The eighth grade English curriculum uses both classic and contemporary literature to help foster a love of reading and writing. Throughout the year, students are exposed to a variety of model texts, not only for the pleasure of reading but also to aid them in becoming more effective writers and assessing their comprehension. They write several pieces, including a vignette, a memoir, and a DBQ essay.
Grammatically, students focus on mastering rules of punctuation, usage, and agreement, and they explore new vocabulary from the literature. Collectively, these components are designed to further establish English skills and aid in the transition from Middle to Upper School.
In eighth grade, students explore the history of the United States during the late 19th century through much of the 20th century. They examine the historical eras of reconstruction, industrialization, immigration, progressivism, the 1920’s, the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Civil Rights Movement, and Watergate. Students examine the role of government within the country’s growth, citizen’s rights, decision making, movements of change, and economic growth/decline for each topic.
Students do not rely on a textbook; instead they investigate each topic from multiple perspectives utilizing primary/secondary sources such as historical images, films, political cartoons, articles, art, and literature. In addition, students develop expository writing, research, organization, study, and critical thinking skills throughout the year.
Eighth grade students are placed in the appropriate level math class after carefully considering the following categories: performance in 7th grade math, standardized test scores, and teacher recommendation.
The topics covered include foundations of expressions and equations, properties of real numbers, solving and graphing linear equations and inequalities, systems of linear equations and inequalities, exponents, and operations with polynomials. Students who take Algebra 8A will be placed in Algebra 1 in 9th grade.
The topics covered include algebra foundations, linear functions, writing linear functions, linear systems, exponents and functions, polynomials, quadratic functions and equations, radicals, and an introduction to geometry.
Honors Algebra 1
The topics covered include algebra foundations, linear functions, writing linear functions, linear systems, exponents, functions, polynomials, quadratic functions and equations, and radicals. Students are also introduced to geometry, rational expressions and equations. While the topics are nearly the same as the Algebra 1 course, the topics are covered in greater depth and at a faster pace.
Students who have completed the honors Algebra I course are placed in Geometry. Topics include foundations of geometry, deductive reasoning, proofs, parallel lines and planes, congruent lines, quadrilaterals, inequalities in triangles, indirect proofs, similar polygons, right triangles, trigonometry, circles, area of plane figures, areas and volumes of solids, coordinate geometry, and quadratic equations review.
The goals of the Modern and Classical Languages Department are to develop language-competent, global-minded citizens. Eighth grade Spanish and French are proficiency-oriented courses in which students practice the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking, in all modes: interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational.
Units of study are thematically based, enabling students to acquire new language skills through the medium of new information. By means of a broad array of input, including authentic websites, videos, print and maps, students develop language skills and cultural awareness.
Games, skits, songs, puppet shows, and other developmentally appropriate activities motivate student learning. The resources employed support the students’ transition to the Intermediate proficiency level, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Eighth grade science is an introduction to the multidisciplinary field of environmental science. Using case studies as a springboard, students are challenged to use their scientific skills and knowledge to critically evaluate local and global environmental issues. Topics include biodiversity, water pollution, waste management, air pollution, climate change, and population ecology. Significant emphasis is placed on evaluating multiple sides of an argument and understanding the complexity of the environmental problems society faces today.
All Middle School students participate in the arts every day. In eighth grade, students continue their participation in their fine arts selection from seventh grade, completing two years of a concentrated study in band, choir, drama, or visual art. Our goal is to nurture the creative capacity within the students to think, invent, and express themselves. Students will gain an appreciation of and understanding of music, art, and drama. By participating in the creative process, students will discover and develop their individual and collective talents.
All Middle School students participate in daily physical education. Focusing on individual improvements in physical fitness, students are asked to work on cardiovascular endurance and physical strength regularly. Additionally, students are exposed to a variety of sports throughout the year with the hope that they will be enticed to continue participating in Middle School athletics. Focus also starts being placed on non-sport related areas of fitness, such as weight training and yoga.
Eighth grade health focuses on human growth and development and decision making. Students review the male and female reproductive systems, followed by discussions about consequences of sexual activity. Students learn about decision making skills, communication, consent, and sexually transmitted diseases.
In This Section
Grade 8 Highlights
In seventh and eighth grade math, students are separated by gender, a practice that has many academic and social benefits for girls and boys.
Participate in our long-term partnership with The Learning Collaborative (TLC), an underserved preschool, including hosting a carnival and collecting books, winter clothing, and toiletries.
Each May, eighth grade students and teachers attend School at the Beach in Oak Island for four days, culminating their last year at Middle School.