8th Grade

LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM

The Eighth Grade language arts program is a forum for scholars to explore and understand the past, present, and future through literature and writing.  By reading various genres of literature; such as mystery, science fiction, and historical fiction; scholars will broaden, relate to, and share each other’s perspectives.  Their voices will be heard through discussions about literature, through their products, and through their writing.  Eighth Grade scholars will continue to hone writing skills through a wide variety of writing topics and essays which will prepare them for higher education. The literature in Eighth Grade will include novels that focus on various political and historical issues.  Additionally, Eighth Grade scholars will connect recurring political themes in history to the modern world through frequent current event discussions.

Writing, Grammar, and Usage

  • Simple sentences
  • Compound sentences
  • Complex sentences
  • Nouns
    • Appositives
  • Verbs
    • Perfect tense (present, past)
    • Progressive tense (present, past)
  • Prepositions
  • Modifiers
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Parallelism
  • Sentence variety

Poetry

  • Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night
  • Ozymandias
  • Buffalo Bill’s
  • Chicago
  • The Lake Isle of Innisfree
  • The Tiger
  • Sir Patrick Spens
  • Canterbury Tales Prologue
  • First they Came for the Jews
  • Remember

Speeches

  • Ask Not What Your Country Can Do for You (Kennedy)
  • I Have a Dream (King)

Fiction, Nonfiction, and Drama

  • Novels
    • The Crucible – Arthur Miller’s drama focusing on the dangers of McCarthyism.
    • Anthem – Written by Ayn Rand, Anthem explores the concept of collectivism versus individualism.
    • Animal Farm – Orwell’s classic allegory for the Bolshevik Revolution.
    • Diary of Anne Frank – Scholars will understand the realities of the Holocaust and the importance of valuing mankind.
    • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass – Scholars will understand the realities of discrimination and the importance of valuing mankind.
    • A  Midsummer Night’s Dream – A “No-Fear” Shakespeare edition will introduce scholars to Shakespeare and the numerous symbols.
  • Short Stories
    • The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant
    • The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
    • Love is a Fallacy by Max Shulman
    • An Honest Thief by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • The Open Boat by Stephen Crane

Foreign Phrases Commonly Used in English

French words and phrases common in English including:

  • Au Revoir
  • Avant-garde
  • C’est la vie
  • Carte Blanche
  • Coup de grace
  • Coup d’etat
  • Déjà vu
  • Fait accompli

HISTORY AND GEOGRAPHY

Eighth Grade scholars will study the history of the United States beginning with the earliest Americans to present day.  Scholars will read, discuss, study, analyze, and research major events in U.S. history and the impact of these events.

The Decline of European Colonialism

  • The breakup of the British Empire
    • Creation of British Commonwealth
    • Irish rebellion
    • Indian nationalism and independence
    • Geography of India and South East Asia
  • Creation of People’s Republic of China
    • Communists take power
    • Geography of China

The Cold War

  • Origins of the Cold War
  • The Korean War
  • America in the Cold War
    • McCarthyism
    • The Eisenhower Years
    • The Kennedy Years
    • Space exploration
    • American culture in the ‘50s and ‘60s     

The Civil Rights Movement

  • Segregation
  • Steps toward desegregation
  • Role of President Johnson and the civil rights movement
  • African American militancy
  • Assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King


The Viet Nam War and the Rise of Social Activism

  • The Viet Nam War
    • Domino theory
    • Antiwar protests
    • American disengagement
    • Watergate
  • Social and Environmental Activism
    • Feminist movement
    • United Farm Workers
    • Emergence of environmentalism

The Middle East and Oil Politics

  • History
    • Creation of Israel
    • Suez Crisis
    • Arab-Israeli Wars
    • Islamic fundamentalism
    • Persian Gulf
    • Iraq War
  • Geography of the Middle East
    • Overview
    • Oil: world’s most valuable commodity
    • Egypt
    • Israel
    • Middle East states and cities
    • Turkey

