Grade 8 ELA Curriculum Overview

Vocabulary
The study of vocabulary is continuous on all three grade levels, with an assessment at the end of each lesson or unit. Children are expected to learn the definitions of words, as well as be able to use the words correctly in their writing. Children in the accelerated program also learn the Latin or Greek roots of words and are expected to know the origins of the words they are studying.

All students in the middle school program are introduced to etymology and learn how to discern the meaning of a word, based on its root word(s).

Literature
The eighth graders will read short stories and poems in our literature text, as well as the novels, Stargirl , Hoot, Good Night, Mr. Tom, Criss Cross, The Secret Life of Bees and the play, “The Diary of Anne Frank”. We will also view the 1996 BBC version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

The eighth grade accelerated students read the classics, The Killer Angels, All Creatures Great and Small and My Name Is Asher Lev. The eighth graders will also study the poetry of Walt Whitman,Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Seamus Heaney, W.B. Yeats, Billy Collins, Shakespeare and others.

In eighth grade, the students continue to write reader responses to works we read in class, and they also strengthen their formal writing skills as well as develop creative pieces.

The eighth graders will complete a semester-long project on a songwriter of choice.  Each student will present his/her songwriter as a writer and explore the themes and images expressed in the songwriter’s work.  Please see instructions at the Grade 8 Songwriter Project Link.

Grammar
Topics being reviewed include subject-verb agreement and identifying the eight parts of speech in paragraphs. The honors class is reviewing parts of speech, subject complements, verbals and phrases and clauses.