Pacific Trails Middle School's English Department
Hello and welcome to Pacific Trails Middle School's English Department Website. We are excited to have you join us as we explore the vast world of literature and language arts through the various novels, non-fiction texts, short stories, plays and poems we will read together over the next two years. Please use this website as a way to meet the English teachers, learn about the each year's focus, and find valuable information on choosing your English level.
English 7: "A Quest for Identity"
Students will read a variety of literary selections including works from the grade level reading list, pieces from Literature and Language Arts First Course (Holt Rinehart Winston), A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, and various poetry, nonfiction, and expository texts. Reading both fiction and nonfiction, students will work to analyze and discover meaning as they develop writing, listening, speaking, and thinking skills to ensure understanding, application, and appreciation. Writing types are standards-based and focus on explanatory writing, argumentative writing, and narrative writing.
English 8: "A Search for Justice"
Students will read a variety of literary selections including works from the grade level reading list, pieces from Literature and Language Arts Second Course (Holt Rinehart Winston), To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and various poetry, nonfiction, and expository texts. Reading both fiction and nonfiction, students will work to analyze and discover meaning as they develop writing, listening, speaking, and thinking skills to ensure understanding, application, and appreciation. Writing types are standards-based and focus on explanatory writing, argumentative writing, and narrative writing.
Writing Rubrics for both grade levels:
Our English Department offers following events for both seventh and eighth grade:
- Each year PTMS participates in the Scripps National Spelling Bee
- Each year we will host the fabulous Intrepid Theatre Company to show our students a live Shakespearean Performance-- This year we are offering a Midsummer Night's Dream.
- At the end of the school year PTMS plans to host its first Literary Salon--it's a night devoted to poetry slams, story telling, and performance.
Skills and knowledge covered in 7th & 8th grade:
- Write a traditional 5-paragraph essay independently.
- Understand the function of a thesis statement in expository writing.
- Write insightful and well developed paragraphs using evidence to support the claim.
- Incorporate sophisticated vocabulary and style into writing.
- Be exposed to both reading for pleasure as well as reading for careful analysis.
- Define of the most common literary techniques and terms and identify examples of them.
- Find and correct proofreading errors in their own rough drafts.
- Discover the theme, symbolism, and other literary devices in a piece of writing.
- Silent sustained reading for fun--for the love of reading and to create life-long readers.
- Study skills, note-taking, annotating, and close reading practice.
Reading Lists for 7th & 8th grade:
7th grade Texts and Short Stories:
8th grade Texts and Short Stories:
Meet our team:
Mrs. Lauryn Gahagan
Lauryn Gahagan has been teaching English for twelve years. She spent seven of those at Carmel Valley Middle School and is now excited to be part of the team at PTMS. Full of energy and passion for learning, Mrs. Gahagan believes all students can express their individuality in the classroom.
Ms. Jeannie Chufo
Jeannie Chufo, a veteran teacher, has spent the last twelve years teaching high school at Canyon Crest Academy. Thrilled to open PTMS, she hopes to bring her passion for entrepreneurship and creative writing to the middle school classroom. Always experimenting, Jeannie is committed to fostering positive school culture, exploring dynamic teaching models and "failing forward." For more info, check out her website: Chufo.org
Ms. Amy Masuda
Amy Masuda has been a dedicated public school teacher for over 20 years throughout California. Her experience includes teaching in elementary schools, middle schools, and high school. Amy loved teaching at Earl Warren Middle School and is excited to bring her passion for education and children to the English and History departments at Pacific Trails!
Ms. Christine Krommenhoek
Christine has been an education specialist for over eight years. She
has taught many different courses and class environments.
co-taught middle school and high school English for five years and has
taught different levels of special day class English as well. She is
an avid sea otter fan and enjoys spending time outdoors
Mr. Gregg Hunt
Mr. Hunt began his teaching career at Carmel Valley Middle School and now teaches History and English at Pacific Trails. His background is research and writing, and he enjoys helping students learn those skills. He's advising the Garden and Meteorology Clubs on campus and is passionate about musical instruments, collecting vintage vinyl records, long hikes outdoors, and chocolate chip cookies.
“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been." - Rilke