The End of the Cold War: The Expansion of Democracy and Continuing Challenges

  • China Under Communism
  • The Breakup of USSR
    • History
    • Geography
    • Legacies of Soviet policies
  • American Policy of Détente
  • Contemporary Europe
    • Toward European unity
    • Conflict and change in Central Europe
  • The End of Apartheid in South Africa

Civics: The Constitution –Principles and Structure of American Democracy

  • Overview of the U.S. Constitution
  • Bill of Rights
  • Legislative branch: role and powers of Congress
  • Executive branch: role and powers of the presidency
  • Judiciary: Supreme Court as Constitutional interpreter

Geography of Canada and Mexico

  • Canada
    • Geography
    • Languages
    • North American Free Trade Agreement
  • Mexico
    • Geography
    • Languages
    • North American Free Trade Agreement-Maquiladoras

SCIENCE CURRICULUM

Eighth Grade science will include hands on experience, observation, and lessons from grade-level texts. This approach brings coherence and order to a scholars’ scientific knowledge.  The science sequence aims for intensive and selective study of topics, a number of which were introduced in earlier grades.  Scholars are expected to do experiments and write reports on their findings.

Motion

  • Velocity and speed
  • Average speed=total distance traveled by the total time elapsed
  • Familiar units for measuring speed: miles or kilometers per hour

Forces

  • The concept of force: force as a push or pull of an object
  • Unbalanced forces cause changes in velocity

Density and buoyancy

  • When immersed in a fluid (liquid or gas) all objects experience a buoyant force.
  • How to calculate density
  • Density =mass per unit volume
  • The experiment of Archimedes

Work

  • In physics, work is a relationship between force and distance.
  • Equation: work equal force x distance

Energy

  • Energy is defined as the ability to do work.

Power

  • In physics, power is a relation between work and time.

Electricity and Magnetism

  • Basic terms and concepts

Magnetism and Electricity

  • Earth’s magnetism

Electromagnetic Radiation and Light

  • Waves and electromagnetic radiation
  • The electromagnetic spectrum

Sound Waves

  • General property of waves
  • Two kinds of waves: transverse and longitudinal

Chemistry of Food and Respiration

  • Living cells get most of their energy through chemical reactions.
  • Energy in Plants: photosynthesis
  • Energy in animals: respiration
  • Human nutrition and respiration
  • Human health

ADVANCED AND HONORS ALGEBRA

Algebra

Throughout the year, scholars in Eighth Grade Advanced and Honors Algebra will learn the skills needed to solve equations, inequalities, monomial expressions, and polynomial expressions. In addition they will develop the skills to understand, write and solve linear and quadratic expressions along with rational equations and probability concepts.

The Algebra 1 curriculum will include the Core Knowledge Standards for Algebra 1. It will be a multi-representational approach with problems solved in a variety of ways. Problems will be solved by graphing and algebraically by using the concept of equivalence.

First Quarter:

  • The Language and Tools of Algebra
    • Raise a positive number to a fractional power and simplify appropriately.
    • Know and use the rules of exponents including fractional exponents.
  • Solving Linear Equations
    • Plot a set of ordered pairs and surmise a reasonable graph of which the points are a part.
    • Use the definition of absolute value to solve equations.
  • Solving Linear Inequalities
    • Solve linear inequalities and be able to graph them.
    • Know which graph is the solution to a linear inequality.

Second Quarter:

  • Functions and Patterns
    • Analyze a graph and be able to tell if it is a function or not.
    • Determine whether an equation is linear or not.
  • Analyzing Linear Equations
    • Convert slope intercept form into standard form.
    • Write an equation for a line given two points, or one point and its slope.
    • Know if lines are parallel, perpendicular, or just intersecting from their slopes.
    • Find the equation of a line parallel or perpendicular to a line through a given point.
  • Solving Systems of Equations
    • Know that the points of intersections of two graphs are the simultaneous solutions of the relations and indicate the solution.
    • Understand and be able to graph the solution set of a linear inequality.
    • Solve systems of two linear equations in two variables.
    • Solve systems of two linear inequalities in two variables, and graph the solution set.
    • Solve word problems that involve linear equations.

