8th Grade Curriculum

8th Grade Curriculum Overview

Literature and Composition III: This crowning course continues the study of grammar, vocabulary, literature, writing, and discussion and prepares students for high school humane letters classes. Literature studied includes Beowulf, The Chosen, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Lord of the Flies. Writing is emphasized more heavily in this course, with the concentration shifting to the five-paragraph essay form.

Medieval History: An investigation of the development of Western civilization from the fall of Rome through the Renaissance, including Byzantine and Islamic culture. Students examine distinguishing features of each civilization and themes connecting different groups and time periods, using both a textbook and extensive primary sources. This course builds a foundation for the further exploration of European history in the high school Humane Letters courses.

Algebra I: A review of basic equation solving with the real number system, and an introduction to the use of algebraic and linear functions to solve equations with two variables. Polynomials, rational/irrational numbers, algebraic fractions, and the quadratic formula are also covered in this class.

Earth Science: A study of numerous earth science phenomena with an emphasis on identification, description and modeling. The four main units of the course are astronomy, geology, geography, and meteorology. The class includes the writing and presentation of major projects, and will also focus on skills such as unit-measurement conversions, map reading, and the comprehension of various heat/energy cycles.

Latin II: A continuation of the 7th grade course, emphasizing the mastery of grammatical details such as endings/forms, passive and active voices for all tenses, and translation of intermediate texts. Roman culture is also explored further, through the reading of literary and historical documents.

Art II: A continuation of the previous course, expanding on the fundamental concepts such as line, color, shape, balance, and composition.

Music II: A continuation of the 7th grade course, expanding the theory to include the harmonic level with intervals and triads. Students learn to play soprano, alto and tenor recorders, allowing for a more complicated performance repertoire. Students also listen to recordings of works by various composers and discuss the pieces as a class.