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"It's not enough to know how to ride -- you must also know how to fall." ~ Mexican Proverb

6th Grade English Language Arts ~ Mr. Forfar


"READ like a WRITER and WRITE like a READER" (Kelly Gallagher)

Sensory WordsTransition Words Character Traits


1) Strengthening your ability to express yourself through writing and speaking
2) Enhancing your creativity while improving your skills in reading, writing, and vocabulary

“The difficulty of literature is not to write, but to write what you mean” ~ Robert Lewis Stevenson

• Key Ideas and Details... What does the text say?
• Craft and Structure... What does the text do?
• Integration of Knowledge and Ideas... What does the text mean?

As we read we will be:
Reading closely for meaning...making sense of the words...citing evidence from the text...
figuring out central ideas...summarize key details...analyze plot and character changes over time...examine point of view...look at how the story is crafted and why...evaluate arguments and claims..

writing WRITING

• Write to communicate real or imagined experiences...create clear storylines...
• Strengthen writing with planning, revising, editing, rewriting...
• Write routinely over long and short time frames
• Use technology to produce and communicate ideas...
• Research projects based on focused quesions that show my understanding of the subject
• Use mulitiple sources to figure out what's true about the topic

NOTE: Thanks to Kelly Gallagher for his synthesizing the ideas above about the CC and offering invaluable suggestions for activities in the class room.

Please note! Each student must bring their spiral notebook for English to every class meeting.
The English notebook will be used for reflective writing, note taking, rough drafts, and homework.


6th Grade ELA focus:
Using the Common Core Standards as a guide, we will examine newspapers, film, video, textbooks, and other sources to study biographies, short stories, poems, plays, novels, and essays. Literary elements such as sentence structure, tone, word choice, plot, character quailty, turning point, dialogue, setting and sequence will be examined. We also will seek to connect our reading, writing, and speaking to global issues that affect our lives through the study of other cultures and their perspectives.

In the Spring we will study migration through the eyes of global immigrants as well as personal stories.The culminating project for this unit includes a Migration Mosaic.

Did you know there are "live" words as well as "dead" words? We will look at where words come from and what they mean in the context of the story. In addition, we will write research reports and learn the importance of footnotes, bibliographies, and the issues surrounding plagiarism. If you need help with grammar, please visit the ELA conventions page.



Copyright, Fair Use, and Plagiarism

Character Traits



Transition Words


Sensory Words Describing Objects


Sensory Words Describing Animals and People




dog reads


RL6.3 Learning Target
“I can explain how the characters change and respond to the events in the story”

W 6.3 Learning Target
“I can write a fictional story. My story has a sequence of events. My story has a narrator, characters, and a setting”

L 6.3 Learning Target
“I can use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

V 6.4 Learning Target
I can clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

RL6.4 Learning Target
“I can understand figurative language in text”

RL6.4 Learning Target
“I can analyze sentences and paragraphs in my reading”


- Writers develop their story characters through the characters' words, thoughts, and actions
- We will track how a character might grow and change in a story

- The character's personality shown through words, thoughts, actions

- Where and when a story takes place

- a series of actions or events in a story. (found in a novel, play, movie, tv show, game, etc.)

- a problem or disagreement

- When and how a problem or conflict is solved in the story

- The lesson about life learned from the story

- Writer's attidude toward the subject

- Writer's attidude toward the subject

- written conversation between 2 or more characters

text info

- Examining and conveying complicated ideas, gathering information from multiple sources
- Making claims about text through accurate, supporting evidence
- Writing a well organized essay and bibliography with a specific audience in mind

RI 6.1 Learning Target
I can read an informational text. I can tell the central idea of the reading and summarize my reading..

W 6.8 Learning Target
I can paraphrase information I find in researching without plagiarizing.”

RL6.2 Learning Target
“I can write a summary of my reading and determine the central idea”

RL6.6 Learning Target
“I can explain how an author uses a point of view”

RL6.7 Learning Target
“I can compare and contrast the experience of reading a story with viewing a video or live play of the story”

L6.4b Learning Target
“I can use root words, prefixes, and suffixes to understand the meaning of unknown words”

L6.4d Learning Target
“I can use a dictionary to check the meaning of words AFTER I have used context clues to infer meaning

RI 6.1 Learning Target
I can read an informational text. I can tell the central idea of the reading and summarize my reading..

W 6.7 Learning Target
I can use research to answer a question. I can use several sources of information in my writing.”

W 6.8 Learning Target
I can use many sources in my research including
print and digital sources”

W 6.8 Learning Target
I can provide a bibliography for my sources.”


- Claim / Thesis
- Argument to support claims
- Counterargument
- Fallacious Reasoning
- Valid Evidence
- Unsupported Inferences
- Propaganda

RI 6.1 Learning Target
I can read an informational text. I can cite evidence to support my inferences drawn from the text.

S&L 6.3 Learning Target
Describe a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

RI 6.2 Learning Target
I can read an informational text. I can cite evidence to support my inferences drawn from the text.

RI 6.9 Learning Target
I can read an informational text. I can compare and contrast one author’s writing with another author’s writing on the same topic.”

RL6.1 Learning Target
“I can cite evidence from the text to prove my inferences about the text I am reading”

W 6.9 Learning Target
I can draw conclusions from literacy and informational textx to support my research, analysis, and reflections.”

W6.1 Learning Target
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

W 6.1 Learning Target
“I can write arguments. I can write with a formal style and concluding statement.

W 6.2 Learning Target
“I can write informative texts on a topic. I can introduce a topic in an organized way with facts, examples, and quotes”

SL6.1 Learning Target
“I can discuss what I have read with my peers. I can express my own thoughts and opinions”

SL6.4 Learning Target
“I can make a speech to an audience. I can make a logical argument using descriptions, facts, and details””


Some of the stories we will read can be found in the California Collections published by Houghton Miffline Harcourt.

California Coll



National tests have shown that independent reading at home is a key ingredient for improving a student's language skills!

In addition, to develop writing skills, we will utilize the 6-Trait Instruction and Assessment developed by Vicki Spandel along with strategies and materials from the Great Source Education Group including the book Write Source 2000.




International Studies Learning Center: Phone 323.568.3115

Mr. Forfar's informational website for students, parents, and teachers.
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