English (Language Arts)

The Washington Preparatory School English Language Arts Program aims to develop skills of textual analysis and encourages students to question the meaning generated by language and texts. Its objective is to enable our students to use the English language correctly and confidently for learning, creativity, self-expression, and social interaction. 

In Washington Preparatory School’s student-centered, inquiry-based classrooms, our teachers support and motivate students to take responsibility for their own actions and learning, to become more open-minded about life and the world around them through language and literature, and to become life-long learners that live well-balanced lives. 


The English Language Arts Program at WA Prep aims to: 

  • Engage thoughtfully with a wide variety of literary and informational media; 
  • Use language in authentic contexts for a variety of purposes and audiences;  
  • Use a variety of literacy skills and strategies to make meaning, ask questions, and express ideas; 
  • Use literacy in different contexts to make connections, enlarge experience, and broaden worldviews 

Washington Prep English Language Arts standards frame the key competencies to: 

  1. Make meaning while listening, reading, and viewing; and  
  2. Communicate through speaking, writing, and representing. 

Grades 6-8 

Learners read and interpret a wide variety of literary and non-literary texts with increasing depth and complexity. Learners will explore a wide range of works across genres, cultures, and historical periods. Grade 6-8 learners continually expand their ability to communicate ideas for varied audiences and purposes. As we progress through the units, students will produce works that reflect their deeper understanding of texts and topics as well as a mastery of language. 

Units of Study
Grade 6: 

Self-Awareness and Transformation: How do we form and shape our identities? What does the text inspire me to do? 

Perspective of Truth: What are rules and principles to live by? How do people communicate these rules to others? 

How Do I Change My Community: How can literature serve as a vehicle for social change? 

Global Change: How is our understanding of culture and society constructed through and by language? 


Grades 7 and 8: 

The Author’s Craft: How do writers construct and convey meaning for specific effect and purpose? 

Representation of Science and Technology: How is science and technology portrayed in literary and non-literary texts? 

Art and Life: What is the impact of reality on fiction? What is the impact of fiction on reality? 

Justice and Equity: To what extent are literary texts an effective means for addressing social issues? 


Grades 9-10 

The high school English program teaches the inquiry and interpretive skills necessary for sound analysis of texts, the discussion skills necessary for articulate expression of ideas and opinions, and the writing skills necessary for creative and academic expression. The program’s aim is to balance such skill development with an interest in and appreciation for the value of literature, including new textualities. Learners will further develop analytical skills and engage in an increasing range and sophistication of literary and non-literary texts, preparing them for upper-level work, including IB English. 

Units of Study
Grade 9: 

Identity: Poetry and memoir 

Reflecting on and Shaping Society: Literary fiction, informational texts, drama 

Responsibility and Community: Drama, informational texts, poetry, rhetoric and persuasive writing 

Becoming Who I want to Be: Literary fiction, short story 


Grade 10: 

Crafting Voice: Literary fiction and graphic novels 

Unheard Voices: Poetry – written, spoken, and performance 

Speaking Out and Being Heard: Memoir and non-literary texts 

Voices in Conflict: Contextual study: drama and non-fiction 

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