Phoenix Pride

English Language Arts

Teachers at Boltz are highly invested in preparing students for the rigorous academic road ahead while, at the same time, appreciating this unique developmental time period in a student’s life. Here are some of the essential skills we address in our curriculum:



Speaking, Listening, and Research

  • Structured paragraph writing

  • Multi-paragraph expository essay

  • Creative writing

  • Argumentative writing

  • Character analysis

  • Descriptive Narrative writing

  • Poetry

  • Advanced sentence structure

  • Use of high level vocabulary

  • Sequencing/Cause and Effect/Comprehension

  • Strategies for reading critically

  • Elements of Plot

  • Vocabulary in Context

  • Text annotation

  • Literature Circle Groups

  • 40 Book Challenge







  • Socratic Seminars

  • Philosophical Chairs/Debates

  • Student talk routines using academic


















Thematic Units

Theme based units are a vehicle for teaching a range of skills and content by integrating curriculum areas around a topic. This method of teaching links curriculum strands and capitalizes on children’s interests, creating a sense of purpose and community in the classroom. By building on their interests and life experiences, young people’s attitudes, skills, and knowledge are developed in meaningful ways. Inquiry and communication are activated by a desire to know more, resulting in enthusiastic participation in the learning process.

6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade






Hero's Journey

Power of One

The Middle East

 Banned Books


Community and the Brain

What makes a human?

Morality vs. Instinct*



*Threaded throughout all 8th grade units is the skill of building an argument.


Selected Texts

Texts are carefully selected to best support students and curriculum.  Text choices are not set in stone as to best respond to student needs, reading levels, and abilities. Anchor texts (major texts, typically novels) are supported by non-fiction pieces, short stories, poetry, and dramas.  Anchor texts at each level are:

6th Grade

7th Grade

8th Grade

The Westing Game


Red Midnight

Various Literature Circle Novels


Roll of Thunder Hear Me Cry

Kiss the Dust

The Breadwinner

The Giver

The Pearl



Maus 1 and 2


PSD does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, age or disability in access or admission to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities. A lack of English speaking skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation.