Reading & Writing

A Skills-Based Approach to Reading, Writing, Thinking and Speaking

King fosters creative and intellectual development through a skills-based approach to teaching reading, writing, thinking, and speaking, PreK-Grade 12, in a sequence that strengthens student expertise and allows for personalized instruction. Elementary, middle, and high school students learn how to read carefully, write clearly, think critically, and communicate their ideas with peers. Students tackle challenging texts in English, History, Science, and Social Sciences and learn how to conduct thoughtful research in order to develop a claim (thesis) and support an argument. We emphasize the importance of cultural, contextual, and technical aspects of written expression, and we equip students with a set of tools enabling them to read, think, write, and speak about a text on personal, communal, and global levels.

King students explore literary composition and nonfiction writing outside of the classroom. Students attend The Dodge Poetry Festival and submit creative work to competitions, including The Stamford Literary Competition. We are a community of writers and all students can publish their work. Students submit poems to the Lower School’s poetry anthology; short stories to the Upper School creative magazine, Ink; and articles to The Standard Newspaper or the Yearbook.

Reading

We encourage students to become lifelong readers. Carefully selected texts that offer a range of voices and genres form the backbone of our curriculum, while our independent reading program encourages students to read books they choose.

  • Lower School: A consistent focus on early reading skills helps young, emerging readers develop a love of reading. The skills developed in the primary years lead students to connect, comprehend, and respond to language.
  • Middle School: Students continue to develop their inferential skills, learning to see a text from multiple perspectives.
  • Upper School: Students use literary analysis to examine and explore a wide variety of texts that are thematically linked.

Writing

Our process-oriented writing program allows students at all grade levels to draft, revise, and reflect upon their creative and analytical work.

  • Lower School: Our dynamic, multisensory writing program gives our growing writers the tools they need to draft, edit, and produce thoughtful works. Letters become words, expanding into complete sentences and complex paragraphs.
  • Middle School: Writing instruction classroom workshops allow teachers to provide models in a variety of genres, structure creative and analytical writing, provide immediate feedback, and help students set writing goals.
  • Upper School: Students regularly conference with their teachers, set goals, and peer edit as part of deeply developing their written expression and clearly communicating their ideas.

Thinking

Students open their minds to consider a variety of perspectives and understandings.

  • Lower School: Assimilating new information from the world around them in developmentally appropriate stages, students learn to interpret information in more complex ways.
  • Middle School: Students embrace a more abstract understanding of texts and actively draw connections between English and other disciplines.
  • Upper School: Continuing to develop critical thinking skills by using a variety of texts to build and support arguments, students challenge assumptions and establish relevance.

Speaking

Students find their voices, sharing their ideas constructively, and listening respectfully in large and small group settings.

  • Lower School: Oral language is the precursor for reading skills, and strong language skills begin the basis for our language arts program in PreK. Interwoven into all areas of our curriculum, expressive language and speaking skills range from language experience opportunities with our younger students to structured oral presentations in the intermediate grades.
  • Middle School: Students hold discussions through a variety of modes, striving for engaged, active classroom participation and lively intellectual discourse and debate.
  • Upper School: Students use seminar-style discussions as opportunities to ask questions, engage in a meaningful exchange of ideas, and arrive at a series of understandings. Students hone their public speaking skills further by presenting at King Talks, in Debate Club tournaments and at Model UN Club conferences.