Phoenix Pride

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:


  • Structured paragraph writing
  • Multi-paragraph expository essays
  • 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

Speaking, Listening, and Research

  • 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:

Identity, Perseverance

7th Grade:

Hero’s Journey, Power of One, theMiddle East, and Banned Books

8th Grade:

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: The Westing Game, Rules, Red Midnight, and various literature circle novels
7th Grade: Tangerine, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Kiss the Dust, The Breadwinner, The Giver
8th Grade: The Pearl, Night, Seedfolks, Maus I and II, Witness