English Language Arts

Message from the Coordinator

Literacy is an integral part of daily life. In the coming years, our students will need to be literate in ways we cannot yet imagine. It is therefore imperative that we teach our students how to think critically and solve problems, both collaboratively and independently.

Literacy instruction in the Plymouth Public Schools focuses on teaching students to construct meaning from texts and compose texts to convey meaning.  We have developed the following departmental goals: 

  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in foundational skills, reading, writing, listening, speaking, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

  • Students will communicate through their own distinctive writing and speaking voices.

  • Students will effectively utilize current and emergent forms of technology to demonstrate and enhance literacy skills.

  • Students will demonstrate proficiency in evaluating, synthesizing, and citing information sources.

  • Students will demonstrate facility in working independently and collaboratively.

At the elementary level, students engage in reading, writing, and phonics/word study instructional blocks. Students receive explicit instruction and modeling in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.  They are provided with ample opportunities to apply these skills and strategies to authentic reading and writing experiences through a workshop model. Ongoing assessment allows us to identify students’ strengths and goal areas and monitor progress and performance over time, differentiating instruction to best meet the diverse needs of our students. 

At the secondary level, we continue to provide students with explicit instruction through a gradual release model, targeting specific skills and strategies based on individual needs.  Students read increasingly complex literary and informational texts to determine themes and main ideas and analyze author's craft, using textual evidence and research to support their conclusions.  Students collaborate to share ideas and gain knowledge.  They write for various purposes and audiences, conducting research and utilizing all forms of technology to present their findings.  

As a district, we have established common structures, language, and resources to ensure consistent literacy experiences, with the Massachusetts ELA Standards as our guide.  Our goal is for all students to achieve literacy success and develop a lifelong love of reading and writing.

Education is a public endeavor and communication between students, teachers, parents, and administrators is vital to any program's success.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments that you may have.   

Lisa M. White, Ph.D.
English Language Arts Curriculum Coordinator
Plymouth Public Schools

ELA Curriculum Video: 2018-2019

ELA Assessments

ELA Curriculum


Reflections Anthology
Each year, K-12 students are invited to submit writing to be published in a district-wide anthology.  Selected pieces are given to high school art students, and they create original artwork to accompany the piece.  A celebration is held to recognize the writers and artists, and the published book is made available to students, families, and schools.  

See below for a video from our latest celebration! 

Poetry Out Loud

Poetry Out Loud is a national program that exposes students to poetry and encourages them to develop a greater understanding of poems through recitation.  All students at both Plymouth North and Plymouth South High Schools participate, and the winners from each class participate in a school-wide competition.  The top finalist moves on to the sectional and possibly state events.  

See the links below for the latest school competitions!

Plymouth North HS POL:

Plymouth South HS POL:

Dr. Lisa White

Lisa M. White, Ph.D.

English Language Arts Curriculum Coordinator, K-12

11 Lincoln St., Plymouth, MA 02360

Contact Dr. Lisa White by Email
(508) 830-4477 Phone
(508) 830-4485


Jennifer Nolan, Educational Secretary, Coordinator's Office
Contact Mrs. Jennifer Nolan by Email


Summer Reading Program Resources

Purdue Online Writing Lab
This site offers over 200 free resources on such topics as:
Writing and Teaching Writing, Research, Grammar and Mechanics, Style Guides, ESL (English as a Second Language), Job Search, and Professional Writing.