8th Grade Curriculum
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.