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8th Grade Curriculum

8th Grade Program

Grade Level Team

Team organization of academic learning continues in grade eight. Science, mathematics, social studies. and English teachers work jointly with a group of students. Many eighth-grade students have already developed the skills and study habits necessary for success with high school level courses while others are completing the development of these skills and habits. Consequently, greater departmentalization and grouping for instruction characterize the academic program. The themes of prejudice and tolerance are used to unify the curriculum.


English seeks to have students master lengthier and more sophisticated forms of reading and writing. Students bring their comprehension skills to bear on novels and plays as they continue formal literature study. They study the special Characteristics of short stories, novels, plays, and poetry. Teacher questioning and journal responses guide students to think critically about literature and to speculate on choices authors make in creating a work. Intensive instruction and practice in composing are aimed at having students achieve control over and coherence in long pieces of fiction and nonfiction. As in earlier grades, essay writing, grammar and usage are taught in conjunction with writing.

Humanities is an alternate to the regular English program, with special requirements for enrollment. The course is designed for advanced readers and writers who have the capacity to work independently and to complete nightly assignments. The humanities approach allows students to make connections between various areas of human thought and response. Students will study core novels, essays, satire, and humor. Students will learn to write character sketches, comparison/ contrast, and narrative essays of at least five paragraphs. Through Writers' Workshop, they will also compose in a variety of genre and emphasize revision for style.


Mathematics is taught on three levels. Algebra I is far students who have successfully completed Pre-Algebra, either in grade 7 or in summer school. Topics include variables, functions, equations (one and two variables), polynomials, rational expressions and operations, radicals, quadratics and application. Pre-Algebra is intended to give the student the needed mathematical skills before moving into more sophisticated high school mathematics courses. Topics include integers, rational numbers, decimals, basic geometry (figures, perimeter, area, volume), square roots, exponents, scientific notation, solving linear equations and inequalities. Applications such as solving word problems will be emphasized. Mathematics 8 is designed for those students who have been identified as having difficulty with mathematics. Emphasis is placed on basic computational skills, problem-solving, and practical applications. Most of the topics covered in the Mathematics 8 course (see above) are included in this course.


Science in grade eight is the third year of an integrated science approach. Students study chemical and physical changes, all the major body systems, rocks and minerals and light waves, color and optics.