8th Grade Language Arts

The teachers in the San Marcos Middle School English/Language Arts Department believe that all students can acquire and develop the necessary English language skills to become better communicators, independent learners, and life-long readers. We know that when our students can read, write, speak and think clearly in English, they will be more successful in school and in their life beyond school. As teachers of 8th grade students, we are particularly aware of students' challenges as they transition to high school. Thus we are committed to using a wide variety of resources, including literature, drama, art, technology, music, and film, to help our students strengthen their learning skills, as well as English language skills.

In our English/Language Arts classes students read fiction, nonfiction, drama, essays, and poetry to better understand how people communicate information, ideas, and emotions. Novels include Of Mice and Men, The Outsiders, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (R), To Kill a Mockingbird (H), "Flowers for Algernon", "Tell Tale Heart" and four informational text units. They learn how to use library resources, including the Internet, to research a variety of topics. Students learn to write personal and fictional narratives,argumentative essays, business and career related documents, as well as to respond to literature. In addition, they will have the opportunity to gain confidence as public speakers, as they practice giving informative, entertaining and persuasive speeches. Students have the opportunity to participate in speech masters where they deliver argumentative or informative speeches to an audience.

As teachers of English/Language Arts, we believe the strength and health of our nation depend on thoughtful, well-educated citizens. It is our goal to prepare our San Marcos Middle School students to be clear-thinking, confident adults, who can comprehend and communicate effectively about the myriad of issues we face today. We believe they will then use these skills to creatively solve problems, developing a secure and successful future for all.

All three language arts teachers are here to assist their students to achieve success and leave SMMS as better and smarter individuals. Below are links to the three teachers in the 8th grade Language Arts department.

Mr. Herrera
Ms. Bassett
Mrs. May-Dirkschneider