8th Grade

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Finding God: Celebrating Church, Loyola Press

  • The Early Church (Jesus’ Message, The Church Grows, Witnesses to Faith, The Catechumenate in the Early Church, Celebrating Ordinary Time)
  • We Belong (We Believe, Praise God in Worship, Monasteries and Community, Sent on a Mission, Celebrating Advent and Christmas)
  • We Worship (The Church and Society, The Great Cathedrals and Worship, Nourished by the Eucharist, Serving Physical and Spiritual Needs, Celebrating Lent)
  • We Are Called (The Protestant Reformation, Renewal in the Church, The Church Reaches Out, Faith and Reason, Celebrating Holy Week and Easter)
  • We Are Sent (Truth Revealed by God, Acting on Behalf of Justice, Called by God, People for Others, Celebrating Pentecost)

ELA/Literacy program aligned to the Common Core ELA Standards


Text: Grammar for Writing, Grade 8, Enriched for the Common Core Standards: Sadlier; Additional grade-level supplementary materials

This is a comprehensive program integrates grade-level grammar, usage, and mechanics skills into a holistic writing program. Main points of this program address the following:

  • Writing daily both freely and creatively and/or incorporating current skills into more structured writing
  • Using the writing process for cogent and potent writing
  • Demonstrating paragraph unity, patterns of organization, and the use of transitional words and phrases.
  • Writing effective sentences, choosing powerful words, and exhibiting  parallel structure and appropriate details
  • Applying a variety of sentence structures that demonstrate knowledge of independent clauses, subordinate clauses, and compound parts.
  • Writing effective paragraphs that support main ideas and provide convincing evidence
  • Formulating a variety of multiple paragraph compositions that include a variety of genres including: personal narratives, compare-contrast essays, responses to literature, persuasive essays, descriptions, poems, research essays, and timed-essays.
  • Utilizing and implementing grade-level grammar, usage, and mechanics including sentence parts, nouns and pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs prepositional phrases, conjunctions, interjections, subject and verb agreement, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling.
  • Increasing application of gerunds, appositives, verbal phrases, participles, compound elements, subordinate clauses and complex sentences.
  • Demonstrating figurative language and sensory details in writing.
  • Comparing and contrasting denotation and connotation and applying in writing.
  • Organize a multiple paragraph essay that integrates a thesis statement, claims, controlling ideas, introductions, body paragraphs, unity, topic sentences, outlines, elaboration, facts, examples, quotations, anecdotes, statistics, coherence, logical order, and transitions.
  • Demonstrating writing that avoids double negatives and misplaced modifiers.

Chapman University and The 1939 Society Annual Holocaust Art and Writing Contest

Each year, our 8th grade participates in a meaningful and significant tradition by participating in the Chapman  Holocaust Art and Writing Contest, which is organized and hosted by Chapman University and The 1939 Society.  Contest participants include a range of students from grades 6-12 from schools not only in Orange County, but nationwide, and, in some cases, world-wide.  Not only is this a cross-curricular project, but it integrates many of our School-wide Learning Expectations. Through this project, it is emphasized that everyone’s lives are a gift from God and that we are called to love everyone, regardless of faith, color, or creed. Students will learn about this period of history through a cross-curricular unit of study in their history, English, and art classes. They will discover the stories of Holocaust survivors and then share one story through art and writing as it connects to them personally. The personal connection to the survivor is the critical piece on which we are looking to focus. Through firsthand testimony, students will understand the significance of the Holocaust and the impact it has had on our history and our world today


The reading program draws from diverse sources to help students gain exposure to different types of texts. Students experience increasingly difficult texts while differentiated options are incorporated into many aspects of the reading program.

  • Direct weekly instruction, independent practice, and assessment of specific reading skills as they relate to the Common Core ELA Standards
  • Novels
  • Short stories
  • Poems
  • Essays
  • Drama
  • In addition, students will use the NewsELA and AR360 online apps to access and analyze nonfiction articles
  • Additional resources:
    •   Prentice Hall Literature Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes: Prentice Hall (For occasional reference)
    • NewsELA online nonfiction reading program- differentiated according to students’ reading levels.
    • CommonLit: a reading resource for literary and nonfiction genres
    • Membean: a differentiated online vocabulary program that progresses students at their own rate
  • Independent Reading: Accelerated Reader program is used for students to set personal goals according to their own reading level and find literature to read independently and take assessments to demonstrate reading progress.   
  • Latin and Greek roots instruction, independent practice, and assessment

Course 3 Mathematics Common Core, Prentice Hall

  • All standards aligned to Common Core Math Standards
  • Real Numbers and the Coordinate Plane
  • Solving Linear Equations
  • Introduction to Functions
  • Graphing Equations
  • Systems of Linear Equations
  • Exponents
  • Geometry
  • Transformations
  • Geometry and Measurements
  • Data Analysis


