8th Grade Language Arts

Eighth Grade Language Arts Curriculum

Unit 1: The Foundations of Memorable Stories and Literature

outsiders

  • At the start of their 8th grade year, students will read a variety of short stories, narrative works, and non-fiction pieces in order to develop a higher level of understanding of the ways authors use plot, conflict, characterization, figurative language, and other literary elements to create memorable and authentic works of literature.
  • In order to prepare students for the Common Core's more rigorous expectations in regards to reading, students will also review and apply important reading strategies to prepare them for reading more and more difficult texts.
    • "Rigor is not an attribute of a text, but rather a characteristic of our behavior with that text. Put another way, rigor resides in the energy and attention given to the text, not in the text itself."--Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst, authors of Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading
  • All students will have the opportunity to read S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders in addition to other teacher or student selected independent novels. In 8th grade, students traditionally read at least two novels a marking period independently and/or in class.
  • All students will have ample opportunities to grow and expand their writing and language skills throughout the school year.
    • Students will explore narrative and informative forms of writing in the first marking period in addition to expanding the traditional paragraph structure to include text-based evidence in order to write text-dependent responses to literature, an essential component to creating life-long writers.
    • Students will gain exposure to language or grammar skills while working within a piece of literature or text in addition to direct instruction.
    • Students can expect to use resources from the online textbook, online language programs such as MobyMax and Study Island, in addition to teacher prepared resources.
    • Some language topics include: punctuating dialogue, identifying and correcting fragments and run-ons, using coordinating conjunctions and semi-colons correctly to combine sentences, correcting vague pronouns, and ensuring pronoun-antecedent agreement.
  • Please click here to see a more detailed description of the curriculum for Unit 1.

Unit 2: Shaping Stories with Style and Suspense

research

  • Students will continue to read a variety of literature including suspenseful fictional stories, a literary analysis, and non-fiction pieces related to the content and authors from class.
  • Students will continue to apply and expand reading strategies to more difficult texts.
  • All students will have the opportunity to read one to two novels during the second marking period independently and/or in class.
  • All students will have ample opportunities to grow and expand their writing and language skills throughout the school year.
    • Students will continue to explore forms of informational writing including more advanced text-dependent responses and at least one formal text-dependent essay response.
    • Students will gain exposure to language or grammar skills while working within a piece of literature in addition to direct instruction.
    • Students can expect to use resources from the online textbook, online language programs such as MobyMax and Study Island, in addition to teacher prepared resources.
    • Some language topics include: recognizing and forming simple and perfect verb tenses, using consistent verbs, recognizing and using active and passive verb forms, ensuring subject-verb agreement, and using ellipses and dashes correctly.
  • Please click here to see a more detailed description of the curriculum for Unit 2.

Learn More About Common Core

  1. Academic Standards for English Language Arts- This document highlights the standards and skills for students from grades 6-12 created by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
  2. English Language Arts: Assessment Anchors and Eligible Content- This document highlights more specific skills and terms that correspond with the PA Department of Education's standards for 8th grade students.

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