8th Grade Curriculum

ELA
What underlying meanings reside in great literature, and how does one search for and write with underlying meaning?

  •  In both narrative and informative pieces, cite text evidence to analyze and display depth of meaning.
  •  Analyze how texts make connections among distinctions between individuals, ideas, events, comparisons, analogies and categories.
  •  Expository, narrative, and persuasive writing distinguishes claims and organizes evidence logically.
  •  Develop higher level skills in the study of vocabulary, grammar, analogies and self-editing.
  •  Samples of literature include: Of Mice and Men, Twelfth Night, Out of the Dust, Night, To Kill a Mockingbird, classic poetry, and short stories by Edgar Allen Poe, Daphne Du Maurier, and A. Conan Doyle.

Global Studies
How does power unite and divide?

The focus for the eighth grade is the twentieth century. How does power unite and divide? Through their investigations of war, genocide, civil rights, and civic obligations, the eighth graders will examine the 20th century in an attempt to answer that very question. Beginning with 19th century imperialism, moving forward through WWI, WWII, and the Holocaust, and ending with Civil Rights and their civic responsibilities, the students will immerse themselves in historical research, analysis, and writing. First term will culminate in the eighth grade “revolutionaries” rebuilding their post—imperial countries; the subsequent terms will both encompass the topics of study, but most importantly, will continue to focus on the human condition throughout history.

Math
How can we explore and discover math concepts and connect Algebra to real world situations?
In eighth grade Algebra, students solidify their basic skills and continue to explore algebraic thinking and problem solving. The course includes using variables in a variety of ways to represent real world problems. Organization of data in charts, tables, matrices, spreadsheets and on graphs is used to solve those problems. Students master the solving and graphing of equations and inequalities. The connection between geometry and algebra is explored through ratios, proportions, probability and similar figures. The students move from dealing mostly with real numbers into gaining facility with irrational numbers and calculating with radicals. Students explore exponential functions and calculation with exponents. Systems of equations and inequalities are introduced and solved by substitution, elimination and graphing. Students learn to factor linear and quadratic equations. The quadratic function and quadratic formula  are introduced and parabolas are explored. Throughout the course, there is a strong emphasis on expressing mathematical concepts in writing and in symbolic language.