English Language Arts

Elementary Grades K-5

  • Elementary Language Arts

       The UDSD Language Arts department integrates the Pennsylvania Core Standards of craft and structure, key ideas and details, text analysis, integration of knowledge and ideas, vocabulary acquisition and use and writing. The teaching staff encourages students to think critically, read independently, communicate effectively with others and develop the essential vocabulary, grammatical and writing skills necessary in meeting the Pennsylvania Core Standards.

       The goal of the elementary language arts program is to develop and improve competence in reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and to encourage a positive attitude toward reading and the effective use of language.  

       The development of language arts skills is developed through an integrated curriculum that recognizes the interdependence of skills and content including Science, Social Studies, Math and the Arts.  This approach helps students acquire knowledge by using language and thinking abilities.  


    For a complete copy of Pennsylvania's academic standards please go to PDE PDE


    The Into Reading program, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, in addition to a number of approved supplements and resources, round out our K – 5 ELA program, providing the primary resource materials and framework for language arts instruction.

    All of our elementary students and their families have online access to Into Reading resources and materials.  Please take a look by following the instructions below. 

    Feel free to direct any questions about this resource to your child's teacher.


    Instructions to access INTO Reading Online



Elementary Multi Tiered System of Support ~ MTSS

  • Challenge Kit

    The students in the Challenge Group will read, analyze and discuss classic and contemporary trade books. The focus will be on author and genre studies, as well as cross-curricular exploration. These activities will extend students’ critical thinking skills.


    Fundations is designed for students in grades K-3. It is a research-based program in which the primary focus is on phonemic awareness and phonics. Through systematic, multisensory lessons, students develop mastery of each skill. Fundations can be used as a core instructional program or as an intervention program where mastery of phonics is the goal. 

    Junior Great Books

    The Junior Great Books program helps students develop essential literacy skills: reading carefully, thinking critically, listening intently and speaking and writing persuasively. By participating in Shared Inquiry discussion, Great Books students learn to read for meaning and to support their own interpretation of the text.

    Literature Circles

    Students will read various genres, which include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays. The goal of this group is to advance students to stretch their critical thinking, discussion, and writing skills. This program was designed for students to embed these comprehension strategies, naturally, as they read independently

    PALS Peer Assisted Learning Strategies

    PALS is a reading program that teaches students reading strategies as they work in pairs to become better readers. The partners are trained to act as a reader and a coach. PALS promotes letter and word recognition, reading fluency and comprehension.

    Read Naturally

    Read Naturally is an instructional program/strategy designed to increase reading fluency in grades 1-adult. The program specifically focuses on a student’s reading rate, accuracy, and prosody. It is a very structured practice program that combines three powerful strategies for improving fluency: teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring.

    REWARDS Reading Excellence: Word Attack and Rate Development Strategies

    This research-based program will help students decode long words, increase their oral and silent reading fluency and improve their comprehension as decoding and fluency increase. The REWARDS method of “decoding” words by segmenting their parts is key to the creatively designed exercises in this program.

    Sonday System: Learning to Read

    The Sonday System: Learning to Read program is a highly structured multi-sensory phonics program. It is based on the Orten-Gillingham approach. Through repetition and use of senses, students master the skills needed to become readers. 

    SRA Reading Programs

    The SRA Reading Programs are research-based interventions. The program uses an explicit phonics method to teach phonemic awareness and decoding. Comprehension strategies are built into the program.

    Strategic Kit

    The Strategic Kit program pre-teaches and re-teaches the language arts lessons taught in the classroom. Students will practice previewing and predicting; and have direct instruction in strategic reading, comprehension strategies, vocabulary, phonics, fluency, and writing.

Secondary ELA

  • Secondary Language Arts

     The UDSD Secondary Language Arts program is designed to offer students opportunities, resources, and instruction to develop the language skills they need to pursue life's goals and to participate fully as informed members of society.  The program is rooted in the Pennsylvania Academic Standards of Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening.  Pennsylvania’s Core Standards in English Language Arts are robust and relevant to the real world and reflect the knowledge and skills our young people need to succeed in life after high school, in both post-secondary education and in a globally competitive workforce.

       Students at Drexel Hill and Beverly Hills Middle Schools receive a solid foundation in literary skills using Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Into Literature textbook.  Teachers provide a rigorous approach with in-depth study and analysis of a wide range of literature including novels, short stories, poetry, drama, and informational text.  The Language Arts department integrates the PA Core Standards of craft and structure, key ideas and details, text analysis, integration of knowledge and ideas, vocabulary acquisition, and writing. 

       At Upper Darby High School, English plays a significant role in the high school curriculum.  Language skills in speaking, reading, and writing are critical to future success.  As freshmen, students learn formal research techniques and develop solid composition skills in addition to reading literature in all major forms.  There are many elective options beginning in sophomore year for some students. Juniors and seniors can elect to take American Studies, American Literature, British Literature, Humanities, Broadcast Journalism, Modern Literature, Skills and Composition, and new for 2017 - 2018, African American Literature.  In addition, qualified Upper Darby students may take AP English and Literature in junior and senior years.

     For a complete copy of Pennsylvania's academic standards, please go to  PDE PDE