Is your language arts curriculum satisfactory, or does it fall short in key areas?
Good educators are concerned about their students’ ability to communicate, to write effectively, and to think clearly. Therefore, they are concerned about the textbooks that are available for their use. Although there is a wide variety of language arts curriculum available, not all are adequate.
To be able to communicate effectively, students need skills in delivery and the use of a wide variety of vocabulary words. Being able to speak one’s thoughts clearly is a skill learned. Being familiar with the dictionary and the thesaurus are vital.
Punctuation and Grammar
Knowing proper punctuation and grammar rules are not enough. Students need to know how to use these rules in their writing and in their speech. Therefore, the curricula used should give students ample opportunities to use the skills taught both in written and in oral formats.
Students also need knowledge of a wide variety of topics. Having to research a wide variety of topics will open the students’ understanding of and interest in the world around them. Therefore, writing assignments should not just include what happened on students’ summer vacations.
A wide variety of creative writing assignments should be given. Poetry, haiku, song, and adventure are only a few examples.
Students love being the heroes of their own stories. Of course, having a list of topics for students to choose from is extremely helpful.
Students should be provided with good writing examples for each assignment. Good examples encourage good writing. If the curricula does not do this properly, educators must supplement as needed.
Educators should provide rubrics which detail exactly what is expected for each writing assignment. These checklists provide clarity and help tremendously in the grading process.
After assignments have been edited and revised, students should be given the opportunity to present their work orally. This helps develop their speaking abilities. It also gives students the opportunity to critique others’ as they develop their own listening skills.
Students should be given the opportunity to publish their work. This can be as easily done as posting their work on a bulletin board. However, collecting their work in a book format for others to view is advantageous. In this way, students can track their own progress during the current year and into future years. Publishing writing in an e-book format has now become a viable option.
Educators should carefully evaluate the language arts textbooks that are being used to see if they provide what is necessary for students to develop adequate communication skills. In today’s fast-paced world, proper communication skills are a must.
Do you have concerns about your language arts curriculum? Please share in the comments below.
If you are extremely please with the language arts curriculum you are using, please share the title so others can check it out.
©2018 by Peggy Clark