8th Grade Curriculum

Religion

Syllabus

Students explore ethics and learn decision-making skills using realistic tools that they can utilize on a daily basis.  The guiding principles of Catholic Social Teaching are taught and put into practice through community service each trimester.  Students also learn about the history of the Catholic Church.  The final topic covered is family life, as we come full circle and reinforce ethical decision-making skills.

Language Arts & Literature

Syllabus

8th grade language arts and literacy focus on reading, writing and communicating proficiently and maturely in a variety of forms.  There is a strong emphasis on the research process, credible sources, and organization in writing.  Students will also review grammar, vocabulary, and spelling on a regular basis.   Throughout the year, students will work on poetry explications, creative writing, and literary essays to compliment various nonfiction writing forms.

Our curriculum standards and outcomes for reading, writing, and language are based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Math

Middle School Math Overview

Integrated Mathematics in eighth grade will focus on three areas: (1) formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bi-variate data with a linear equations, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations: (2) analyzing two-and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and (3) understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem. (From Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, grade 8 p. 52)

Students that have demonstrated readiness for the abstract thinking of algebra, along with the extra demands of the class, complete a course aligned with the state standards and the Common Core State Standards for Algebra 1.  These core concepts include: numbers, expressions, and operations; characteristics and behaviors of functions; linear functions, equations, and inequalities; quadratic functions and equations and applying problem solving strategies throughout all units.

Science

Syllabus

8th grade Science is a hands-on, inquiry-based introduction to physical science concepts.  Topics include the metric system, properties of matter, Chemical Interactions, Force & Motion, electromagnetism, and waves.  Students use hands-on scientific tools and learn proper use of lab equipment.  They develop critical thinking skills and learn how to consider variables and their impacts.  By the end of 8th grade, students will be capable of applying knowledge of the scientific method to perform and analyze labs.

Social Studies

Syllabus

The social studies curriculum in 8th grade follows U.S. history from colonial times through the Civil War, with a strong focus on the founding of our nation.  This also includes focuses on American government, current events, and the economy.

Spanish

A main focus for 8th graders is on Spoken Spanish; they practice daily through partner conversations and activities.  They continue to build on the grammar concepts and vocabulary that they already know, moving towards more advanced sentence structures and comprehension.  They read another novel in Spanish and make iMovie’s teaching grammar concepts to younger students.  Each May, students have the option of taking a Placement Assessment to test into Spanish 2 at applicable high schools.

Art

8th grade students have one trimester of art as part of the fine arts curriculum. Students develop their creative skills and techniques in a positive atmosphere.  Drawing is the foundation of the program.  Students use basic and advanced art materials, develop their skills and techniques for creating quality work, learn central principles and elements of art, and develop their own aesthetic awareness and appreciation.

Drama

8th grade students focus on understanding the theatrical process of taking an idea, character and/or story, and bringing it to life on stage using a variety of techniques and methods. We continually build on our performance skills working on various activities and projects throughout the trimester.  8th grade students focus on bringing a story to life on stage. This process includes choosing a scene from a modern play; develop creative ideas of bringing the scene to life, rehearsing the scene incorporating their ideas and performing the scenes for their fellow students.  Students also learn about the technical elements of theatre including designing costumes, sets, props and lights.

Music

Looking at the history of the two most authentic forms of American music is the focus in 8th grade music: jazz, and the roots of rock music.  The emphasis is on understanding and appreciating the musical, cultural, and historical importance of these forms of American music.  Connections are made to the evolution of the civil rights movement as well as connections to the elements of music within each genre.

Physical Education

The goal of the middle school physical education program is to reinforce concepts and skills that will translate into healthy life habits for students.  We accomplish this by exposing students to many individual, dual, and team experiences throughout the year. These experiences will be creative small group activities and modified games. ASB PE aims to recognize that everyone is unique in their abilities.  Students are assessed on their effort toward personal growth and excellence.  Students should focus on positive participation, sportsmanship and class daily learning targets.