Through the exploration of a wide range of perspectives, genres, and styles, BB&N ELA teachers challenge students to think critically about literature, to write with personality and concision, and to engage in lively discussions in the classroom. Students, B-12, learn that the first steps toward effective writing are paying close attention to the text—its language, images, tone, etc.—and asking open-ended questions. Teachers guide students toward crafting increasingly complex claims with an emphasis on scaffolded writing assignments, frequent feedback, and revisions. In addition, BB&N recognizes the importance of discussing texts featuring diverse perspectives and identities as students strive to better understand who they are in the world. Balancing the rigors of analytical thinking and writing with ample opportunities to build authorial voice, BB&N ELA teachers empower their students to use their curiosity, critical thinking, and perspectives to direct class discussions and even curricular choices.
The Lower School Language Arts curriculum prioritizes the development of foundational skills in reading and writing, as well as the cultivation of oral communication and presentation skills through activities such as morning meetings, independent and collaborative research, and various writing exercises. The Middle School utilizes language and literature as a tool to explore social justice and diversity by posing essential questions that encourage critical thinking and discussion, including inquiry into identity, the power dynamics of justice, and the creative use of language to inspire change. The Upper School curriculum encourages students to find joy and connection through reading a wide variety of literary genres and authors, spanning centuries. Teachers offer frequent feedback and lessons to push their students to write with clarity, confidence, and complexity.