies you can try.   
 
 
​The National PTA released a guide with tips to help readers at every age from birth to high school.  Check out these tips by clicking the following link:
 
US Department of Education Resources:  The US Department of Education released a booklet to equip parents to help their child become a good reader.  These strategies start with birth and continue to address needs as your child ages. 
Readingrockets.org Parent Page: This page has links to a number of resources that can help you find ways to help your child improve his/her reading at home.
 
Reading Rockets also offers specific reading tips for parents to help their children beginning from infants to third graders. Tips for parents of children with disabilities are also available. These guides are also available in multiple languages.
 
Questioning: As you read with your child it is important that you ask questions that require your child to think about what he/she is reading. This will help your child build strong comprehension strategies and better understand what is read. The following grade-level documents can help you form questions as you read.
 
How to Read With Your Child
We know how important reading to a child is, so what can we do to help at home? Just like any skill (playing an instrument or sport), reading needs to be practiced. The links below can equip you to help your child become the best reader he/she can be.