English Language Arts

The English Language Arts program at Cultural Arts Academy is designed to provide a rigorous learning experience and develop a community of life long readers and writers. It is our belief that reading and writing is the foundation of learning and an essential component of the learning experience.


Each day begins with D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) time where all adults and children in the school model a passion for literature.  The entire school reads for fifteen minutes from 8:45-9:00am each day.

Throughout the day, scholars are actively engaged in a variety of literacy-based activities in both their general class and special classes. During literacy instruction scholars interact with authentic texts and participate in a balanced literacy model based on components of word study, reading instruction and writing instruction.  Running Records are used to assess literacy growth throughout the school year and students and teachers track and can speak to the student’s progress. Guided Reading is strategically implemented to challenge students at their level, give them access to high interest books, and allow for mastery practice of common core standards.

Strategically selected trade books are read aloud to students to provoke interest in new units of inquiry.  The nonfiction section of our library in our Makerspace is utilized for students to read at length as they are taught how to research both printed text and online resources.  The nonfiction books provided are selected to promote in depth inquiry.


Using the Writers Workshop all scholars are able to work at their ability level in highly engaging learning experiences.  Students learn the writing process of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Each inquiry unit has a writing component as a part of its summative assessment which are assessed with rubrics.  Teachers incorporate free writing, reflective journal writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and writing strategies throughout their daily lessons. Students express themselves through reflections, poetry, dramatic skits, narratives, summaries, book reports, persuasive essays, informational research papers, memoirs, and argumentative essays.


Fourth and fifth graders participate in debate class on a weekly basis and compete in annual debate tournaments.  They learn important speaking skills like voice projection, standing still, eye contact, hand gestures, pacing, and pronunciation of multi-syllable vocabulary words.  Presenting is one of the approaches to learning skills that is directly taught and practiced throughout the inquiry units in every grade. This includes Kindergartners who speak and present their projects and show and tell items with the class.