Third Quarter:

  • Polynomials
    • Factor second and higher degree polynomials using standard techniques such as factoring out the GCF, the difference of two squares and perfect square polynomials.
    • Add, subtract, multiply, and divide rational expressions in simplest form.
  • Factoring
    • Factor trinomials.
    • Find the solutions when factoring trinomials.

Fourth Quarter:

  • Quadratic and Exponential Functions
    • Solve quadratic expressions in one variable by completing the square.
    • Graph quadratic functions by completing the square to find the vertex.
    • Know the x-intercepts of a quadratic function are the zeros (roots).
    • Know the quadratic formula and be familiar with its proof by completing the square.
    • Solve word problems including physical problems such as the motion of an object under the force of gravity.
  • Radical Expressions & Triangles
    • Use the ratios of special right triangles to find lengths of sides in simplest radical form.
    • Multiply and divide problems involving radical expressions.

**This is a high school algebra course.  Higher expectations are placed on the scholars.  This could require spending more time on homework and focused attention in class.  High school credit may be earned by students who pass the class with an average of 80 or higher.

SPANISH -ADVANCED

Spanish IB offers a continuation of the course begun in seventh grade using a secondary Level I curriculum to develop proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. Scholars will also acquire a basic understanding and appreciation of the diversity of cultures in the Spanish-speaking world. High school credit will be earned for Spanish Level I. The textbook and workbook, Dime Uno, provide activities that focus specifically on scholar comprehension of language in context, as well as address elements of pronunciation, spelling, and sounds/spelling correlations.   

Objectives:

  • Affirmative commands; “
  • Review “gustar” and “encantar
  • Stem changing verbs: regular and irregular
  • Preterite regular verbs
  • Preterite irregular verbs
  • Preterite of “poder”, “tener” and “venir
  • Spelling changes in the preterite
  • Direct object pronouns
  • Irregular commands
  • Reflexive pronouns
  • Superlatives and comparatives
  • Journal writing and speech

SPANISH -HONORS

Spanish IIB – This course completes a two-year sequence that prepares scholars to enter high school Spanish II in ninth grade. The Spanish curriculum objectives are to develop, reinforce, and refine proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish. Scholars gain an understanding of how the language is structured and how they can use this knowledge to express their own needs and talk about the world around them. They also acquire a basic understanding and appreciation of the diversity of cultures in the Spanish-speaking world. The textbook and workbook, Dime Dos,provide activities that focus specifically on scholar comprehension of language in context, as well as address elements of pronunciation, spelling, and sounds/spelling correlations.   

Objectives:

  • Present subjunctive: stem changing verbs
  • Expressions of doubt; persuasion
  • Double object pronouns
  • Present perfect tense
  • Review preterite and imperfect
  • “Si” clauses in the present tense; preposition “por”
  • Subjunctive: “quizás” and “tal vez”; impersonal “se”
  • Preposition “para”
  • Future tense, conditional; regular and irregular
  • Review present subjunctive; preterite and imperfect: “quizás” and “tal vez”
  • Journal writing, speech – developing accuracy—

 SPEECH CURRICULUM

In Seventh and Eighth Grade speech classes, scholars will learn how to prepare and deliver speeches before an audience.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

The speeches are designed to give scholars experience in a range of speaking situations. Public speaking skills are invaluable no matter what profession or goals of the speakers. Scholars will receive direct instruction on how to write speech outlines, present speeches, use visual aids, and make audience centered presentations.

Some examples of Speeches to be given:

  • Personal Experience Speech
  • Demonstration Speech
  • Informative Speech
  • Pet Peeve Speech
  • Interviews
  • Persuasive Speech and Debate
  • Final: “I am from…” Speech