The Delphi Reading Program is an extensive, carefully crafted collection of literature divided into levels of increasing difficulty and literacy. By Middle School, students are reading substantial books in a healthy mix of fiction, historical fiction, biographies, autobiographies and non-fiction.
Students read an average of five to ten books per month, depending on length and complexity. Classics such as Anne of Green Gables, The Good Earth, Aesop's Fables, Tom Sawyer and The Hobbit provide a rich and rewarding reading experience. Students rapidly become widely read and are able to relate story elements and settings to time periods and historical contexts they have learned in history and geography courses.
Literature Seminars focus on key literary works at a slightly more advanced reading level, encouraging students to broaden their viewpoints through lively group discussions, creative projects and in-depth analysis of plot, character development, themes, metaphors and writing style. Literature Seminars meet weekly to discuss books such as To Kill a Mockingbird and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Periodically, students read aloud to the teacher to demonstrate reading skills and comprehension, or to younger students to “give back” to other students and put excellent reading abilities to use. One-on-one literary discussions between teachers and students develop further interest and understanding of important works.
The Delphi writing curriculum focuses on developing a strong writing discipline, including spelling and grammar, as well as a clear, concise expression of ideas. How to Get Your Point Across in Writing is one of the first writing courses in the Middle School, and is known for transforming average writing into elegant expression. Students continue to practice and hone their writing skills with frequent writing assignments that challenge them in expository, persuasive, descriptive, creative and poetic writing.
Research referencing and footnote techniques are covered as part of writing discipline. Students write at least 2,000 words each month on a variety of subjects. Brainstorming, research, rough drafts, proofreading and editing become second nature.
Students practice proper etiquette in writing letters and e-mails, and participate in a seminar regarding online practices to give them a broader view of social networking, blogs and other writing published online.
Students are encouraged to enter writing contests and to share their written work with others. Assignments can include forays into journalism, screenwriting or theatrical works. Different styles of fiction are also explored.
Spanish is the foreign language taught formally and regularly throughout the Delphi curriculum. By Middle School, many students have already built up a vocabulary of at least 300 words and can express themselves in a limited, conversational manner.
New students with no prior experience in Spanish may be placed in an introductory class to bring them up to speed. Otherwise, Middle School students learn grammar, sentence structure, verb conjugation and continue to increase their vocabulary and conversational abilities. Taught in a seminar fashion, students practice communicating to each other and may also try their language skills at a Spanish or Mexican restaurant or with native speakers from Spain, Latin America or Mexico.
Other foreign language electives are offered at various times during the year as Afternoon Activities. French, Mandarin and Hindi are some of the languages that have been made available to students.
Life Skills, Ethics & Integrity
Understanding the meanings of ethics, morals, moral codes and their relationship to one's life are an important element of the Middle School program. Students study cultural differences, social situations and etiquette in a course entitled Introduction to Manners. An ability to observe and differentiate between the manners required for various social situations and events prepares students for important occasions in life.
Ethics is an important topic. Students gain a solid understanding of ethics, morals, justice and are able to relate these to their own lives while studying The Ethics Book. Personal reflection, observation of behavior, a review of the Delphi Student and Parent Handbook, and other practical assignments keep the material pertinent and real. Rather than being an esoteric or unknown subject, the study of ethics becomes a resource that the student can use in making decisions and evaluating situations in life.
The Middle School student senses adulthood over the horizon and is eager to learn life skills to prepare for this anticipated independence. A detailed course on Money and Exchange enlightens students by addressing concepts of business, commerce, currency, production and value. The Basics of Nutrition course provides a useful understanding of health, nutrition, first aid and the harmful effects of drugs.
Students also complete a thorough study skills class at this level and become expert at being effective students and overcoming study barriers. This practical and nearly scientific approach to study, combined with the students’ personal target-setting, organization and planning abilities, set Delphi Middle School students up for success in high school, university and the workplace.