The A. Fantis English Language Arts curriculum program brings together a host of disciplines with the goal to help students become fluid, expressive and confident writers as well as enthusiastic thoughtful and analytical readers. This year grades 5-8 have written research papers on topics ranging from the Renaissance, the Life and Times of William Shakespeare, and the Voting Rights Act. Classes also do thrice-weekly free writing, reading responses, formal book reports, creative writing- including poetry- and informational text such as, newspaper articles, how-to and persuasive essays.Students also work on the fundamentals of writing and how to construct effective topic sentences, thesis and body paragraphs.
To best ensure that the students grow as writers, and readers, all classes study vocabulary and grammar and are engaged in rigorous test preparation via workbooks and innovative online programs.
As for reading; some of the books that the students have enjoyed include To Kill a Mockingbird, Sounder, The Tale of Despereaux, The Time Machine, Frankenstein, Farewell to Manzanar, Red Scarf Girl, The Grapes of Wrath, Morning Girl, Bud, Not Buddy, From the Mixed-Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Romeo and Juliet. Students also look at short stories, non-fiction texts and participate in the national activity Poem in Your Pocket Day. The school also publishes The Brooklyn Falcon, a student-run newsletter that focuses on developing journalism skills.