8th Grade


By the Eighth Grade, students have stopped asking, “Will I fit in?” but have started to ask  “What does it mean to fit in?” and “Who decides?”

To ask critical questions and have the courage to ask these questions is at the very heart of Humanities in Eighth Grade. If we practice these actions each day, we will discover the side of American history that is filled with hope and possibility; we will discover that Claudette Colvin, age 15, refused to give up her seat on a segregated Alabama bus months before Rosa Parks. We will discover the truth from people just like ourselves.

And just as history reveals moments of hope, fiction also unfolds truths of what it means to be a person. Through other sets of lenses, we’ll dive into stories, poetry, plays, speeches and essays so that we may discover other worlds and eventually, ourselves.

  • Learn more about our Humanities curriculum:
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    8th Grade Humanities

    • Overarching Question:

      What are my rights and responsibilities?

      In Eighth grade, the language arts curriculum is an integrated study of American history.

      • Colonialism, Declaration of Independence, Revolution
        • Texts: A Young People’s History of the United States, Short Fiction (multi-cultural perspectives from contemporary American writers)
        • Skills: SFS writing process, literary devices and terms, spelling and vocabulary from Greek and Latin roots, persuasive/expository writing
      • Bill of Rights, Constitution, Branches of Government
        • Texts: Short Fiction (continued)
        • Skills: Short story writing, literary analysis, grammar review in context
      • Manifest Destiny, Slavery, Industrial Revolution
        • Texts: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
        • Skills: Elements of a personal narrative, responding to literature, in-class essay practice, research process and writing
      • Reform Movements, Transcendentalism, Mexican-American War
        • Texts: The Pearl, Tomboy
        • Skills: Further exploration of figurative language via Steinbeck, elements of the graphic novel, study of gender identity
      • Economics Project, “The Cost of Living”
        • Texts: Shakespeare selection for annual Eighth grade Shakespeare performance
        • Skills: Study of economic terms and real life decision-making, study of the elements of a tragedy and comedy
      • Growing Sectionalism of the North and South
        • Texts: Contemporary American Poetry

      Skills: Poetic devices and terms, crafting poetry of various genres