Middle School Curriculum Grade Eight Overview
Eighth graders are able to compare and contrast story elements and parts of speech. Reading as an eighth grader involves exploring literary and expository texts, and students participate in novel studies and examine various forms of poetry. Eighth graders can select and use appropriate resources such as almanacs, glossaries, thesauruses, and encyclopedias.
Eighth grade students continue to expand their knowledge of the mathematical concepts of algebraic reasoning and functioning. Students continue and expand on mathematical skills that include simplifying and solving algebraic equations, as well as solving one and two-step linear equations. The students also further their understanding of basic geometry concepts, including calculating the surface area of three-dimensional figures. The students also build skills in math using the ALEKS online learning program.
The eighth grade uses a hybrid curriculum to study physical science. Laboratory investigations and activities are used as the means for developing problem-solving skills to apply to scientific principles studied. Themes covered consist of organization and use of the periodic table, physical and chemical changes, nuclear reactions, temperature and heat, sound, light, electricity and magnetism, and workforce and motion. Students must also create, plan, and present a science fair project with a research paper, poster display, and laboratory notebook. All students complete science fair projects and participate in the school-wide science fair.
Eighth grade students explore the historical development of people, places, and patterns of life from ancient times until 1500 C.E., including Western and non-Western Civilizations.
In eighth grade, students learn with an emphasis on life drawing. Students work on self-portraits in an artistic style of the old masters. The philosophy of aesthetics is addressed (what is art?) and modern art such as Dada, Surrealism, and Kinetic art is reviewed. Students also explore non-traditional mediums, and work towards a large-format project.
Students continue to utilize technology to develop written and media-based reports and projects. By eighth grade, students are very proficient at keyboarding, and can unhesitatingly perform word processing tasks and Internet-based research.
Middle school students demonstrate appropriate choral behaviors. The students sing melodies written in traditional notation on the treble staff, in unison, or in two parts. At this level, students are exposed to a variety of musical styles and musical works from different periods of music history, and continue to develop an understanding of the relationship of music to history, culture, technology, and other fields of knowledge. Students gain a cultural perspective of music and the value of music in society.
Our middle school students continue to develop strength, endurance and flexibility by participating in a wide variety of individual and team-based activities. They also learn about the importance of developing good health habits, and of regular exercise. They participate in team sports, including soccer and basketball.
World Languages Program
Students master conversation via CDs and computer technology. They are introduced to past tense, indirect and direct object pronouns, and reflexive verbs. Students continue to add to their knowledge of cultures, traditions, and holidays. Eighth graders use proper grammar and language patterns when completing writing assignments. They also continue to learn literacy and history through presentations.
Language teachers engage their students in singing songs that develop a child’s musical talent and ear for correct pronunciation and intonation. Three times a year, students participate in special performances for their parents during the Winter Program, Mother’s Day program, and an end-of-the-year program.