This course develops the eighth-grade student’s literacy habits and skills through a blend of workshop and traditional instructional approaches, as the students prepare for the transition to high school.
Students engage in ongoing reading work and literature analysis using selected mentor texts, including novels, short stories, poetry, and drama. Students study the elements of literature, analyze text structure, author’s use of language and literary devices, and author’s purpose while participating in a study of memoir, historical fiction, and the hero’s journey with a strong focus on archetypes.
Writing instruction in this course focuses on using the writing process to develop personal memoirs and research-based argumentative speeches. Writing instruction takes place through teacher modeling, writing workshop, and teacher conferring. Poetry and literary analyses are also written throughout the year. Lessons on grammar and mechanics will be integrated within each unit.
Instruction will be differentiated based upon each child’s strengths, interests, and progress at the time. The lessons and units are aligned to the PA Core Standards for English Language Arts.
8th Grade Units:
Unit 1: Argument through Book Reviews
Unit 2: Memoirs
Unit 3: Mythology and Folktales
Unit 4: Novel Study
Unit 5: Literary Essay Writing Workshop
Unit 6: Poetry
Unit 7: Research through TEDTalks
Unit 8: Book Clubs
Algebra is a language used to extend the ideas of arithmetic. Variables are used to represent numbers and these variables are combined according to the rules of algebra. Students learn to simplify expressions with variables, to solve systems of equations and inequalities, as well as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of polynomials along with square roots and the solution of quadratic equations. Exponents, radicals, and operations with rational expressions are also explored. A primary goal of algebra is the use of mathematical ideas in solving a wide variety of real-world problems. Students are required to take and pass the Algebra I Keystone Examination at the conclusion of the course. Placement in this course is based upon multiple criteria, including MAP and PSSA scores, performance in the previous year’s mathematics course, qualifying score on the IOWA Algebra Readiness Assessment, and teacher recommendation.
This course will place a strong emphasis on the continued study of integers, order of operations, variables, expressions, and equations. Students will solve and graph equations and inequalities, write and solve proportions, and explore geometry, statistics, and graphing concepts. Problem solving will be emphasized throughout the course. Instruction will be carefully aligned with the grade level standards in mathematics. Students who successfully complete this course will have an opportunity to begin the formal study of Algebra I the following year.
The eighth-grade science curriculum utilizes an inquiry-based approach to learning chemistry, earth science, and weather. Students learn the content in the context of exploring and answering several broad, meaningful questions about the world around us and real-world examples.
- Chemical/Physical properties and changes
- Phase changes and states of matter
- Conservation of matter
- Layers of the Earth
- Plate tectonics
- Biogeothermal cycles
8th grade social studies explores themes in American history from the late nineteenth century to modern times. This course focuses on American history and links historical events to 21st century topics. Students use inquiry and research to create activities and projects that develop curiosity and critical thinking abilities. The development of research, writing and study skills, as well as an understanding of American history, are an integral part of the program.
There are eight major units of study including:
- Development of Big Business
- American Global Influence
- World War I
- Roaring Twenties and Great Depression
- World War II
- Civil Rights
- The Cold War