Language Arts

Our efforts in the Language and Literature Department are guided by the Common Core State Standards and the aims and objectives of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. (Review the IB MYP Language and Literature brief here.)

Through literature, we hope to empower students with close reading skills that enable them to tackle any text in any subject with confidence. Our lessons require understanding of reading on the literal level, but also encourage deep thematic thinking about texts as well as careful analysis of any author’s craft. Our anchor texts include short fiction, poems, novels, narrative nonfiction, and argumentative texts from a range of historical periods and cultures.

Through writing, we develop skills in narrative, expository, and argumentative writing genres by facilitating a mastery of the writing process through a writers’ workshop approach. We study exemplar texts, looking closely at how skilled writers use language, and then practice those skills for mastery in order to produce our own texts.

As readers and writers ourselves, we seek to do all this while fostering a deep appreciation and love of reading and writing and an enduring understanding that language is an essential tool for communication. We know that with hard work and perseverance, out students will develop the literacy skills that will enable them to succeed in school and and contribute to the world as a global citizen.


McAuliffe Language Arts Class Featured in DPS Video

DPS recently highlighted one of our Language Arts classes, which we’re proud to share here. This was a collaborative project with Stephanie Gronholz, Jennifer Snodgrass, and Anne Walker for 7th grade Language Arts last year.

“In Stephanie Gronholz’s Language Arts classroom at McAuliffe International School in northeast Denver, small groups of students are digitally redesigning poetry in iMovie. They blend sound and imagery as they decipher the layers behind poetry such as Casey at the Bat. “It’s a different way of getting down to the meaning of the poem,” said one student, “what it means on the surface and then down on a deeper level.” Watch the video “The Poetry of Success”. Also with Spanish subtitles.”

The Poetry of Success – Denver’s New Academic Standards (Video 1 of 4) from Denver Public Schools on Vimeo.

Denver Public Schools