Warren Hills Middle School

Warren Hills Middle School


62-64 Carlton Avenue

Washington, NJ 07882

September 6, 2016

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Throughout the course of the 2016-2017 school year, students will have the opportunity to extend and connect what they learn in8th grade English Language Arts toan array ofaproposInternet and film sources. This application of media is designed to fuse the components of the NJ Core Curriculum Content Standards for Language Arts: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Viewing; as well advance21st Century Learning and Life Skills.

Our extensive curriculum covers a wide range of content in which pertinent historical, social, cultural, and current events are explored, such as 9/11 and the theme of Hero,events leading up to World War II and the Holocaust (as background to The Diary of Anne Frank), and the Civil Rights Movement (as background for To Kill a Mockingbird based book clubs). We also study the Stages of Genocide and how itlinks to contemporary issues which affect students today—such as an awareness of mob mentality “groupthink”, accountability the individual and society,responsible social media use, and bullying prevention. In addition to reading and writing about these topics, students benefit from an accompaniment of visuals and hands-on learning tools to round out their learning, as they find themselves more capable of developing increased understanding, broadened background knowledge, and heightened schema. When this comprehensive, differentiated approach is taken, studentsbecome able to more effectively grasp complex material,and actively engage and connect to context.

To accomplish this goal, we utilize historical and current event clips from various websites for research, and view films/film excerpts to provide relevant visuals for our topics of study. Students are given assignmentsthat connect directly to the film content that strengthenstheirability to view media information from acritical perspective - to think about and question what they watch. Some film options carry a PG-13 rating, such asThe Hunger Games, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and The Help. An alternate assignment may be given if you do not wish for your child to view such films.

Thank you, and we look forward to a productive and successful school year.


Jennifer Feldman and Meredith Borrelli

8th Grade English Language Arts Department, WHMS

Media Permission Slip

Please check one of the options below and return to ELA 8 teacher:

Student name ______

I approve the use of teacher selected PG-13 film sources in ELA 8. ______


I would like alternate assignments to be provided during the viewing of PG-13 films. ______

Parent/Guardian Signature:______Date: ______