Curriculum Highlights: Eighth Grade

Language Arts

  • Grammar: review of the parts of speech, sentence structure, complements, verbals, subordinate clauses, common problems in usage, and frequently confused words
  • Vocabulary: definitions, usage, spelling, word origins, changes in English language through time
  • Writing: structure, process, thesis, and supporting evidence
  • Literature: classic works of American literature
  • Literary analysis, forms and genres, narrative points of view
  • Poetic language, forms, devices, explication
  • Poetry writing

Mathematics (Algebra 1, Part 2)

  • Quadratic expressions and equations
  • Quadratic functions and equations
  • Radical functions and geometry
  • Rational functions and equations
  • Statistics and probability

Mathematics (Geometry)

  • Tools of geometry
  • Parallel and perpendicular lines
  • Congruent triangles
  • Relationships in triangles
  • Quadrilaterals
  • Proportions and similarity
  • Right triangles
  • Circles
  • Areas of polygons and circles
  • Extending surface area and volume
  • Trigonometry
  • Proofs


  • English colonies in North America
  • Other European cultures in North America
  • American colonial culture
  • Prelude to independence
  • American Revolution
  • Creation of a new nation
  • Constitutional analysis
  • Federalist era
  • Republican control
  • Growing nation
  • Jacksonian period
  • Expansion to the Pacific
  • North and South
  • Civil War
  • Reconstruction


  • Lab-based investigations
  • Introduction to physical science
  • Chemistry: the nature of matter
  • Chemistry: patterns of matter
  • Chemistry: interactions of matter
  • Physics
  • Light and sound
  • Electricity and magnetism

Modern/Classical Languages


  • Listening comprehension
  • Pronunciation skills
  • Vocabulary: hairstyles/cosmetics, accidents, air travel, driving, care of clothing, Paris transportation, holidays, wedding, musical instruments, high school
  • Grammar: four sentence patterns, present, passé composé, tenses, imperatives, directions, expressions, object pronouns, direct and indirect pronouns, negatives, spelling
  • Dialogue, conversation
  • Culture
  • National French Exam


  • Vocabulary: household items, relatives, buildings, weapons, transportation, government offices
  • Grammar:  verbs, nouns, declensions, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, infinitives, parallel construction
  • Reading comprehension
  • Translation
  • Literature
  • Etymology
  • Roman history/culture
  • Literary devices: anaphora, asyndeton, ellipsis, chiasmus
  • Latin abbreviations and expressions
  • National Latin Exam


  • The five themes of geography
  • Map and cartography skills
  • Regions of the United States: their major political and physical features (New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, North-Central, South-Central, Rocky Mountains, Pacific, Alaska/Hawaii)

Physical Education

  • Daily P.E. class in uniform
  • Fitness and conditioning, including endurance, strength, balance, flexibility
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Social dancing:  waltz, jitterbug, fox trot, line dances, dance parties, etiquette
  • Game skills/strategy: soccer, football, basketball, softball, whiffle ball, field/floor hockey, volleyball, bowling, track and field, frisbee, lacrosse
  • Intramural opportunities
  • Sports teams opportunities (all students may play)
  • Responsibility, self-control, team work, good sportsmanship

Visual Arts

  • Drawing: pencils, eraser, colored pencils, oil pastels, pastels, graphite sticks, charcoal pencils and sticks
  • Painting: tempera paints, watercolor paints, acrylic paints
  • Sculpture: polymer clays
  • Printmaking: silk screen, linoleum block
  • Ceramics: clay, glazing
  • Self-expressive portraits
  • Perspective and shading
  • Drafting
  • Collaboration
  • Annual, school-wide art contest

Performing Arts


  • Media of musical design
  • Forms: sonata, symphony, concerto, suite, overture, concert overture, counterpoint
  • Styles: romantic, baroque, absolute, program
  • Study of two operas (story and musical highlights)
  • Lives and work of selected composers
  • Choral speech
  • Choral singing
  • Performance:  two music programs; production of a musical play


  • Significant role in class musical play
  • Develop acting skills
  • Ensemble/solo singing
  • Ensemble choreography
  • Backstage responsibilities
  • Creative teamwork
  • Imaginative use of costumes/props
  • Public speaking, confidence, poise


  • Selecting/checking out books independently
  • Librarians acts as a support for the classroom teachers
  • After-school help/research sessions


  • Star Boards in each classroom
  • Rolling computer cart for computer use in classroom
  • Regular schedule of technology instruction
  • Touch typing
  • Advanced word processing skills
  • PowerPoint, intermediate skills
  • Excel, intermediate skills
  • Office
  • Internet skills
  • Integration within academic classes


  • Class bonding activities
  • Character affirmation/improvement
  • Personal presentation
  • Social graces
  • Extemporaneous speaking
  • Mock interviews
  • Noblesse oblige
  • Planning for personal growth
  • Drama critique
  • Workshop in music/poetry/art
  • Graduation preparation

Field Trips

Several field trips per year; recent examples include:

  • Inner Quest (outdoor challenges)
  • Sheridan Mountain Campus (overnight camping & activities)
  • American Indian Museum
  • Jamestown Settlement/Colonial Williamsburg (overnight)
  • Woodlawn Plantation
  • Kennedy Center
  • Folger Shakespeare Theater