Language and literacy for both communication and pleasure are key components of the Elementary curriculum. Students are encouraged to pursue their reading interests and to diversify their reading territories by means of guided, shared, and independent reading, as well as teacher read-alouds. Reading groups meet regularly, offering students the opportunity to practice reading for both comprehension and fluency. Through discussions, students expand vocabulary and develop strategies for inferring, analysis, and responding to interpretive questions. These conversations allow students to practice supporting their opinions with evidence from the text and to share and appreciate different perspectives.
Students express themselves through a variety of writing styles, including research reports, personal narratives, memoir, persuasive essay, and poetry. The writing workshop model allows students to choose and shape their own topics while also learning to clarify and enliven their work. The study of grammar, which begins soon after the student learns to read and write, continues through elementary. Students learn all parts of speech, explore sentence structure through diagrams, and carry out a special study of verbs. Cursive writing continues from primary into elementary, when word processing is introduced. Elementary children use several phonics-based spelling programs, including Words Their Way.