The Middle School English program offers students a demanding exploration of academic and creative writing and literature. While students are challenged to grow as analytical thinkers, the main thrust is always to inspire in students a love of reading and writing. The sixth, seventh, and eighth grade English courses are designed to mirror the social/emotional progression of our middle years students: from the quest for identity to the search for connection to the yearning to understand and be part of a community. While reading progressively more complex works and exploring increasingly more sophisticated concepts, each student also learns to form a public identity as a confident speaker and a thoughtful, caring citizen of the world.

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  • Sixth Grade English

    Students begin Middle School English with a journey that mirrors the one they are engaging in outside the classroom—the quest for identity. In this introductory course, students read texts that portray the human search for self, exploring the essential question “Who am I?” Students read such works as de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince and Lowry’s Number the Stars, analyzing plot, theme, and character. In the classroom, students engage in discussions, speaking their views and learning how to listen and build upon others’ views. In their critical writing, students begin to develop analytical writing skills using thoughtful and precise language to cite claims and evidence. In their creative work, they develop detailed narratives including a fictional piece portraying a quest for identity and a healthy sense of self. Students will also learn vocabulary in context and engage in grammar exercises to develop their writing and speaking skills.
  • Seventh Grade English

    In this pivotal course, students expand on their identity studies from the previous year by turning their focus to the human quest to create connections. Examining the essential question How do I form relationships?, students explore how bonds form, how they are broken, and how they can be repaired. Students read such works as Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, examining how different authors use different form and structure to convey similar ideas. Students expand their analytical writing skills, learning how to use research and abstraction as they cite textual evidence for key ideas in literary and informational texts. They also reflect on their reading and respond to prompts in a notebook, which is collected at intervals for progress checks, content discussion, and skill assessment. Final assessments include dialogues and debates about relationships and continued reflections on forming healthy relationships.
  • Eighth Grade English

    In the culminating year of Middle School, the English study shifts from the internal to the external as the final course explores the essential question: What can I do for my community? This focus pushes students to explore the concept of community and an individual’s responsibility to it. Students read texts such as Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and Yousafzai and Lamb’s I am Malala—works that portray humanity’s call to action. In their writing, students hone the analytical skills that they have strengthened throughout Middle School, writing clear, critical essays and stirring creative pieces. Language used in discussions bears authority and scholarship. Final assessments include retellings of classics, individual oral presentations, and continued reflection on community service. At year’s end, students are eminently prepared to enter a challenging high school class.

The Kew-Forest School

119-17 Union Turnpike
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-4667
The oldest independent school in the borough of Queens, The Kew-Forest School is an independent co-educational, college preparatory school for students in Preschool through Grade 12.