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Arlington Public Schools

Teaching & Learning: Curriculum - English Language Arts


Course Descriptions - Grade 8


Course Description: This course revolves around the central questions that are pertinent to our eighth graders' ethical and moral dilemmas. We focus on examining how characters and people react to social and political injustices, as well as developing a sense of self. From there students reflect and are encouraged to develop their own voice. Students are exposed to various literary genres, including poetry, drama, nonfiction, the short story and the novel, that encompass a core of classic and contemporary literature. Students will utilize various reading strategies. They will exercise knowledge of core literary and poetic vocabulary. Students will read independently age appropriate material. Grammar instruction focuses on the reinforcement of the parts of speech, rules of punctuation, and sentence structure. Students will focus on writing formal literary essays, developing a thesis with supporting details and conclusions that make connections to the broader world. The process of pre-writing, drafting, editing, and deep revision will be developed. Various creative-writing assignments will be assigned to further their experience of the English language. Additionally students will gain proficiency in writing on demand (WOD), which is a large part of the contemporary writing experience. Throughout the year, activities emphasizing the development of public speaking and listening skills will be presented.

Essential Questions:

  • What does it mean to be a responsible citizen?
  • How can we be proactive in order to better our world?

Learn more about the Grade 8 English Language Arts Curriculum.

View the Grade 8 English Language Arts Literary Selections.

View the Grade 8 English Language Arts Framework Connections.


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