Algebra 1 Common Core, Pearson

  • Foundations for Algebra
  • Solving Equations
  • Solving Inequalities
  • An Introduction to Functions
  • Systems of Equations and Inequalities
  • Exponents and Exponential Functions
  • Polynomials and Factoring
  • Quadratic Functions and Equations
  • Radical Expressions and Equations
  • Rational Expressions and Functions
  • Data Analysis and Probability

America: History of our Nation, Prentice Hall

  • Foundations of American History
  • The Constitution of the United States
  • The New Republic
  • The Nations Expands and Changes – Western Expansion
  • Civil War and Reconstruction
  • An Age of Industry and Modernization


  • Spend 6 days in the spring semester exploring the area around our nation’s capital
  • Discover first-hand the history of our nation as we explore Washington D.C., Mt. Vernon, Arlington Cemetery, Lancaster County, PA, and historic Philadelphia
  • Learn from a Discovery Leader who will serve as tour guide for the entire trip
  • Gain independence and confidence through travel and exposure to historic sites
  • Be secure in the knowledge that a 24-hour emergency assistance plan is in place
  • Value and cultivate education through discovery and exploration
  • Document the experience through a photo journal project to be shared with families upon returning to school.



Students in middle school develop an understanding of key concepts through hands-on lab experiences to help them make sense of physical science. The NGSS performance expectations in physical science blend the core ideas with scientific and engineering practices as well as crosscutting concepts to support students in developing usable knowledge to explain real-world phenomena in scientific terms. In the physical sciences, NGSS performance expectations at the middle school level focus on students developing an understanding of several scientific practices. These include developing and using models, planning and conducting investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical and computational thinking, constructing explanations, integrating technology and research-based projects to demonstrate an understanding of the core ideas. Students are also expected to demonstrate an understanding of several engineering practices including design and evaluation.

There are four physical science disciplinary core ideas in middle school:

  • Matter and Its Interactions
  • Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Energy
  • Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer


A science fair project is a unique way for students to pose questions for which they must seek out answers and to satisfy their own curiosity about the world around them. A science fair project is an experiment, a demonstration, a research effort, a collection of scientific items, or display of scientific apparatus presented for viewing. It represents the efforts of a student’s investigation into some area of interest and provides a way for the student to share the results of those investigations. Through the development of a science fair project, students gain a first-hand appreciation of the work of scientists and the value of their discoveries. Science fair projects consist of three essential components: the display unit, the exhibit materials, and the written report. Together, these elements present a complete and thorough examination of an area of interest, a collection of new knowledge, or the results of a self-initiated experiment.


  • Tri-School Theater
  • Irvine Outdoor Education Center: Weird & Wacky Science
  • USS Midway: Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Knott’s Middle School Physics Day
  • Self-Responsibility
  • Sports
  • Physical Fitness
  • Health Concepts
  • Movement skills and knowledge
  • Dance
  • Assessment
  • Social skills


  • Boys Flag Football
  • Boys Basketball
  • Boys Volleyball
  • Demonstrate an increased knowledge of technical skills in using more complex two-dimensional art media and processes- Printing Press

    • Design and create both additive and subtractive sculptures
    • Design and create an expressive figurative sculptures
    • Create a painting, satirical drawing, or editorial cartoon that expresses personal opinions about current social or political issues
    • Design a public work of art
      Some projects include
      • Day of the dead cultural aesthetic bilateral design
      • Pop Art high contrast self portrait
      • Clay sculpture head and puppet design
      • Holocaust Chapman University Contest
      • Block Printing process Unit
      • Class Art Project at end of year for the school
  • Apply vocal and instrumental skills in performing a varied repertoire of music.
  • Students read, notate, listen to, analyze, and describe music.
  • Listen to, describe, and perform music of various styles from a variety of cultures.
  • Understanding the historical contributions and cultural dimensions of music.
  • Students learn bucket drums, as well as perform rehearsed pieces on them at the Spring Concert.
  • Conjugation of Regular AR, ER and IR verbs
  • Correct use of SER and ESTAR
  • Definite and Indefinite articles
  • Prepositions
  • All forms of Possessive Adjectives
  • Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns
  • Negative words
  • Expressions with Tener que + Infinitive of the verb
  • Irregular verbs DAR, HACER, IR and TENER
  • Correct use of the verbs SABER and CONOCER
  • Expressions with SABER + the Infinitive of a verb
  • Stem changing verbs EMPEZAR, DORMIR, JUGAR, PREFERIR and QUERER
  • Direct and Indirect Object Pronouns
  • Reflexive Pronouns
  • Reflexive verbs
  • Irregular verbs in the YO conjugation
  • Affirmative Informal Commands with the verbs DECIR, HACER and PONER
  • Internet Safety and Digital Citizenship — Online Safety, Cyberbullying, Copyright, Social Networking
  • One-to-One iPads
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