The eighth grade English course is designed to reinforce those language skills taught in grades six and seven and to present students with skills necessary for success in their high school-level courses and beyond. The course focuses on various forms of literature, using published writing to equip students with higher-level reading and writing skills in preparation for secondary education. Students will be exposed to narratives, forms of fiction, persuasive writing, novels, poetry, and other forms of writing. Grammar, vocabulary, and writing skills will flow from these readings. Vocabulary will be taken from readings and classroom discussion. Writing assignments will parallel reading assignments, examining such constructs as the writing process, traditional structures in fiction, interview techniques, culminating in the formal five-paragraph essay and a final research project. Grammar concepts will be taught in direct relation to writing assignments, including such areas as sentence formation, punctuation, and word choice. All areas of study directly correspond to traditional Eighth grade S.O.L. proficiency areas.
The year is split into six units, based upon various literary genres. Students read selected professional works, and then begin to craft their own compositions using these works as guidelines. All grammar is taught with the goal of using concepts immediately in their writing. Along with these lessons, students have weekly vocabulary lists and quizzes, and weekly journal writings.