8 Course Description

Course Objectives

Reading: Read and understand a variety of complex grade-level literature and informational text.

  • Summarize texts objectively.
  • Support inferences and opinions drawn from texts with strong evidence.
  • Identify themes and central ideas and describe how they develop.
  • Describe how literary elements interact.
  • Explain how authors’ word choices create tones.
  • Compare points of view and their effects.
  • Compare and contrast text forms and structures and multimedia.
  • Evaluate arguments.


Speaking and Listening

  • Participate effectively in one-on-one, small group, and class discussions (set goals, follow procedures, conduct research, prepare notes, express ideas clearly and logically, pose and respond to questions, acknowledge and clarify others' ideas, and self-evaluate).
  • Use effective delivery (rhetorical devices, eye contact, volume, rate, pitch, gesture, etc.) in various situations.
  • Include visual or other multimedia to clarify and support ideas and add interest.
  • Analyze information and evaluate arguments presented in a variety of spoken formats and media.

Writing: Write routinely over longer and shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

  • Write clear narratives, arguments, and informative texts, making sure the ideas, organization, and style are appropriate to the task, purpose, and audience.
  • Strengthen writing through the writing process and by using suggestions from others.
  • Conduct research to answer questions by using relevant information from a variety of credible sources.
  • Avoid plagiarism by properly quoting and paraphrasing information and by documenting sources with citations and bibliographies.
  • Use technology to produce and publish writing.


  • Write and speak correctly demonstrating a strong understanding of grammar and usage.
  • Apply the rules of capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing and editing. 


  • Identify, learn, and use new words.
  • Determine meanings of unknown and multiple-meaning words by using a variety of strategies (context clues, roots and affixes, reference materials).
  • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and connotation.


You receive two grades for language arts: English and Literature.

The English grade is comprised of assessments that evaluate your mastery of the English language.  It encompasses the study of vocabulary, grammar, writing, and speaking. 

The Literature grade is comprised of assessments that evaluate your comprehension and analysis of literature—short stories, novels, plays, poetry, films, articles, essays, etc. 

Categories (% of Grade)

  • Summative (90%) – Tests, Quizzes, Writing Assignments, Projects, Presentations, Outside Reading, etc.
  • Formative (10%) – Notes, Practice, Minilessons, Vocab WB pgs, Self- and Peer-Evaluations, etc.

English & Language Arts Content*

1st Trimester
Process, Six Traits
MLA Format & Citation, Research, Personal Essay
POS & Sentence Review, Verbs
Capitalization, Comma, Apostrophe, Quotes
WB Lessons 1-10
Reference Materials, Context Clues, Commonly Confused Words
Meaningful Group Discussion, Elements of Delivery, Debate

2nd Trimester
Craft, Elaboration Methods, Rhetorical Devices
Argument, Narrative, Memoir
Verbals, Parallel Structure, Sentence Variation
Colon, Semicolon, Dash, Parentheses, Hyphen, Ellipsis, Numbers
WB Lessons 11-20
Prefixes & Suffixes, Analogies
Modes of Speaking, Socratic Seminar

3rd Trimester
Persuasion, Poetry, ROPE
Case, Reference, Agreement, Modifier Placement
WB Lessons 21-30
Poetry Reading, Fishbowl, ROPE Presentations

Reading & Literature Content*

1st Trimester
Units of Study
Literary Elements Review: Various Short Stories
Communication & Human Connection: The Miracle Worker, "Flowers for Algernon"
Understanding Perspectives: Boxers & Saints
Analysis & Writing
Close Reading, Text Annotation, Two-Column Notes, Lit Analysis Writing Rules, Schaffer Paragraphs
Outside Reading
Goal Deadline 11/14, Book Report

2nd Trimester
Units of Study
The Power of Literature: A Christmas Carol
The Power of One: To Kill a Mockingbird
Analysis & Writing
Schaffer Essay Model, Socratic Seminar
Outside Reading
Goal Deadline 3/5, Book Report

3rd Trimester
Units of Study
Poetry cont.
Humor & Satire
WWII, Holocaust Lit Circles, The Diary of Anne Frank Play

Analysis & Writing
Schaffer Synthesis Essay, Fishbowl
Outside Reading
Goal Deadline 5/17, Lit Circles Book Report

*Tentative. Subject to change.