Eighth graders are ready to tackle complex material. The language arts curriculum focuses on active and critical reading, reflective and creative writing, and thoughtful and substantive discussion. Skill development is considered equally as important as effective and respectful classroom participation. Reading books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The 57 Bus, House on Mango Street, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, poems, short stories and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, we challenge our students to answer the following essential questions:
- Where does prejudice come from?
- How do gender and culture impact other’s impressions of us?
- How do race and class impact responsibility, identity, and privilege?
- how does an author clearly show character growth?
- How is a short story or novel most effectively structured?
- What are the best practices of successful writers?
In writing, students experiment with a variety of genres: creative (poetry, vignette), essays and responses, journal, research paper, short fiction, and speech, and learn how to revise work after receiving feedback.
Eighth grade students will:
- read actively, closely, and critically
- be introduced to a variety of literary genres and structures (historical and realistic fiction, vignette, poetry, speech, essay, short story, non-fiction, and drama)
- learn and correctly use increasingly complex and precise vocabulary
- compose meaningful discussion questions related to reading
- engage confidently and sensitively in a variety of discussion formats
- write reflectively, analytically, and creatively
- use direct evidence from texts to support ideas
- learn, practice, and employ effective essay structure
- develop ability to smoothly integrate quotes into writing
- fully understand literary terms: tone, symbol, characterization, theme, author intent, and plot structure